I don’t have any models that I can pay. Or, to be more accurate, I don’t have any models that I can afford to pay. This leads me to using myself as subject matter.

At the beginning, the purpose of this painting was simple. Get a great photo of someone and paint it. The execution of this painting was far from simple.

36 session and one paint over later, I’ve learned how I like to paint and much about who I want to be.

The Pear Tree is more than a reproduction of my likeness. It’s a whole hell of a lot of struggle culminating into my own internal, psychological, portrait of myself.

The next painting will be deeply influenced by this experience and it will be much different.

  • Work: 1801
  • Size: 20" x 30"
  • Medium: Oil on Canvas
  • Sessions: 36
  • Start date: 9/23/2021
  • End date: 3/17/2022


3338: The Pear Tree, Session 36
The Pear Tree is finished! If I didn’t start this painting over it would have taken 13 sessions less. But I learned a ton! see the post
3337: The Pear Tree, Session 35
The shirt is moving fast I expect to finish this painting tomorrow. I haven’t had this many sessions on one painting in a long while. see the post
3336: The Pear Tree, Session 34
Yes! I’m not sure what this technique is called but I like leaving the strokes bare, separate, no smoothing. see the post
3335: The Pear Tree, Session 33
The more I try to smooth out the skin the less I like it. I’m going to keep it like it is. see the post
3334: The Pear Tree, Session 32
One hour of painting this morning and and bringing the face up to where I want it. see the post
3333: The Pear Tree, Session 31
I’m spending more time on web development for my site right now so this painting will go a bit slower. see the post
3332: The Pear Tree, Session 30
I’m done with the background! Yay! I may change it a bit but for now back to the portrait. see the post
3331: The Pear Tree, Session 29
Back to The Pear Tree and I’m still working on all the leaves for the tree. see the post
3320: The Pear Tree, Session 28
Another session down. Still working on the leaves of the pear tree and still having fun. see the post
3319: The Pear Tree, Session 27
I hope to finish the background on the next session. Then I’ll move on to the next painting for a few days. see the post
3318: The Pear Tree, Session 26
At this point I thought I would be getting tired of all the leaves but I’m actually enjoying it. see the post
3317: The Pear Tree, Session 25
Dealing with a few distractions this morning so my progress was as great at yesterday. see the post
3316: The Pear Tree, Session 24
The right side of the background is done. Two more good sessions and I can finish it. see the post
3315: The Pear Tree, Session 23
More time on the background and I’m changing my mind on painting landscapes… maybe… see the post
3314: The Pear Tree, Session 22
I’ve got a good method going for the background now it’s time to repeat. see the post
3313: The Pear Tree, Session 21
First layer of the skin is done and I’m moving to the block-in of the background. see the post
3296: The Pear Tree, Session 20
Now it’s time to put this painting down and let the background and shirt dry. see the post
3295: The Pear Tree, Session 19
This painting is coming together quickly. see the post
3294: The Pear Tree, Session 18
I’m moving to the background now and the contrast is amazing! see the post
3293: The Pear Tree, Session 17
Moving out from the face into all the hair this guy has. see the post
3292: The Pear Tree, Session 16
Instead of a block-in I’m going straight for what I want and I’m loving it. see the post
3291: The Pear Tree, Session 15
I refined the drawing today and barely got started painting when time was up. see the post
3290: The Pear Tree, Session 14
I started over on The Pear Tree and used it for an easy session today and recovery. see the post
3219: The Pear Tree, Session 13
Small changes to this painting. A layer of glazed white over the face. see the post
3216: The Pear Tree, Session 12
Not much time spent today but I wanted to feel a brush in my hand again. see the post
3209: The Pear Tree, Session 11
I’m waiting for the face to dry so I’m working the background up. see the post
3208: The Pear Tree, Session 10
I’m still working like crazy on web stuff but I tried to get some painting in today. see the post
3171: The Pear Tree, Session 9
I’m not spending a lot of time daily on painting so the progress on this painting is slow. see the post
3170: The Pear Tree, Session 8
Working on the details of the face now and trying as hard as I can to understand the complex colors I see. see the post
3169: The Pear Tree, Session 7
The super simple block-in for the whole painting is done. Tomorrow I’ll get back to details. see the post
3168: The Pear Tree, Session 6
The best way to figure out a color is to also figure out the colors next to it. see the post
3167: The Pear Tree, Session 5
I worked a bit more on the skin color trying to get a base to work from. see the post
3166: The Pear Tree, Session 4
First layer on the face is close to finished and I’m moving outward into the background and down the body. see the post
3165: The Pear Tree, Session 3
I’ve started painting and I’ve started with detail right away. see the post
3164: The Pear Tree, Session 2
For this post and the next few posts I’m going to keep the text very short. see the post
3163: The Pear Tree, Session 1
After some serious deliberation on my second morning walk I’ve come to a conclusion. see the post

Chris Beaven

I am an Artist and a programmer currently living in the amazing state of Washington. I have a passion for art, but I'm stubborn as hell with it. My day is complete only when I do some piece of art each day, no matter how small. "There was a dream that was Rome. You could only whisper it. Anything more than a whisper and it would vanish, it was so fragile."