oil paintings and photography by Amber Honour

Second Attempt at an Alla Prima Pumpkin

Second Attempt at an Alla Prima Pumpkin
7.75×7.75 inch oil on canvas “3.14159”


Happy Thanksgiving! I decided I needed to quit being lazy and get a holiday-ish painting done this week. And since I need the practice, I also tried to make it another alla prima painting. For my second attempt, I chose a similar but slightly more complicated pumpkin subject. I’m really happy with how it eventually came out, but the colors definitely took a muddy turn and I had to do a second coat. It doesn’t help that I really haven’t been painting very much in the last couple weeks so I’m a little off my game.

I had all of the same issues this time as I did last time with my colors just not popping like I wanted and I ended up doing a second layer again. I know it’s the black gesso killing my colors, but I wanted to maintain some consistency with this mini pumpkin series so I used black again anyway.

This painting is available for sale in the Burnt Umber Arts shop over on Etsy and prints are available for sale through Redbubble. It won’t be available for shipping for a couple more weeks though since it needs time to dry.

One of these days, I’d really like to finish a legit alla prima painting since it’s something I really struggle to pull off. I have another plan to do a 30 in 30 challenge so I’m trying to practice a little first. Is it cheating to practice? I have a few more black canvases to torture.


I finally decided I was only making it worse and stopped here. Not the worst painting, but I definitely muddied it pretty bad in the middle.


As I mentioned above, I’m going to give the 30 in 30 challenge another go in January. To commit myself I bought a large stack of 6×6 gessoboards but I’m definitely having my doubts about it. I’m a bit of a perfectionist (my last 30 in 30 took 36 weeks to finish) and I don’t know if I can handle leaving unsuccessful paintings alone. I’ll probably go back a “fix” each one as I go along which isn’t really what the challenge is about. I think I might stipulate to myself that I have to paint from life so fixing will be more difficult if I have to set up the still life again.


I really need to stop sooner than I do. I actually really, really like this. Too bad I couldn’t stop painting and messed it up.


I’ve been wracking my brain for subject matter to paint for this series. I don’t want to do food for obvious reasons and I’m having trouble deciding on a general theme. I would like to maintain one general theme to tie all of the paintings together since I like collections of paintings. My ideas so far are: art supplies, camera equipment, kitchen stuff, toys, and tools. Out of those, I have the most ideas around kitchen stuff. But we’ll see. A lot can change between now and then.

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