Painting a Perfect Pear
by Tina Manzer
HomeHobby, a brand of 3L, has introduced a line of all-inclusive studio kits for beginner and intermediate artists. With them, people of all ages can practice artist how-tos (how to mix colors, gesture draw, create texture, add depth, use a grid, create shading) using a variety of materials – from fine-point pens to watercolor and acrylic paint, and watercolor and sketching pencils.
“The kits are wonderful as teaching tools for people who want to sketch, paint or watercolor,” explains artist Kristin Ranney. “The materials are easy to use and everyone gets great results. The kits can also open doors for people in senior centers, memory loss institutions, hospitals, after-school programs, and much more.”
Behind each of the 19 kits available now is a different award-winning professional artist who selected and tested the kits’ tools and supplies. Using the materials, they then created an original piece of art and developed step-by-step instructions for creating it. Among the artists are illustrator Gary Wing from the UK, acrylic painter Nicholas Choong from Malaysia, and watercolor artists Robin Berry from Minnesota, Gerard Hendriks from Holland, and Ranney from Massachusetts.
Her Watercolor Studio Kit for Beginners features 53 pieces: watercolor paint, pencils, pastels and a pad of watercolor paper; plus brushes, a paint tray, a pencil sharpener, a color wheel, and Ranney’s instructions for painting “Trio of Pears.” Like many of the other kits, it also includes opportunities for practice based on the artwork of illustrator and graphic designer Helle Koed from Denmark.
3L Ludvigsen A/S is a Danish manufacturing firm begun in 1988 by two brothers in their family’s kitchen. It developed office products and specializes in adhesives, but quickly grew with line expansions into other markets. Today, its Scrapbook Adhesives brand of tapes, mounting squares, foam products and photo corners is a bestseller in the craft industry.
The company’s headquarters and production facility remain in Denmark just a few kilometers from where its original products were developed, and it is still owned by the Ludvigsens. Research & development, manufacturing, production, and sales and marketing all take place there as 3L has continued to grow its range of products. They are available in more than 70 countries. Its U.S. headquarters is in Lincolnshire, Illinois.
Hans Lyhr, director of production and purchasing at 3L, is an old friend of Ranney’s. “He came to see me with some of HomeHobby’s original products and asked if I would test them and offer feedback. We’ve been working together ever since. The Studio Kits were years in the making.
“Any aspiring artist will find their step-by-step guides useful,” she adds. “They provide a real working knowledge of how to paint, and generally how to use paints and pencils without fear, and to experiment with their own creativity.
“When I tell people I am a watercolor artist, 99 percent of them respond, ‘Oh, I’ve always wanted to do it but it’s so hard.’ These kits are the perfect way for them to jump into the water.”
Kristin is an award-winning transparent-watercolor artist whose work often features a dog. “I paint other things, too,” she insists. “I always have many ideas floating around in my head and many projects going on at the same time.” Her work has been shown in juried competitions throughout the U.S. including The Catherine Lorillard Wolfe Exhibition and the Art Show at the Dog Show. Kristin studied figure drawing and etching at the Art Students League and “discovered” watercolor 25 years ago.