Second one. This time I used a color ground of burnt umber (Liquitex Basics) so I wasn't painting directly on white paper. It seemed to get me into painting quicker, too--nothing to think about, just start doing. For the apple I used the Golden Open Acrylics Traditional Color Set. These paints were nice and thick compared to the Liquitex Basics, and stayed wet the entire time I painted. The downside is that they are expensive.
Despite several flaws (the subject is too small and out of proportion--it looks like a green cherry more than an apple, it is incomplete--basically an apple floating in the background with no cast shadow, the colors don't convey 3 dimensions, etc), it is better than my last one.
What I learned from this painting:
- Painting is damn hard.
- Mixing colors is hard. Getting darker greens for shadow and lighter greens for light on the apple was frustrating. There were so many variations of green and yellow on the apple that made it hard to simplify.
- Mixing colors with a palette knife was better than using a brush. More color left on the palette, an easier way to judge color (by holding the knife up to the subject), and cleaning the knife is easier.
- The paint on my palette disappears quickly. I tried to premix colors to avoid having to do this while painting, but I'm not squeezing enough paint from the tube. The tubes are so small and the paint is not cheap! I went back to a tube 4 times to remix the same color.
- Edges are hard. I think using so little paint played some role in this.
- I had to fight the urge to "fix" parts of the painting that I thought looked wrong--things that I could plainly see in the subject. I left a ring of white light off the top of the apple because I thought it would look ridiculous on the painting. How crazy is that? I should never do this again.