Red Apples

Red Apples, oil on canvas, alla prima, 8x10 in.

Red apples are a challenge to paint, color variation and dark darks are key in getting them to look shiny and appealing. Palette I’ve used here is burnt umber, alizarin, yellow ochre, cadmium red, cadmiun barium yellow, cobalt blue, king’s blue and titanium white. While this painting has a predominance of warm tones, there are cools in the highlights, background and shadows to balance the warmth and provide contrast in temperature. Underpainting was done in burnt umber to establish strong darks, darkest reds were acheived by mixing alizrin with the burnt umber. I’ve used the cadmium red sparingly, always mixing it with some yellow ochre or some alizarin to make it richer and less “out of the tube red”. I’ve also used white very sparingly, while it is difficult to see on the digital photo, the highlights have a cool cast to them from the addition of king’s blue and a bit of alizarin to the white. I’ve almost completely avoided using any white in the colors on the fruit skin itself. The overal goal of this piece was to create a fresh, spontaneous rendering of the fruit as opposed to a formal still life. Details are included but placed quickly and confidently to imply their presence rather than to complicate the painting and change it’s overall feeling to one of photographic representation.

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