Personal Art Blog

Sharing the lessons I teach at the Artist Guild and the personal discoveries in my art.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Before and After: Fracturing

After Fracturing
8x6in oil on canvas NFS

Before Fracturing,
6x8 oil on canvas  NFS

I thought I would show two paintings I have side by side
in my little gallery area here at the Guild.
I placed them together for visitors to understand what
and how the fracturing technique changed my regular imagery.
This is in my early days in exploring the technique, but
I have kept both pieces side by side as it really helped
me keep going forward in using the color and fracturing
in a more adventurous way.
My goal was to loosen up...and this is for those of you reading
who have the same goal.
I took workshops from great artists like Dan Gerhartz...twice!
How about the loose and juicy work of Ovanis Berbarian - took
from him too. Then our marvelous artist and friend Carol Marine -
see any of her signature brushwork above? I enjoyed one with her.
How about Qiang Huang - I even organized a workshop twice
to try and get loose like him.
So I ask you... do you see any of it in the painting directly above?
Nooooo, you sure don't and why is this? I sure tried, and
would "get it" in class, but...
after a week or so back in the studio my old habits would
creep back in and after a few week I would find only ONE
thing would have stuck from the workshops.
I kept getting parts of it and next thing I knew I
would head back for the security of what I knew best,
and that was ordinary realism painted in a safe and normal way.
THEN I discovered painting with a credit card...when I had
forgotten my brushes on a paintout.
More on that breakthrough tomorrow!

Artist Note.

Three more artists have graciously given permission to show their
first fracturing attempts.

Sue wrote how she got the video when it first came out and
had many attempts before this beautiful one she shows on
her blog. She recommends a great book too so be sure to visit.
 Click on Sue Church Grant

Roxanne wrote she is a plein air painter
stuck indoors over a wicked winter so she was happy to try new
ideas in her still life work. Check what she did here
Roxanne Steed
See, Flowers for Vincent and scroll down to see the
Flowers and Fechin. Two lovely pieces.

The other artist is Jeanette Jobson who wrote that she enjoyed
playing around with the technique after watching the video
and said so on her wonderful blog called  Illustrated Life.
See the results here jeanette

This is another case of three very good artists, still enjoying
trying new techniques, and generously sharing the results
with other artists.

I thank them for mentioning the Fracturing Artbyte
It helps DailyPaintworks also and can take people over to see
the wide range of excellent tutorials available.

I hope you visit their blogs.
Posted by Picasa


  1. Hi Julie, it's been really fun being introduced to new artists via your blog. Even though they are using your technique, they are all very unique. You are so prolific, you really inspire me. Do you ever hit a block or a slump, or are you able to just work through it? Also I really admire alot of the same artists as you, I'll be taking with Ovanes in France this spring!

    1. I am glad you enjoyed seeing the other artists work.
      Yes - I certainly have hit a few blocks in my time - I think it comes with being a creative type.
      When I was an illustrator, block or no block I had to meet the deadline. Having a strong command of established work habits and technique helped the most. I try to remember that now I work for myself.
      Ovanes in France - WOW. I took from him over 10 years ago. I learned more about color from him then anyone before or after.

  2. Love reading about the journeys of these artists. We are all so different yet the same in so many ways. And one of the many things we have in common is the need to grow, the love of learning. Your generosity if boundless..........

    1. You are so right Helen - the need to keep growing in art skills and knowledge is paramount for an artist.
      Thanks for the nice warm fuzzy.
      Still thinking of those luscious lemons!

  3. Best use of a credit card I ever heard of! Still haven't had a chance to try your fracturing technique, Julie, but will soon. And regarding yesterday's turnips. I love them both! Two different sounds of music, one quiet and the other buoyant.

    1. Thanks for the lovely comment on the turnips.
      And I love your beach scene - gorgeous!

  4. I was about to comment this one yesterday when it suddenly disappeared, I assumed you accidentally posted it a day early.
    I think the new one is so much better than the old one. I think we have the same goal, or at least partially.

    Like you I also get inspiration and learn from other artists, you included, but I don't want to be a copy. I want to be me. Sorry for rambling.

    Have a great weekend.

    1. Your are right - dear old blogger got away from me!
      I agree that we all want to be our own artists and not a copy so sure we take techniques but strive put our own vision on them.
      I see things I would never want to paint but someone else can make the same thing look like a million dollars.
      I went to a paint-out once in Calif. Some famous plein-air artists participated and as I went round to watch them paint, I could see the individuality of each artist. Hanging night was a different story. They all looked the same, when framed and hung on the wall. Only two artists who had very different techniques stood out. The individual ones were NOT the best artists but it certainly struck home with me when I could not discern my fav artist's work. Have I told you this story before?
      I rambled too, but love the dialog.

