Friday, December 8, 2017

Trompe L'Oeil Painting of M&Ms Chocolate Candy

mms chocolate candy trompe loeil photorealism still life painting by kim testone
"Just a Handful," acrylic on panel, 8" x 10". SOLD.

 I painted M&Ms a while back, but on a much smaller board, so I wanted to try to do one with a bit more white space around it so it could breathe a bit. M&ms are a different sort of challenge altogether from my other candy bar paintings, not just because of the separate pieces, but because of the details and shape of the package.

This piece has been sealed with a thin coat of a permanent gloss varnish, for protection and to retain the richness of the colors, especially the dark areas.

I've included a side-by-side picture of my original subject taped to a board next to the final painting.

Be sure to visit my Instagram page to see a couple of progress shots of this piece as I worked on it -

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Money Laudering - Trompe L'Oeil Painting of a 1980s $50 Bill Hung Out to Dry

trompe loeil money painting photorealism by kim testone
"Money Laundering," acrylic on panel, 10" x 10". SOLD

I found this $50 bill from 1981, and just had to paint it before I spent it. The designs of the old bills are so much more interesting to me than the current designs, at least for painting.

I used a very small brush to paint all of the details on this piece. I'm including a photo of my original subject next to my painting. I do my best to capture all of the lighting and colors correctly, so that at a glance, it's not easy to tell which is the painting.

Be sure to visit my Instagram page to see a progress shot of this piece as I worked on it -

Thanks for looking!

Monday, November 27, 2017

Chocolate Cheesecake Painting

chocolate cheesecake dessert photorealism painting by kim testone
"Just a Little Chocolate and Cheesecake," acrylic on panel, 6" x 8". SOLD.
 I picked up the model for this piece in the bakery section of my local grocery store. It was called a cannoli cheesecake, and was delicious!

The painting has been coated with several coats of a polyurethane gloss varnish, which gives it a nice shine and keeps the black background looking rich and deep.

Thanks for looking!

***Please note that despite my best efforts to photograph my paintings accurately, colors will vary from screen to screen.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Candyland Board Game Painting - We've Only Just Begun

candyland board game painting
"We've Only Just Begun," acrylic on panel, 8" x 8". SOLD

 I used a vintage-style Candyland board game as the model for this painting. There are so many lovely little illustrations on the Candyland board, especially this version, featuring designs from the 1960s, I believe. I've never painted the "start" area of the game before, which I think is especially adorable.

All of the details were painted using a very small brush. Be sure to visit my Instagram page to see several progress photos of this piece as I painted it -

The piece has been coated with a permanent gloss varnish and is extremely bright and colorful!

Thanks for looking!

***Please note that despite my best efforts to photograph my paintings accurately, colors will vary from screen to screen.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Twist Ice Cream Cone Painting

"Twist," acrylic on aquabord, 14" x 11". SOLD.
 I photographed my last ice cream cone of the season as a reference for this piece. 

Thanks for looking!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

O Christmas Tree - Acrylic Trompe L'Oeil Painting of Vintage Music Sheet

O Christmas Tree painting sheet music trompe l'oeil
"O Christmas Tree," acrylic on panel, 16" x 16". SOLD. 

 I used a piece of vintage sheet music as the model for this painting. You can see it below, hanging from a pair of yarn loops next to my painting. It was done at a one to one scale using a very tiny brush to do all of the marks. I tried to capture the worn feel of the original sheet, which dates back to the 50s or 60s. It was from a piano sheet music book that belonged to my mom and was well-loved. 

Thanks for looking!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Autumn Leaves Painting

"Colors of Fall," acrylic on panel, 8" x 10". SOLD.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Trompe L'Oeil Painting of Sheet Music for Tomorrow from the Musical Annie

"The Sun'll Come Out Tomorrow," 16" x 16", acrylic on panel. SOLD.

One of my largest trompe l'oeil paintings and most complicated pieces. The painting is done at a 1:1 scale with the original music sheet (see photo below of subject next to painting). This was one of my favorite songs to play on my antique, somewhat out-of-tune piano. Eventually, the page fell out and had to be taped back in. 

Thanks for looking!

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Three Commissioned Trompe L'Oeil Paintings of Recipe Cards

Here are a few recent pieces I completed for a client. I enjoyed adding the unique backgrounds to each! Thanks for looking!

"Peanut Brittle," acrylic on panel, 5" x 7". SOLD.

"Potato Salad," acrylic on panel, 5" x 7". SOLD.

"Shrimp Chip Dip," acrylic on panel, 5" x 7". SOLD.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Pair of Recipe Book Trompe L'Oeil Paintings

Each painting is 16" x 16", acrylic on panel.

 I recently did a large pair of trompe l'oeil paintings of an old recipe book - one of the cover, one of a specific page inside. Because my client could only send me photos, though, it became a sort of craft project, too, as I had to print the photos out and "build" the book out of an old catalog, so I would have a three-dimensional subject to view. Thanks for looking!

"Old Italian Recipes," acrylic on panel, 16" x 16".

"Meatball Cookies," acrylic on panel, 16" x 16".

Monday, July 10, 2017

Daily Painting a Day Hershey's Chocolate Cake Recipe Trompe L'Oeil

"Hershey's Chocolate Cake," acrylic on panel, 7" x 5".
Thanks for looking!

