Pear-Shaped (World Watercolor Month, #3/31)

Rolling along with the first annual World Watercolor Month!    I hope you all are enjoying the watercolor artwork here and elsewhere.    This is roughly 8 x 5″ on Arches 140 lb. cold-pressed paper:


I can’t seem to resist bringing an abstract aspect to my paintings, so here you have my abstract-ish pear, and I hope you enjoy.    I went into this monthly challenge a bit on the nervous side, as I had got used to the warm wading pool of acrylic work, where it is oh so easy to cover up mistakes.    Not as easy in watercolor, but I’m going with the flow so far.   I sketched this little pear from life, and it was actually leaning toward me on the table, as sometimes pears do, but looking at this again from a compositional standpoint, I kind of wish I had drawn him a bit flatter.   He definitely wasn’t standing on one tippy-toe, as he appears to be here.   hehe.

Some notes from my third painting of (hopefully) 31 this month:

  1. I really enjoyed the wet into wet aspects of this painting, both in the background and in the colors of the pear itself.   It’s why I fell in love with watercolor nearly two years ago now, and I love to be able to incorporate it into my work in a realistic sense.   When it works, which I think it did here, in the pear itself anyhow.
  2. I found out M. Graham permanent green and azo yellow combine to make that beautiful light green that I really love about this little painting.   Winsor red and Winsor orange helped me out in the base of the pear, along with a little M. Graham burnt sienna.   I believe Graham Prussian blue and phthalo blue played the background roles.
  3. I don’t want to jinx myself, but I’m surprisingly enjoying this watercolor excursion so far.
  4. I painted my first pear last July (when I coincidentally did my own challenge to paint in watercolor every day that month) at this link – and this one is my second pear, lol.   I don’t usually paint food, or objects, as I prefer living things.    But a pear is the fruit of a living thing, so there you are.    I thought I would prefer this second pear, but not sure about that, after looking back!     Is the first one better?   Wait, don’t tell me.   🙂
  5. Good paper makes a huge difference in watercolor.   140 lb. paper buckles no matter how high the quality is, when you paint wet into wet, as I like to do.  Arches is still a really nice experience though.   But 300 lb. Arches paper is wonderful.   It is like painting on thick, velvety cardboard.   It is much easier to make a painting look good, especially as a beginner, with 300 lb. paper.     It is expensive, but it’s one of those things (like Golden acrylic paint) that is worth the extra money to me.    I want to thank Jodi for trying it and sharing her lovely results, because she is the reason I decided to try it for myself.    She is also the reason I abandoned Strathmore watercolor cards and went to Arches 140 lb.    Thank you, Jodi!   (Note:  As a Blick Art Materials affiliate, purchases from these links help to support my site.   Enjoy, and thank you!)

Blick is offering free shipping on orders of $59 or more through midnight Central time on July 4!

I’m planning to sketch some of Hub’s flowers from life today.   So stay tuned for more watercolor happiness as we join Charlie for World Watercolor Month!   Enjoy your Sunday, and thanks for stopping by and sharing the love.   ❤

71 thoughts on “Pear-Shaped (World Watercolor Month, #3/31)

  1. So much to love here! The colors of the pear… Pow… The background wash… Wow… The drip effect of the table… Pazzow… The shape of the pear… Kapow! Beautiful Loo!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol I almost feel like I just watched some fireworks, Jodi, great sound effects! 💜 Glad you enjoyed. I am trying to power through this month. Trying to shut up that voice inside reminding me I’m no good at WC. Hehe. Thanks for your encouragement.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh Laura, you do not know how stressful this challenge is to me. But I wanted to learn but very lazy to do my own homework. I am playing by ear and winging it on my own. Oh, I dont know. I just want to have fun.

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          1. Oh that attitude will kill someone like me who loves perfection and detail and had accepted that stress comes with making art. But you are absolutely right! No plans and just watch where the pigments and water take us. Pure bliss!

