Pear Portrait

Seckel Pears

Beautiful form, beautiful color. Is it any wonder that pears have been artistic subjects for ages? From Roman mosaics to Renaissance religious paintings, from woodcuts and engravings of the 17th and 18th centuries to Impressionist paintings in the 19th century– the pear proves a worthy subject.

When I see pears at the market or a farm stand, I can’t resist buying them. I don’t care that much about eating them. Not that a good pear isn’t heavenly. I just feel compelled to paint them. But pears, like apples, are tricky. Seemingly simple, I find it hard to get the form to take shape on paper without overworking it. Like the real thing, one minute the fruit is fresh and the next it’s rotten. Stopping when you’ve got a good thing is key. This painting of seckel pears is right on the edge. And though this is no masterpiece, I’m happy to add my attempt to the fruit’s artistic legacy.

7 Comments on “Pear Portrait

  1. They’re so gorgeously realistic – down to the not quite smoothness of their skin. Love these!

  2. Beautiful composition and tension between the 2, vying for most beautiful no doubt. Great color and form and the dried leaves are the crowning glory. Nicely done!

  3. I feel hungry….they are stunning Jean. Question for you. Is it harder to paint objects when they aren’t anchored in some way to a back round, table top, basket?

    • Great question. I think it may be harder when the object isn’t “anchored.” You have to be especially careful about the edges of your subject–they need to be very crisp. You also need to have a range of values so that the subject is dimensional. If you add a table or shadow to fruit, for example, those elements add perspective to the subject. If you look in “Paintings”, you see that I typically don’t add a background because I want the sole focus on the subject.

  4. Those are gorgeous! I love how you’ve captured all the different planes and tones on the skin.

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