Sunday, 15 September 2013

No. 14, 30 Day Challenge. The Apple

This was a more time consuming painting but two weeks in and I'm definitely getting faster and more comfortable with painting every day! 

I chose this very small apple for today's challenge, it's not the most glamorous of apples, slightly furry in appearance with very little shine but it was the only apple on the tree that could be reached. The leaves were in pretty poor condition and drying up fast but I prefer that look and it makes for more interesting leaf painting. Ideally it needs more finishing touches, particularly on the leaves but I'm out of time for today, having spent more than 3 hours on this piece. Funny beacause sometimes I spend two weeks thinking about what I 'should be painting' rather than actually getting on with something. During this challenge I've used that same amount of time to produce all of these mini the 30 day challenge can't be a bad thing and I believe that painting everyday really is the only way to improvement! despite the fact that I'm not putting much planning into each work, it's giving me new ideas for paintings and has become slightly addictive. Having said that the weekend has been a bit of a struggle because there tends to be more distractions but I just about managed to keep on top of it. Tomorrow... the half way point!

Apple detail to show colour layering and dry brush work

Colours: Apple Green Gold for the initial wash leaving the highlights clear, Add some Cerulean around the highlights. Second wash add Cobalt Blue to the Green Gold for the green areas.
Add more blue to the green mix for the shade areas on the right and lower right hand side of the apple.
Raw Umber plus a little permanent rose for the detail markings
Add another wash of green gold leaving  the highlights clear.
Dry brush on Permanent Rose mixed with Quinacridone red for the red markings.
Dry brush Raw Umber mixed with Burnt Umber for the brown markings. A small amount of French Ultramarine was added to the mix on the shade side.
Leaves Indanthrene Blue plus Green Gold add some neutral tint for shade areas. Burnt umber, in shade areas and gold ochre for markings. Cerulean on the highlights.


  1. I love this, Dianne! It looks old master-ish and dramatic. It is great to read how these daily exercises are expanding your vision and increasing inspiration.

  2. Thank you Janene! yes glad I started it. Otherwise I think I'd still be sitting here thinking about what to do next. It's a very small apple! although it looks quite large and grand in white space.

  3. I'm enjoying this blog so much, Dianne. The mini-tutorials are excellent