Still Life – Apple

I've realised that not everybody feels confident enough to tackle portraits so, for those of you who are new to painting, I've decided to do some simple still life demonstrations. These are something I'm wanting to improve at so you can join with me and practise drawing from life. The aim is to learn proportions, painting what we see, colour mixing, tones to name a few - useful with all our artwork. These aren't mean to be photo realistic, highly polished paintings, they're sketches - I'm trying to get a representation of the subject down with minimal brushwork.

I've included a photo of my apple if you'd like to give it a go, or better still you could paint your own apple! Please try it for yourself and send me photos of your work - I would love to see what you've been doing. If you have any questions, please contact me.

Use this photo  to have a go yourself or set up your own still life.

There are a number of things I'd like to do differently next time, mainly keep my colours more fresh and bright, and use a bigger brush.

Things to bear in mind/work on with these quick sketches:

  • Look closely and paint what you see, not what you think it should look like
  • They are sketches so don't over fiddle with them - if it doesn't work, wipe the paint off (for oils) or paint over (for acrylics) and start again.
  • Keep colour mixes simple - if you need help with colour mixing, let me know.
  • Don't be afraid of to use a full tonal range, from dark to light.
  • Squint at the object to get a feel of light and dark areas.
  • Try and use as few brush stokes as possible and avoid going over areas you've already painted
  • Have fun!

Colours used:

  • Burnt Umber
  • French Ultramarine
  • Cadmium Red
  • Cadmium Yellow
  • Titanium White

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