Saturday, April 18, 2020

Three Mini Sunflowers

It's almost the first day of Spring, so I thought I would paint sunflowers.

Okay, so I'm getting ahead of myself. Sunflowers aren't available locally until summer and it was snowing outside as I was painting this. It doesn't matter though because the weather changes quickly and these will eventually be available at the farmers market.

If you watch the video, you'll see that I began the painting by toning the canvas with Quinacridone Magenta and Ultramarine Blue. A little bit of that color shows through in the final painting.

The original painting is for sale. Prints are also available, you can view various prints by clicking the button below.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Pepper Eggplant & Tomatoes

Whether you call it eggplant or aubergine, it’s tasty when you roast it in the oven!

Of course it’s also good with tomatoes.

Eggplant is a popular still life vegetable. It has a beautiful deep purple skin and it’s very glossy. Most of the color shows up in the highlight reflections. The rest of it is so dark it almost looks black.

The original painting is for sale on Daily Paintworks.

Prints of this painting are also available, click the red button below to view them. There are a variety of print products available: photographic prints, art prints, framed prints etc.

I started this painting with a coat of transparent red. I mixed it from Quinacridone Magenta and Hansa Yellow Medium. The transparency allows the drawing to show through. I added some Pyrrole Red in some areas because I wanted the brightest red possible.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Bottles With Turquoise

I like experimenting with my own color schemes. So in this painting I started by toning the canvas with turquoise.

I don't actually have turquoise in my set of Golden OPEN acrylics but I was able to mix my own. You can mix a fairly good turquoise by mixing Phthalo Blue with a little bit of yellow and white.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Bottles & Apple

I normally paint with realistic colors, but for this painting I decided to invent a bold color scheme. The original painting is for sale, click the button below to view the auction.


If you watch the video you will see that I start by painting the canvas with Quinacridone Magenta which is a vivid and bold pink. I also use a little bit of Cadmium Orange.

I allow some of the magenta to show through in certain areas of the painting and this adds a bit of vibrancy to the painting. I especially like how it looks next to the greens in the apple.

Bottles & Apple
Acrylic on canvas board
Chris Breier © 2020
Using my own color schemes allows me to be more create with the painting process. It's not so much about matching colors but about infusing the painting with a mood.

I'm thinking of exploring the use of color more in future paintings. Let me know what you think in the comments!

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Granny Smith With Two Macs

In this painting, I thought I would combine a green apple with red apples. I enjoy working with color and combining warm with cool colors.

The original painting is for sale.

Not only are the McIntosh apples a warm color but they're much darker, especially in the shadow areas. It's the same Granny Smith from last weeks painting, but I'm painting it in a much thinner manner.

The white plate is always a challenge to paint from the side like this because it turns it into a narrow ellipse. If I'm off in the slightest it will look like it's warped.

Granny Smith With Two Macs
Acrylic on canvas board
Chris Breier © 2020

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Granny Smith With Bottle

This Granny Smith apple has been sitting on my cupboard for about a week now.

The original painting is for sale.

These apples are fairly tart but they go well with my oatmeal. I slice them up and add it to the oats and then microwave it on high for a few minutes. Cinnamon and flax meal are a good addition too.

I like to think that the glass bottle in the painting is an empty cinnamon spice bottle.

Sometimes, when I'm in a hurry,  I'll add in a few frozen blueberries to help cool it down after it’s done cooking in the microwave-they’re like mini ice cubes. I frequently eat oats for breakfast because it’s a convenient and yet tasty breakfast.

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Acorn Squash

What I like about this painting is the subdued oranges and greens. The warmth of the light orange interior with the dark green exterior is pleasing color combination.

The original painting is for sale.

The greens are rather dark, almost pure black in the shadow areas. The highlights turn slightly blueish, which gives the impression of the dull waxy appearance that the skin has.

While I was painting it, the orange flesh made me think of cantaloupe. Once they’re back in season, I think I may paint one of them.

I think what helps make the color pop a little more, even though they’re not that saturated, is the gray background. Neutral grays can help the colors in a painting stand out more so than if the entire painting was in bright colors.

Once I was done taking reference photos for this painting, I roasted the squash and the seeds in the oven.

Saturday, February 29, 2020


I couldn’t imagine cooking without garlic, it adds flavor to many of the dishes that I enjoy. Pizza, spaghetti, falafel wouldn’t be the same without it.

The original painting is for sale, click to view the auction.

