Because I teach watercolour painting (at The Painted Tree, Cobourg, ON), I am always paying attention to my process of painting so that I can figure out new ways to help my artist students. Today, I am starting the painting in a different way than I usually begin.
Usually, when beginning a painting, I don't go ahead and indicate the background. This painting seems to lend itself to doing that. That fact and my paint pallet was a horrible mess of colours from teaching and I didn't want to waste the paint. So, just bringing them all together with a lot of water made some interesting greys. This way I could use up the messy paints on the pallet and wash in what will be the highlights of the wooden bench's boards. I left some spots the white of the paper because I'll need that white for reflections later on. I'm not worried that some parts are a bluish grey and others are a warmer grey. It will all work out fine in the end. The only thing that I was concerned with was to paint in a mostly horizontal direction so that any highlights would follow the grain of the wood.
Usually, I paint objects in my paintings one at a time. This time, I am trying to show multiple objects at the same stage. So, here I've figured out what colours I see as the lightest in each apple. Some vary from greens to reds within the apple. And, from yellows to greens, to browns also within one apple. The above image is closer to real life in colour than the one at the top of the page. I adjusted that one in Photoshop to show tone.