Copper Apples, Oil on Panel 5 x 7 inches
This little painting is up for auction until 9PM UK time on Thursday 27th September.
These apples came from our local farmers market. Every Friday and Saturday in Stroud, there is a market that has rightly become known as one of the biggest, busiest and best in the UK. It’s certainly busy!
Last week I happened on a stall that sold only apples and apple juice. They were a little surprised that I was rooting through their boxes of apples picking ones that looked less-than-perfect. I had to explain that I was looking for ones that I wanted to paint. And that I wanted them with the leaves on.
A long conversation about apple varieties ensued. Apparently they’ve had an artist paint some of their apples before, although the stall owners didn’t feel that the artist in question had quite caught the character of the apples.
I wonder what they’ll think of mine! I guess I’ll find out, since they’ve promised to put some by for me with the leaves still on, and some still on the branch.
The interesting thing about painting variegated things like these apples is that you have to handle the light and shadow for (at least) two different colours.
So before I started painting them, I mixed up colours that went from the light to shadow for both the coppery-green (two versions for this, since the two apples were slightly different colours, and I like to catch those differences if I can) and the red. It greatly simplifies the painting process if you can get this stage right.
I call these colours modelling strings, and I use Munsell to get them as close as I can to what I’m seeing. That also allows me to make sure that the way the values and the chroma changes across the form makes sense – that it’s going to help to create the feeling of the form.
I also experimented more with a new medium I’ve just started using from Rublev – their Balsam Essential Oil medium. I’m absolutely in love with it, and not just for the way it makes the studio smell.
The spike oil in it (which comes from lavender) does have a lovely smell, but what I like most about this medium is that it’s quite fast-drying. What I like second-most is that it allows for nice smooth, flat blending.
I used it most in the background. After the underpainting, I rubbed a very thin layer onto the panel and then painted into it. It stays open and workable for most of a day, but is then touch-dry the next day. Best of all, it gives the paint a satin sheen and seems to stop sinking in.
I’ll report more on it as I use it more. So far I love it.
Here’s a few WIP shots – if you’ve got any questions about the set up (or anything else) just leave a comment.
Best wishes and thanks for reading,
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