Apple painting lesson version 2

When I finished the apple still life lesson a few days ago I knew right away that it could be improved with another session. I wanted to work on the values (my first apple was too dark) and brushwork, and this second version is getting much closer to my goal.

Daily Art 06-21-2018 apple still life acrylic painting lesson from Will Kemp version 2

It would be better if the background were darker to help set the apple off from it. I need to get some practice with how much value shift there is when the paints dry. I just got several new Golden colors to replace the Blick Studio acrylics I started with, and a couple more are on the way.

It was delightfully agonizing to choose which to buy…I want to explore the Zorn palette because it’s good for harmonious and muted paintings, but I also want to continue following Will Kemp’s lessons. His recommended palette includes alizarin crimson permanent, ultramarine blue, and cadmium yellow light, so I decided to get those in addition to the yellow ochre, cadmium red light, and ivory black I bought for the Zorn palette.

The Studio acrylics will be great for art journaling, but I decided that if I’m going to learn to paint representational artwork I might as well learn on the artist quality paints so I understand how they perform and interact with each other. The value shift after drying is one of those aspects, and I’m also eager to understand how they mix together.

Related to color, I saw an insightful video by Mark Carder on his Draw Mix Paint channel where he says the number one mistake he sees artists make is exaggerating what they see. We tend to make nuances in color and detail more pronounced when we paint (for example, my fruit stems are always too large and heavy). This observation makes me much more mindful about something I may be exaggerating in my work — I think it’s fine to do if it’s part of some story I want to tell about the subject or detail I want to emphasize. But the key then is to be doing it intentionally, not as a result of inaccurate drawing or painting, which is what’s been the case for me so far.

For this painting, one area where I can see that happening is the red area on the right side of the apple. I was so delighted to be using my new cad red light that it got away from me there!

Daily Art 06-21-2018 apple still life acrylic painting lessons side by side
The first painting of this exercise (left) next to the second (right).

Next I might do the simple snow scene lesson. It’s hot and humid here in North Carolina, so it’s got me wondering what winter will be like. Color charts are also on my list to help me get familiar with the new paints.

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