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  • Still Life Techniques
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Still Life - Painting Apples

  • Slide Show
 
 
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This still life lesson explains and illustrates the step by step process of painting apples with transparent glazes of color.

Still Life - Painting Apples: Step 1

 

Still Life - Painting Apples: Step 1

It is most practical to paint the background first.

  • As a general rule, before you paint any still life object it is best to paint the background first.
  • It is more practical to paint the objects in order from back to front, as it is technically easier to paint the edge of any object over the preceding one.
  • The apples are the last objects to be painted in our still life as they are positioned at the front of the group. They are also probably the easiest objects to paint due to their simple round form.

 

Still Life - Painting Apples: Step 2

 

Still Life - Painting Apples: Step 2

Underpaint the apples with flat areas of local color.

  • Start by underpainting the apples with flat areas of local color, taking care to accurately outline their shape.

 

Still Life - Painting Apples: Step 3

 

Still Life - Painting Apples: Step 3

Apply the dark tones and highlights with thin glazes of color.

  • Using a thin glaze of of dark transparent green, overpaint the layers of dark tones and blend them with a soft sable brush.
  • Stipple and blend any subtle variations in the apples' skin color.
  • Using a more opaque glaze of white, stipple and blend in the diffuse highlights that reinforce their solidity.
  • Note the subtlty of the reflected light that creeps around the dark edge of the apples to gently enhance their form.

Still Life - Painting Apples

 

Still Life - Painting Apples

Paint the dimples for the stems at the top of the apples.

  • Finally, using both light and dark glazes, paint the dimples and stems at the top of the apples and build up the shadows that attach them to the foreground.

  • When complete and viewed in the context of the surrounding still life objects, the apples take on a convincing realism with a strong presence at the front of the painting.
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