Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Still Life Study: Apple - Day 7

Well, last night's apple was harder than usual. This time, I started out using strictly Terra Rosa and, as before, adjusted the paint using various levels of grays that were mixed from ivory black and titanium white.

The hard part was that the grays tend to mute the painting too much. Also, I couldn't get the darks that I wanted using the darker grey mixtures. So, decided to switch it up. What would happen if I used some cool purples and warm yellows for the tinting/shading. That worked out much better.

Also, I discovered a workable method for me. The hardest part of these apples is to get the roundness to show correctly. Using the grays on the end help, but it's not the full answer. Also, the heavy brush strokes tend to flatten out the roundness.

So, my method is to draw out the apple using my traditional method of using a thin round brush to just figure out where my shapes are. Then, after that, I lay down the dark area and then the light area. Pretty standard stuff. The part that I have changed is that, once the basic areas are laid down, I use a soft brush and totally reduce all of the brush strokes. This gives the painting a hazy look (as if you are looking through a frosty window). Stepping back, I now can see the general shapes and ensure that the object looks rounded and correct.

Once the drawing/shapes are correct, I go back in and start laying down the lightest light and the darkest dark. From there, I feather out only the edges of those portions. This helps me maintain a strong color and a soft edge. When applying the reflected light to the apple, I also start working with a soft brush and lightly putting on the paint until I get the value that I want.

Doing these value studies has helped immensely.

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