Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Caramel Apple Original Oil Painting

In case you have decided to roast your own beets, like I did yesterday, there's a few things you should know. First, take a head of garlic slice off the top and drizzle it with olive oil. Wrap aluminum foil around it and roast it along with the beets. You might as well, it's the same temp and time (400 deg F for 1 hour). You can then smush some of the garlic heads out since they are nice and soft, and use it in your sauteed beet greens. It makes a world of difference. Also, after you've tasted the earthy beet flavor and enjoyed their gorgeous claret red color, er, um fair warning that you will probably see that red again, and again, the next day. Nothing to be alarmed by and no reason to call your doctor! Just a public service announcement for any other fresh beet newbies out there.

Now on to today's painting. Fall. Autumn. This may be very early (especially for those of you in the South), but caramel apples are reminiscent of county fairs, crisp evenings and of course, Halloween.

Caramel apple, getting the center of interest down on the canvas

The beginning of the painting. Shadows down first, then the background behind the apple.

Caramel apple, blocking in the background

The background is mostly in. I like to brush into a wet background, when blocking in my center of interest. It's better than doing a lot of work on an object, and then having to paint the background in afterwards and try to avoid messing up what you've already done.

Caramel apple, rough block in with light and dark side

Here the apple is filled with two shades of brown, a light and shadow side. I learned that I could have gone darker with the dark shade but it was corrected later. The previous me would have tried drawing the peanuts in first and painted around them. Why? Because a) I didn't know better and b) I like to draw. I've learned from David Leffel, that although you may want to draw with your paint, you must paint instead.

Nothing delights a student more than to draw with a paintbrush - the more minute the detail, the better. Avoid doing this. Instead, paint with your brush; think in terms of dimension. Instead of individual hairs, for example, paint hair thickness or dimension; paint the light on the hair.
Caramel apple, peanuts painted in but without highlights or accents

The concept of the painting was it's shape. The shape of the caramel apple combined with it's shadow makes for an interesting positive and negative space. The darkest areas are in shadow behind the stick and below the apple. Each area has the lightest light next to it. I put in the highlights on certain peanuts and knew something was missing. It was the accents - dark spots. You can't have light without equally dark areas in value.

Victoria Page Miller "Caramel Apple" oil painting
"Caramel Apple", 5 x 5", oil on linen/SOLD ©VP Miller

The finished caramel apple painting. I adjusted the main shadow and added final highlights and accents. I didn't overwork it and it was fun to paint.

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