Apple still life in watercolor


Contributing Member
I rarely do still lifes, but this was a WC Watermedia challenge. The ref photo reminded me of a pastel or oil ptg. In an attempt to try something different, I underpainted the shadows first. The first photo is the ref, second the underpainting with masking, and the last the finished ptg. It is on Arches 140CP, about 8 x 12.



This is simply beautiful. Elegant work Joy. I really enjoy seeing progress shots. Thank you for that. ♥️
Nice Joy. I like doing an underpainting first too.

The shadow of the ring is nice and crisp and dark which implies fairly bright light. That means your other shadows should also be pretty dark. You could push the shadows under the jug and apples, especially the spots directly under each item right where it touches the table. If you look at the reference, the shadow between the front apple and the jug is so dark you can't see the bottom of the jug, it is a lost edge.

Even the general background could be a little darker to contrast more with the yellow apples and light rim of the jug.
This is really good Joy, I especially like the details on the apples. I always paint the shadows first too.
Joy, beautiful ref. photo and beautiful painting. Thanks for showing us the progress photo.
Wow, I didn't expect so much response so soon! The time you all took to look and comment is greatly appreciated.

Ayin - I, too, like to see WIPs and I thank you for allowing cross-posting.

Anne - Thank you so much for the thoughts on the values. The painting is a wee bit darker than the photo but I see what you mean about the dark values. My concern is that everything would get too dark, so I lightened up on the ref photo. In retrospect, I could have used bolder darks in some areas.
Christel - your work is so perfect, any words from you are indeed encouraging! PBarrie and Desforges, thank you for posting.