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Painting avocados makes me slightly cranky. The skin is, well, unsatisfying with the crazy texture that has to pick up just enough highlight but not too much. And since it’s a perishable food, you have to work primarily from photos if you’re doing a realist style because it will require a couple of coats of paint (which need several days to dry in between). And I’ll be honest, I’m not a great photographer. I took a photography class in college many moons ago, and remember virtually nothing about the different settings on my camera and how to set up lighting for what I need. So any time I paint food that will spoil quickly, I’m stuck sort of muddling through with often not-so-great photos to work from. Really, I need to take another photography course that focuses on close-up images so that I can get a better handle on that, but there’s only so much time and money in my life.

Still, I’m generally able to get at least a pretty good idea from the photos I take what’s going on in the composition I’ve set up, and I can push the colors and sharpen edges to be what I really want them to be when I start painting. In the painting below, I was dealing with not just the obnoxious-to-paint skin (I mean, really, who designed these things – didn’t they KNOW I was going to want to paint them some day and that they were going to make my life really difficult?!), but I had also cut it in half since the inside is the good stuff that makes my mouth water, so painting from life wasn’t an option.

All of that being said, I’m happy with how it turned out and I will refrain from licking it for at least a little while longer.

Avocado and Cherry Tomatoes

Avocado With Cherry Tomatoes 8″ x 8″ oil on board

Original available at http://shop.emilypageart.com/ and prints available at http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/1-emily-page.html?tab=artwork.

A couple more examples of times I was an idiot and decided to cut food open to photograph it for a new painting:


Grapes 5″ x 5″ oil on board


Apples 6″ x 12″ oil on board

Prints available on Fine Art America (here for the grapes and here for the apples).