Friday, July 7, 2017

Chocolate Malted Milkshake Painting

"Chocolate Malt," acrylic on panel, 14" x 11". SOLD.
Great photorealist paintings start with great photographs. Many thanks to Erin Lilikoi for the wonderful reference photo.  
Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Painting of Vintage Batman Comic and Nintendo Entertainment System

photorealist painting of vintage batman comic and nintendo entertainment system with punchout video game
"It Begins Here!" acrylic on panel, 8" x 8". SOLD.
 I am a fervent lover of comic books and many nostalgic toys and games from my childhood, so this painting request was just perfect for me. I used my husband's vintage NES and Batman issue with cover art by the great Jim Lee to pull this together for an old friend. I loved that I was able to get all of these elements in just an 8" x 8" space. I hope to do many more similarly-themed pieces soon, focused on some of my own comic book collection. Thanks for looking!
Side view.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Two Nutty Buddy Ice Cream Cone Acrylic Paintings

"Sometimes you just need ice cream," acrylic on panel, 8" x 8". SOLD.

"I only took one bite," acrylic on panel, 8" x 8". SOLD.
I did these two paintings from a series of photos I took a couple of weekends ago. I love painting the patterns of the chocolate and nuts against the vanilla ice cream. Happy summer! Thanks for looking!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Five Small Trompe L'Oeil Candy Bar Paintings

Here's a little group of recent candy bar commissions. Thanks for looking!

"Snickers," acrylic on panel, 7" x 5". Sold.

"Dreaming of the Tropics," acrylic on panel, 5" x 7". Sold.

"It's raining M's (Hallelujah!)," acrylic on panel, 5" x 7". Sold.

"Headed toward Mars," acrylic on panel, 7" x 5". Sold.

"Waiting for Payday," acrylic on panel, 5" x 7". Sold.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Daily Trompe L'Oeil Painting - Strawberry Pretzel Salad Recipe with Pretzels

"Strawberry Pretzel Salad," acrylic on panel, 8" x 8".

When I got married many years ago, my grandmother gave me a book of recipe cards she wrote out, featuring many of our family's holiday favorites. This recipe, Strawberry Pretzel Salad, is a really amazing summertime dessert we enjoyed from Memorial Day to Labor Day, although to be fair I'm not really sure why that was the only time we could have it!

Although I usually just include the recipe cards themselves in my Well-Loved Recipe card paintings, I thought I'd throw in a few pretzels, just for a little something extra.

If you've never tried this recipe, I encourage you to try it out at your next summer gathering!

Thanks for looking!
Friday, May 19, 2017

Painting of Wonder Woman Comic and a Monopoly Board

"Poised for Victory," acrylic on panel, 16" x 20".

This commission was one of my favorite pieces ever to paint. It also gave me an excuse to purchase a slightly beat-up issue of Wonder Woman #72 with the amazing Brian Bolland cover to add to my own meager vintage comic book collection. 

I'll be incorporating more of my collection in some future paintings this summer. Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Falling for Chicago Trompe L'Oeil Painting Commission

"Falling for Chicago," acrylic on panel, 10" x 8".

A client sent me a handful of materials from 19th century Chicago for this little painting. I do so enjoy when everything comes together like this. Thanks for looking!

Friday, April 7, 2017

How Being a Disney World Caricature Artist Changed My Art Outlook

I shared this post initially to my email list, but wanted to make sure others got a chance to read it, too. You can sign up for my email list and get previews of my artworks before they go up for sale to the public by signing up here.

"Dots," acrylic on cradled panel in a handcrafted floater frame, 6" x 12". SOLD

 Art is, and should be, a very personal thing, both for the artist and for the viewer. While a mysterious landscape or exceptional portrait can momentarily move me, I am most frequently drawn to the paintings that make me smile, laugh or reminisce about a pleasant memory, which is why I paint what I paint - toys, candy, bright colors and quirky trompe l'oeil. For this, I owe a great deal of inspiration to my time as a caricature artist at Walt Disney World.

When I first began painting in college, I had no idea what to paint - and I was a pretty terrible artist then, too! I painted the usual painting exercises - vases, plastic skulls, copies of master works, but I didn't have any vision, and so I gradually lost interest in my work. Not long after graduating, a very gracious lady decided to give me an opportunity to work as a caricature artist at Animal Kingdom, one of the four Walt Disney World theme parks. She did this, despite the fact that I had no colorful or funny works in my portfolio - just dark, brooding, 20-something tortured artist works. This was, I suppose, a moment that changed my whole outlook on making art.

All day, I'd shout and point to the children and families walking by - as I was trained to do - "You'd make a great cartoon! YOU'D make a great cartoon." Doing dozens and dozens of drawings of people every day, making them look cute or funny, my goal was always to make the person sitting and their families laugh at just how adorable they were. It fed my creativity and enthusiasm, and I wanted to get better and better, and make better work, get more creative, and produce things faster.

While I had a long hiatus from making art not long after that job until just a couple of years ago, I often think back on how much I learned there about making fun art that makes people smile. Life can be a bit too serious sometimes, so if I can make art that momentarily removes viewers from our super-serious world and feel what it's like to be an imaginative kid again, full of wonder and fun and color, then I'm a happy camper.