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  2. See There….You CAN DO IT! lol I almost tipped over when I saw your name along with this pear….not that I didn’t think that you could produce something wonderful in watercolor but you are constantly trying to convince us all that you can’t! well, you can! Remember it is a battle of the mind sometimes thinking what we can’t or can do! Watercolor has the misfortune of being called difficult, true it can be but I think we play into that one way too much. Approach it with a playfulness and openness and see what watercolor can teach you. I love the journey and I hope that you’ll love it as well. What a sweet pear, you did a fantastic job! When I sit down to paint with wc (the beast, sometimes) I have to focus on the joy, excitement and journey rather than “oh no, it’s watercolor!” when I do that….then ultimately my painting goes south. Anyway, I am behind you helping to encourage you. So happy that you graduated to #140 paper (thank you Jodi!) and now onto #300. I adore #300 and it is worth the extra cost. In the past I would pay $8-11 (now it is $11!) for Arches #140 at Ben Franklin! At Dick Blick as you well know it is just under $11! So, it is far worth it, anyhow, so happy that you produced a little gem. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Margaret, I needed your uplifting and encouraging words today! Much appreciated, buddy. My post is confusing, I painted this one on 140# but I have tried 300# too and will be painting with that also this month. I just love it! Yes, it is expensive at around $11 a sheet, but it seems every surface is expensive and I guess you get what you pay for, huh? I am drinking in your nuggets and tips and info you’ve learned about the “beast”. I do like that name, it suits her just fine! I agree, paintings turn out much better with that “ooh, what’s gonna happen now” kind of anticipation. I am working on it. It is very much a mind game, I am learning. I also love that there is no pressure anymore re: wasting paper, as I can easily gesso (or mostly gess0) over it and then do wc or do acrylic or do both! So it is no worries and full speed ahead! Thank you, Margaret. I really needed that. (((((M))))) ❤ I hope you are enjoying your weekend so far.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am learning to turn the paper over and re-using it or like you say gesso it. I have a few papers with paintings that now I can probably gesso it and re-use them for other paintings, other mediums….what an idea! I have been throwing them in the trash, no more. So far my weekend has been nice and relaxing, well….today has been. Yesterday I made a run over to my framer to get a pastel framed. Have a wonderful 4th of July!

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    1. Tierney, honestly if you check out The Frugal Crafter on YouTube, Peter Sheeler, The Mind of Watercolor, just to name a few, you will quickly see that it really doesn’t take much at all to get started. I have never taken a class. I have watched lots of lessons on though and they are just wonderful. You have a wonderful color sense, I can see you going crazy painting patchwork abstract quilts. You would be a star, I promise you!

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        1. Nope, never have. If I can do it, so can anyone. I’m sure classes would help, not saying don’t do it, but if you really wanna explore drawing and painting, the only thing you need to do is show up. Best book on drawing, IMO is “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain” by Betty Edwards. It’s a classic, been revised and updated several times and all of the editions are great. Most any library should have it. For painting, there are too many to list. If you go to the search box on my blog and type book, you’ll see a bunch of posts about art books of all kinds. Including quilting ones! I hope this helps. Let me know if you need anything else. I can recommend a really good and inexpensive sketchbook that can get you started in sketching for very low cost. Are you interested in colored pencils or charcoal or water-soluble markers? There are so many different (and fun) mediums out there. The medium should dictate the sketchbook or surface. A good painting starts with a good drawing. Abstracts, they say, do too but in my experience I don’t see that to be as much of a factor there. I could see you doing beautiful quilt paintings. But I don’t know if that jazzes you or not. Follow what makes you the most excited in the art playground. I think your background in quilting is key, it is the main thing in my background that’s helped me! 🎨💜💚💛


  3. It’s a great pear Laura! I’m happy to see using watercolor this month. But the end of the month I hope you will be great friends with it.
    Arches is my fav watercolor paper but I have yet to try 300#. So I am in envy until I get back to Tucson to buy some.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope so too, Teri. Yes, the 300# is wonderful stuff. It really helps my work look better. This is on 140# but this buckled a bit and I haven’t seen 300 buckle yet. If it does, it’s so minor, that it doesn’t affect you at all while you’re painting. Truly dreamy! If you find it for less than what Blick carries it for, I’d love to hear about it! It is worth its weight in gold. ❤ Hope you enjoy & Happy Fourth!

      Liked by 1 person

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