March 28, 2012


Acrylic on Panel - 5 x 5 inches - Click Here to Bid

I'm way ahead of schedule with this week's Pare Down Your Apple Challenge. I opted for a dark and moody set-up (perhaps too dark).

Since the goal was to paint the apple with as few color areas as possible and still have it read as an apple, I decided it would be a good idea to pre-mix four puddles of color, and just use that as a starting point. A great idea in theory, but it falls apart if you make the wrong mixtures. I couldn't believe how off I was.

So, I adjusted the mixtures a bit and then decided I'd have to just forge ahead. I've heard that as long as the values are correct that color doesn't matter so much. I think my results bear that out, at least a little. They look like apples, but are way off the actual colors I was seeing.

The funniest mixture I made was a combination of 4 colors (can't remember now) and when I was done mixing, I had achieved an exact match to yellow ochre, which was already on the palette. Great.

In any case, the first one I did (middle one shown here) had too much detail, missing the point of the exercise, so I did another (top) and then finally an overly simplified version (bottom). That Carol Marine makes this look so easy, and for some reason its seemingly impossible for me. I'd like to think I'm learning, but I don't think any of these are truly successful, and to top it off I did this same challenge a year ago. Ugh.

I think I could do this every day for a week and not make any progress. Hmmm, that sounds like a ... challenge? Not sure I could survive it. We'll see.

UPDATE: What a difference a frame makes! Rick, who bought the topmost apple image sent me a picture of the frame he chose for it. He says it's a Roma, style #4186. I found their website at:

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