Benny’s Ball Pein Painting

Big Ball Pein Hammer Painting | Oil Painting Lessons |
Benny’s Ball Pein • 22×11 inches • Oil

What can I say? I love painting hammers, especially old, beat-up ball-pein types of hammers. This is definitely one of the largest hammers in my collection. It is long and heavy, noticeably heavier than most hammers. I can vaguely remember my father using this hammer to remove car tires from automobile rims when I was much younger. With the aid of a pneumatic tire machine he would pound away on the rubber until the seal broke and the tire was workable.

This painting had some warm / cool relationships that were especially fun to paint. The metal head to the hammer leaned towards the cool spectrum while the wooden handle leaned towards the warm spectrum. With this premise in mind I began this painting just as described. As I got more into the details of the painting it was fun to reverse the temperature and sneak some warm colors into the color metal parts and color colors into the warmer parts of the wooden handle.

This reversal of temperature is something I have been experimenting with over the past year or so. I have had to be careful not to overdo the painted temperature changes so I do keep the colors fairly neutralized. I also make sure I’m stepping away from the painting regularly just to make sure the artwork is going as expected and not looking like an experiment in warm-cool. An interesting finding I’ve made is even a neutral tone can appear to be warmer or cooler when placed next to its opposite. In other words, I might use a pure, neutral gray next to bluer tones just to give a slight feeling of warmth. In the past I would have reached for a tube of orange paint but when painting realism I have found that to be overkill. Less is definitely more when it comes to creating the desired hue changes in a painting.


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