An Apple

Now that I’m working in color, my first project is to paint an apple. This is harder than it sounds.

My setup is below. You can see the color wheel I made on the left.

The apple is more or less blocked in with three tonal ranges in the red. This is where I started today. What you see above represents the previous lesson’s work.

Since I was starting from a dry canvas, I had the opportunity to try glazing. The Old Masters used glazing to create glass-like depth to their paintings. Notice the glow in this Rembrandt painting — you can’t achieve that without glazing.

Glazing is taking a transparent paint, like Indian Yellow, thinning it down with a glazing agent — in my case, Liquin — and brushing it over a dry painting. Glazing doesn’t change brush strokes or edges of objects. What it does is make things darker, shinier, and more intense. Enough layers of glaze (with days of drying in between layers, mind you) will give the glass effect. Rembrandt made monochromatic underpaintings, working out all the tones and brush strokes, and then glazed over them to give them color.

Here I did a thick glaze of Indian Yellow to see what would happen.

It’s kind of a pretty primary color effect, although certainly not realistic. Using yellow glaze over a whole painting can give the effect of sunlight, but only if it is done very thinly. Here you can see that I thinned out the yellow. Also I  added Alizarin Crimson glaze to the apple and French Ultramarine to the shadow.

I wanted to work more on impasto painting by messing around with the foreground. Impasto is the thick painting where you determine tone as well as hue (color) and chroma (brightness/dullness). To create the blue-gray of the cloth, I used complementary blue and orange in different tones. I double-dipped the brush in blue and orange and took care not to mix it too much on the canvas so as to keep things dynamic.

I still have a way to go before calling this one done, but it’s been a fun experiment so far.

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Categories: Art

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