Adam Houston

American Impressionist Oil Painter

Two Pomegranates II

Here is the last (I think and hope) of the pomegranates. It felt like I had too much white in the shadow areas of 196 so I toned that down and gave it move Alizarin and Cobalt Blue in those deep areas. It helps too that this canvas is a little larger.

Two Pomegranates I

Same basic set-up but now with two pomegranates. Hard to believe after being SO far behind I am this close to being done for 2011.

Pomegranate III

This is the last of this first group and I think I like it best. I used a base of Burnt Umber and it was at about 50% opacity so the base was relatively dark. I just like being able to let the raw/toned canvas show through instead of using a color to lighten it.

Pomegranate II

Second of the pomegranates and it’s pretty similar to 194. This one uses less white and has a nicer red but the other one felt more round.

Pomegranate I

Here’s the first of the pomegranates. I decided to do three that are the exact same to see how close (or how not close) they look when I am painting the same subject at essentially the same time. I was also experimenting with different base colors. The one started on a light yellow ochre.


Number 84 is a little bit of a stretch based on the last few. I wanted to do one more with the pomegranates and ended up having some flowers so I added them in as well. Evi officially became a “daisy” and we had to bring the flowers for the get together. I figured I would get a little extra mileage out of them.

I did most of this in one sitting. These more complicated ones are like walking a tightrope. You’ve got glass, fruit, petals, stems, background – lots of moving parts here. I was just hoping that it would be a cohesive image and overall I was pretty happy.

This is the last of the pomegranates for the year. They were fun to paint but I’ve got to keep moving.

Pomegranates on Blue

I had been really hyper-focused on the composition and precision with 81 & 82 that when I sat down to do this one I wanted to just paint. No drawing on the canvas, no underpainting, no sketching. So I started and it came to life pretty fast. I feel good about this one and it’s probably the closest I can get to what’s in my head for these. It’s nice that it happened on this one too because it’s a (relatively) big, 16″ x 8″ stretched canvas.

It’s paintings like this that make me think this year has been worth it. Going back and looking at No. 1 there is just a real difference. There is no way possible I could have sat down in January and done something like this. It’s like being on a diet for 11 months and finally realizing you’ve lost weight.

Pomegranates & Vase

No 82 is another one with pomegranates and I added in the same vase from No. 14 way back in February. I made a very deliberate attempt with 82 to slow way down and only lay down the minimum variances to make it look like a pomegranate. The last two felt like they had too many brush strokes and I was trying to experiment with using fewer strokes. I’m really happy with the result but it’s not as gnarly as it probably should be.

I was also really excited about the butterfly on the vase. If you try to paint a butterfly it would look 100%, totally awful. I’ve learned this. So I took a deep breath and just put down the little blobs and blips. I was praying it would work because I was so happy with the pomegranates and am glad it did.

What’s Inside

With No. 81 we now have three pomegranates and a bowl has been added into the mix. They look like they are slowly creeping up to the bowl to see what this strange object is.

I felt a little more at ease with this one but it was still disorienting to try and actually paint what I was looking at. There are hundreds of planes on the pomegranates and you have to leave things out in order to not make it look like a mess.

Pomegranate I

Made it to number 80 – just 2o more to go and I’ve got roughly one month. I may make it! When looking into what to paint next I decided to try Pomegranates. I had heard they were tricky to paint and it’s true. They are weird little fruits and are this strange mix of shiny and dull, smooth and lumpy. Weird. So to start this run of them I wanted to do a single one on a background I felt familiar with. They are a lot of fun but very challenging.