  5. I want to try fracturing now- thanks for posting this.I like both paintings a lot!

    1. Thank you Sally, love the Mrs Patmore painting you did. What fun. Loved Downton Abbey too.

  6. I so enjoy looking at your work. I very rarely paint in oils, but when I do I often mess them up a little with my fingers. So does that mean I have fractured fingers?

    1. I enjoyed a good laugh at that one. Thanks for the fun visit.

  7. Dear Julie ,your still- life is superb!That the Arbyte has set in motion is fantastic!
    Nice to meeting other painters, nice to think to work even through your experiences and those of others. I tried to make the shapers, with a little imagination. When you read my post you will see... how!


  8. It's fun to read about all the workshops you've taken...I have taken quite a few too (one from our friend, Ovanes)...a I am heartened to know that you would retain just "one" thing later from the workshop(s)...(I thought it was "just me"! haha). This is a tough business we're in. Good thing we're resilient. Thanks for the two versions of the painting. I do like the "fractured" one best!

    1. Oh Celeste - I cannot tell you how much your new turquoise chair excited me today. How I genuinely wish I could have done that one. The portrait was good but was it as exciting as the chair to you?

  9. It's funny how the fracturing gives a totally different mood to a painting , I love both two paintings here, but in this case maybe with a little preference for the one before the fracturing. You learn and get inspired from a lot of persons , but you should always stay true to yourself and not become a clone of someone else . Like someone said , learn - and move on ! Have a nice weekend. xx

    1. Hi Jane - I love your pink tulips - made me feel all springlike.
      I agree with you. I think a dedicated artist will always find their own voice.

  10. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. I loved your comment but did not like having a commercial business tagging on it So I removed it. Sorry.

  11. Somehow I lost my comment! Anyway, I really like both of these pieces and I still believe you find the most unique and beautiful items for your still lifes. That said, even the mundane is beautiful when you paint it!

    1. Hi harpy - i loved that on your blog by the way. I also loved seeing your dramatic sky taking shape.
      Thanks for the double visit.

  12. It's wonderful to put these two paintings together, Julie...this way we can appreciate both views...I, personally, love the fractured technique ...its so unique.

    1. I appreciate it every time you comment Hilda. thank you.
      I forgot to ask if Lexi liked her beautiful portrait?

  13. My next painting I sell for more than $15 I'm going to buy your Art Byte and give it a whirl. I love trying new things. Still love your Prismatic Pool.

    1. What a lovely comment. Thanks and your painting today of the orange on DPW is awseome

  14. Right now I am doing a series of landscapes very loose in acrylic for the Paint New Mexico Challenge. Right after that I am going to set and try doing your fracture on some fruit still life so I can see what happens clearly for me. I am already doing the landscapes so loose that if I fracture them I think the color will turn to mud. (Very loose wet acrylic, almost watercolor) Your pots are awesome!! What a great demonstration to illustrate what can happen. And both versions are sooo lovely! thank you, dear lady!

    1. Hi Lavon, wish you would get a blog!
      In fracturing you cannot get mud! Honest.
      Thanks for the great comments and thanks for visiting.

  15. Julie, you really know how to captivate your readers. I can't wait for your post tomorrow. I haven't seen your fracturing video yet but definitely am planning on purchasing it. I did see your tools video though and want to say thank you! It was great and you're so gracious!
    I would love to take a workshop with any of those you mentioned above and with you.

    1. Hi Jennifer - thanks for the interest and glad you liked my tool artbyte. It is great to see what everyone is doing so if you get round to trying it please let me know.
      Your spring bouquet is beautiful.

    2. Thank you Julie! It's a little different than what I've been doing but I like experimenting. I will definitely share my work with you when I watch your demo! :)

  16. Very inspiring, Julie! I'm curious if you love the fracturing technique, and the results, enough to not want to go back to the more realistic painting approach.

  17. Julie, I have seen your paintings using the fracturing technique and I loved what I saw. I am so happy to be able to find you paintings to look at.

  18. I am so intrigued by this process that I just purchased the video. It's similar to using a credit card in acrylics...but I'm still wondering about the paints. Are you thinning the oil paints? I hear a swish swish in the bucket, but I don't get to see what exactly you are doing with the paint itself. It looks thinned in the beginning? is that straight thinner or do you add a bit of linseed oil? I see the full paints go on later, but wondering about the first parts of the video and what's going on with the paint itself. Thanks for your reply! Can't wait to start!


I love that you are taking the time to comment and thank you for it. I am sure other readers will enjoy them too. If you cannot comment through this format then email me at