Tag: apple

Poison Apples

Today I followed along with a YouTube video by Will Kemp. I rather like his online presence and instructions – what I have done so far. He’s low key, explains, demos. What more could you ask for?

Kemp’s apple is much nicer than mine. He paints his apple over a series of 2 short videos, beginning with laying in a background, upon the gessoed canvas, of yellow ochre and cadmium yellow light. From there, the painting begins, with the colors in the study being raw umber, ultramarine blue, white, burnt sienna, cadmium yellow light, and cadmium red light at the very end.

Here is my study, following along with Will. I think the yellow ochre – cadmium yellow underpainting adds a nice warmth to the painting. Two brushes, a filbert and a small round, were used to create this painting. Only water was used to thin the paint.

After doing Will’s study, I decided to do it again, but without using the underpainting colors.

No underpainting made for a different sense of color. By accident, I pickedup some of the cadmium red when mixing the upper background, so I just kept it. The lower part, upon which the apple rests, is burnt umber, white, and ultramarine. I made this apple more green than yellow, and applied the paint heavily, mixing it with matte medium. At the end, I used my finger tip to mush the colors together as the brush kept picking up the colors beneath, even though I had dried it.

My hair dryer may or may not be the best thing to use for acrylics, but these are studies, so not important! Both of these are painted on Arteza primed 8×10 canvas panels.

I deliberately chose to use only water, as Kemp did, in the first painting, and then only matte medium in the second. Both had their plus and minus points. Making a glaze out of the paint with either media is not easy – the colors are not really easy to blend well before applying. That is why I mushed things together with my finger on the second painting. I will need to study glazing a bit – read up on it to learn more.

Simple but effective studies to learn more about paint, as well as various techniques, such as underpainting, glazing, and so on. Of course, just doing and not setting out with the goal of a masterpiece, to have fun, makes it all worth while.

Apple Without A Stem

If you read my blog at all, you know I think that you can, and I do, learn a lot from watching “how to” videos. YouTube is my favorite resource. Today, an apple without a stem. The video I followed is by Chris Cheng, which you can see below.

This video is rather long, no sound, but references to Prismacolor pencils by their names and numbers. She used Strathmore colored pencil paper, which has a bit of tooth compared to the Canson XL bristol I used. My paper is very smooth, and the difference of tooth / no tooth becomes apparent by the end. I completed the shadow too soon, and think it would have been best completed closer to the end of the project. It would work better at grounding the apple.

I spent about 90 minutes doing this drawing. Altogether I am pleased with the results.


Scanning a painting is a bit of trick – here, you can see that the scan had some dark shades in the corners, not reflective of the smooth, bright white of the paper.  Fixing that issue changes the actual colors, which in this scan are much closer to the actual painting.  So, here is the imperfect scan with perfecter colors.

This was probably the most challenging of the 3 botanical paintings I have done so far.  The highlight in the apple was a challenge, as were all the spots and stripes.  The colors I used were all labeled as transparent on various websites, and they included yellow ochre, lemon yellow, Payne’s grey, permanent alizarin crimson, quinacridone burnt orange, lemon yellow, and nickel azo yellow.  Manufacturers varied to include W&N, Daniel Smith, and M. Graham.

What I have found that seems to pull the final painting together is to place a large, light glaze over various areas of the painting.  For instance, on the left I used a pale yellow-orange glaze to pull the warm tones of the painting together; on the right, I used a combination of alizarin and orange and grey to create a cooler contrast.  In the high light, I used a very light yellowish-alizarin mix.