That's why I'm surprised that I never painted it before. I've painted multiple paintings of apples, oranges, and other produce. I guess that's because apples are more popular in still life paintings.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Bottle With Wood Blocks

What I liked about this image is how the glass bottle almost disappears into the background. It’s the highlights and the dark reflections that defines the shape of the bottle.

The original painting is for sale.

That's the challenge of painting glass objects, it's like painting something that's invisible. It's totally transparent so I'm really just painting whatever is behind it.

It's the distortions that makes it look like glass. For example, the back edge of the table is highly distorted.

Another aspect of painting glass is capturing the subtle reflections and shadows. It's the small white highlights that make the glass look like it's shiny.

The colors in this painting are almost the same as last weeks painting of a crystal ball and wood blocks. It’s really the same concept: wood blocks with a glass object.

My favorite part is the cork in the top of the bottle. It’s a small detail but it adds a subtle warm color to the painting. The cork was fairly simple to paint too. It’s basically two shades of brown painted in a simple pattern.
Bottle with wood blocks
Acrylic on canvas board
Chris Breier © 2020
As I said before, I prefer old glass bottles over the modern plastic bottles that line the supermarket shelves.

Next week, I think I'm going to paint an image with more color and contrast. I really enjoy painting these subtle grays but it helps to have variety to keep things interesting.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Crystal Ball With Wood Blocks

The subject matter in this painting is a little different than what I've been painting. It includes a crystal ball and a wood pyramid.

The original painting is for sale.

Well, technically, the crystal ball is made from acrylic plastic but it looks just like a real crystal ball.

I'm always looking out for new still life material. I found this plastic ball over a year ago and I bought it with the idea of using it in a still life painting.

I enjoy painting glass and transparent objects and various lighting effects. For example, many of my paintings include glass bottles and vases.

Part of my process is to take still life photographs on a regular basis so I always have reference material to paint from.

Many of these photos never get painted. But what drew me to this image is the way the light interacts with the crystal ball. It projects light onto the wood pyramid and on the surface of the table.

The interesting lighting effects also adds to the mystery of this image.

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Potions II

The original painting is for sale.

This painting is along the same lines as the other painting of bottles from a few weeks ago.

I like the design of glass bottles, new and old. These are new bottles that are designed to look like vintage bottles.

The glass is wavy and I like the distortion that it creates. Those wavy patterns were the most interesting part to paint.

It occurred to me while I was working on this painting, that glass bottles are becoming more of a rarity.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Pink Rose

The original painting is available.
This is the third painting that is from the bouquet of flowers that I bought a few weeks ago. When I buy flowers I like to photograph them in a variety of settings so that I can get more than one painting from it.

For example, I took the rose from the bouquet and put it in a different vase.

I like this thin vase and I thought that a single, bright pink rose would be striking. I wanted a simple but background that would make the rose stand out.

You can watch me paint this in the YouTube video below. 

Saturday, January 25, 2020

White Rose

This white rose was a part of the bouquet that I painted last week.

The original painting is for sale.

That painting featured the pink rose, so I figured this weeks painting could be of the white one.

At first, I couldn't figure out if it was a white rose or a yellow rose. But after looking at photos of white roses online, I realized that they can actually have some color to them.

This is something that you can’t help but become aware of as you mix colors. There’s a little yellow in the petals, and some parts even have a green tint to them.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Pink Flowers

The original painting is still available.

These flowers came with the vase and included a couple of roses. I suppose that's why they were more expensive than the flowers that I have been buying.

This painting is similar to "Safari Sunset." The background colors are the same and I photographed them on a table using natural sunlight. You can't beat natural sunlight for bringing out the colors of flowers.

The colors of the flowers range from light magenta to dark burgundy, which creates a nice contrast against the green stems.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Three Macs

The original painting is still available.

I recently bought a large bag of McIntosh apples at the supermarket. These are the ones that are a little smaller than the premium apples. They may be smaller, but they still taste good.

I like to cut them up and put them in my oatmeal in the morning. I add some cinnamon, walnuts, and sprinkle in some flaxseed meal. Flaxseed meal doesn't add much flavor but it’s good for you.

The quick oats only take 2-3 minutes to cook in the microwave so it’s convenient for when you're short on time. I don't like to skip breakfast so I always have a large canister of oats in the cupboard.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Lemon Water

The idea for this painting came from the extra lemons I had laying around the kitchen.

This painting is still available.

I use them mostly for making hummus and tahini salad dressing. I make my own hummus because it's an easy recipe and it saves money. I also find that the store bought hummus contains a lot of unnecessary olive oil and salt.

