Paired down Pears ! A step-by-step art journey…

Hearing a call from New Zealand’s Aotearoa’s Quilters about an upcoming colour challenge I couldn’t resist taking part.  This challenge was a yellow 10″ square  (or mainly yellow) textile art piece.

My first attempt with acrylic felts, stitched, cut and burnt back was rather terrible (that’s putting it mildy !!!)

So I went back to an old favourite… PEARS !

I was able to re-use my drawing of a pear  (see my previous post about how to draw them!… the easy way!!)
Want to see how I drew my pears the easy way ? click here

As acrylic inks can be quite translucent and pencil marks will show through on the fabric, I traced the pear drawing to the wrong side of the white fabric and with white foam coreboard underneath the white PFD fabric I could see the outlines really well. It doesn’t really matter that the edge lines are not crisp.. you’ll see why later!


Painting Pears with Acrylic inks

Then for an interesting backdrop for my pears I decided to stencil the fabric.  I used a (thickish) paper scrapbooking stencil that I had picked up for .50c and used a little sponge and dabbed my not too wet sponge over the stencil.  I tried using yellow on the white fabric…


Utilising a scrapbooking stencil


the stencilled image on the white fabric

..mixing the paint a little as I went so that the colour was a bit blended and not too flat.  In some areas in the middle I must have used the sponge a bit wet as it bled under the stencil… but that would be hidden under my arrangement.


using white and a solid colour

Then I tried a lovely solid colour in the same hue and some coarse calico which gave great texture!   I loved the solid coloured fabric best behind the pears so decided to go with that one.


stitching the background

I divided the 10″ up into 3rds and stitched a geometric commercial print across the bottom third of the stencilled background.  I layered this with batting and stitched around the design.


adding the pears and pot

I decided my pears needed a vessel and modelled the base after a vase that my sister had.  It had great bumps on it that I wanted to replicate so I used a coarse linen, backed it with fusible, cut holes in it, put little squares of yellow solid fabric with extra wadding behind each hole and stitched them together.  Then I trimmed the yellow circles and wadding.  I think this got great dimension.  Then using my inktense pencils I added some shading.

Backing the pear paintings with fusible I then stitched them out which tidies up the edges beautifully!  I realised I was going to need to adjust my shading a bit as I had not paid enough attention to light source when painting the pears originally!


stitched and fixed

When I was happy with the placement I fused it all down, backed it with fabric backing and stitched my edges and added a little stitched interest.  Then the trick… you know how pears have those fine little dots on them ?  well, get an old sewing maching needle, or one you’ve been using for too long, remove the thread from your machine and stitch !  Stitching without the thread leaved great texture in the painted surface.

Readjusted light source and shadows

Readjusted light source and shadows

I’ve then re-evaluated my shading… I was so happy with the above result as it was.. but a dear friend and wonderfully talented artist felt I could do better !   So…

the finished item… What do you think ?


Now I just have to get it to New Zealand!

2 thoughts on “Paired down Pears ! A step-by-step art journey…

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