Pulling out my paints is the fastest route to my happy place. It's so nice to be able to turn on a good Spotify playlist (or a short story podcast), and settle in and zone out.

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Someday I'd love to figure out portraits, but for now fruit and flowers are simple and fun to paint. I've been doing a few of these more graphic collection-style paintings lately inspired by some of the pre-pop Warhol prints above. I started a butterfly one for Evie's room that I need to finish still - it feels like I have a lot of half-done paintings sitting around. :/

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I wanted something to hang on the wall in the kitchen right away, something big (to better fill the tall space) and colorful to pop against the new pale gray walls, so I thought a fruit collection would be really fun for the room and would be simple enough to finish in one night.

I don't often buy new canvases. I think it's fun (and less expensive) to recycle thrift store paintings. I got this giant one for just a few dollars. Shocker, I know. Who wouldn't want this gem?

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The canvas was in great shape (there wasn't any texture to the old painting - and if there had been, it would have been pretty easy to sand it down). I gave everything including the frame a quick coat of white paint. (PS I have some plans brewing for that unfortunate frame)

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While the paint was drying, I quickly sketched up the layout of my fruit collection idea. I tried to group them loosely by color.

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I love oil paints, but the clean up is a pain, so I just used acrylics this time. I lightly sketched the fruits on my canvas and then outlined them with black paint. 

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Then I just layered on colors. Like for the grapefruit, you can see on the plate here I had ivory and white and pink and orange and red and two or three different yellows. Then I've found the easiest way to get a painterly but still sort of realistic look is to just use a light hand to sort of layer on color according to how the light would hit the fruit. I really love it when little pops of the black base peek through the top layers of color.

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I love painting this way - where you purposefully think less about what a banana looks like and more about texture and how light changes the eye's perception of a color. It's easier to do with fruit than with butterflies. :)

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I know it's not some great masterpiece, but it was a fun exercise to start and finish a painting in the same day. And at the very least, the painting fills my wall up well and is a shot of bright, happy color in a pretty monochromatic space. Perfect for a kitchen!

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