Another benefit of making my own hummus is that I can flavor it however I want. During the summer I may add some dill to it. Or, if I don't have fresh herbs on hand, I'll add a dash of cumin or paprika.

I'll whip up a batch of hummus and eat with bread, pita, or spread it on sandwiches. It's also good with pretzels when you're watching a movie.

Sunday, December 29, 2019



I found these bottles on sale at one of those big box craft stores, they were on sale for 50% off.

I suppose I could get glass bottles for free if I was willing to rummage through the neighborhood recycling bins, but that's not my forte : ) Besides, these bottles have a wavy appearance to simulate the look of antique bottles. They also have corks instead of the modern screw on caps which adds to the vintage look.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Mini Sunflowers

These sunflowers lasted a long time. I don't know if it was the plant food that I added to the water or the sunlight from my kitchen window that helped them to survive, but I got to enjoy them for over a week. 

This painting is still available, click to view the auction. This painting is the companion piece to my previous sunflower painting that I completed a few weeks ago.

I rarely paint images that are similar to each other but I had more than one reference photograph of these sunflowers. I enjoyed painting them the first time around and I thought it would be fun to paint them again.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Safari Sunset

I bought these flowers from the supermarket with the idea in mind that I was going to use them in a still life. The following morning, I set up the lighting and took numerous pictures.

This painting is still available, click to view the auction.

When I was trying to select a photo to make a painting from, there were only a few that caught my attention. Basically, I took dozens of photos and there was really one photograph that I thought was any good.

That’s how it goes sometimes.

When I was done taking pictures of the flowers, I changed the water and added the plant food to it. I put them on my kitchen table and started cooking.

I like to make large batches of food so that I can just reheat it for dinner during the week. I made a batch of bread dough.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Orange Slices

I have a love-hate relationship with oranges. Oranges are great when they’re juicy and sweet, but sometimes you get one that’s dry and chewy. What do you do with those?

This painting is still available, click to view the auction.

The way that I deal with subpar oranges is that I slice them with a knife and then bite into them, and suck all of the juice out of them. Then I throw the rest of it away because it’s too tough to chew.

Recently, I painted an orange and I thought it would be interesting to paint one that’s cut into slices. I was thinking that the interior has a greater variety of color and texture. The wedges could be arranged into patterns too.

Usually, I take my reference photos early in the morning before breakfast. I was hungry and I could smell the orange, but I had to wait until I was done taking pictures before I could take a bite. Well, I could have ate it, but I would have lost my still life material!

I spent some time trying to arrange these oranges into an interesting composition. “Composition” is art lingo for how the shapes are arranged in a painting. You can't just randomly frame a subject and expect it to look good.

There are some basic principles of composition that you can follow. Photographers often talk about the “rule of thirds” which means that you divide the canvas into thirds and place the subject along on one of those lines.

I like to simplify the rule of thirds into meaning- don’t center the subject or place it too close the edges.

Another issue I had was there wasn't much color in the image, aside from the orange. For fun, I placed a sheet of blue paper under the plate of orange slices.

That seemed to do the trick!
“Orange Slices“
Acrylic on canvas
Chris Breier 2019 ©

I liked how the blue is reflected in the white dish, and it’s dark enough to add some contrast to the white plate. Obviously, the blue and the orange provide a warm/cool color contrast too.

Speaking of the color orange, I bought a tube of Cadmium Orange just for this painting. I can mix orange myself, but I wanted the brightest orange that's available. Cadmium Orange is a tad more saturated than the orange that you can mix. It’s also more opaque.

I can mix orange from Pyrrole Red and Hansa Yellow Medium. Another formula for orange is to mix Quinacridone Magenta with Hansa Yellow Medium. However, both of these mixtures are transparent. Opaque colors makes it easier to cover over previous layers.

One subtle detail is the orange color that's reflected in the blue paper. That's a difficult color to mix.

Another fun fact about painting. It doesn't matter how much planning that you do beforehand, there’s always something that doesn't work and you have to figure it out as you go.

When I began this painting, I thought that the background could be simple and that I could incorporate some bold brushstrokes. As the painting progressed, I realized that I needed to capture the subtle lighting effect in the background to make it more dramatic. You can watch me blend the grays in the background in the YouTube video at the top of this post.

I don't know if it was because I was hungry, or if the orange was extra ripe, but it tasted great! It was nice and juicy and it wasn’t tough at all.