Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Watercolor Apples for Challenge

It is the time of year when apples are abundant, making them the perfect painting subject. With Jeanette offering some additional motivation I decided to join in the fun.

approx. 4" x 4" watercolor on paper
Stacy Rowan
I'm not sure what kind of apple I used as a model. Part of it is yellow and part of it is red. When I set it down to paint I was paying more attention to shape than color, so I ended up with the yellow side in shadow and the red side toward the light. I found this to be a very challenging orientation, because my mind kept telling me that yellow is lighter in value than red. So I really had to try and paint what my eyes were seeing and ignore what my mind was telling me. Like I said, a real challenge.

After sticking it out and seeing the first painting through to completion, I decided to reward myself by spinning the apple and painting it again. You can see the result of the second painting below.

approx. 4.5" x 3.5" watercolor on paper
Stacy Rowan

Since the paintings were of the same apple, I couldn't help but compare them and ask myself which I liked best. Once I judged them for myself, I asked my kids which painting they liked better. Interestingly, they chose the same painting, but it was not the one I chose. I'd love to continue my survey. If you want to play along, list your favorite in the comments. For the sake of this "scientific" study we will call the apple pictured at the top of the post with its red side in the sun Apple #1. The second apple in the post will be called... you guessed it... Apple #2. If you'd like extra credit you can share your reasoning, but that's not required. And don't worry, I promise to keep the results of the voting between us so neither apple gets its feeling hurt.


Jeanette said...

Oooh good, I'm glad you had time to join in. These are superb. And each a beauty in its own right.

I think Apple # 2 would be my favourite. It seems to have more depth and a feeling of volume to it.

Bob said...

Stacy, I vote For #1,Iguess because it is red. Both paintings are very good.
Love dad

Sheona Hamilton Grant said...

Stacy, they both look crunchy and yum but my preference tends towards #2. I feel somehow you have mastered the light better as well as the texture.

Rose Welty said...

I like #2 better - although both are good. I think I like it more because the light is cool and so the warm blue/purple shadow makes more sense to me. I also like the fade of the apple in the light.

bluelilac said...

I like apple #2 after careful consideration because I really like both. But there is more light in the second work and maybe that's why I give it my vote. I don't think it is 'best' because I like both.
How's that for sitting on my fence?Two lovely images Stacy!

Jo Castillo said...

I like both, but I really like the square format of Number 1. The shadows and reflection are nice.

Stacy said...

Thank you for all your votes! I really appreciate the input. You have reinforced the lesson that just because I like one painting more or less than another, not everyone will feel the same way. Especially since the process of creation can strongly influence how I judge the finished work.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it funny how everyone sees things differently?

I'm sure we've all completed a piece, a little afraid to even show anyone because we're not terribly proud of it., then have someone say, "I've just gotta have it. I love it!"

My vote would go to #2, in that a) I think include the whole shadow makes for a more interesting composition, and b) I like the warmth of the highlighted L side.

Well done!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm always late for these challenges! Your apple is beautiful...I can't even choose between the two interpretations. I just know it comes across as so healthy and inviting and lush..

Sue said...

I like apple #1. I don't know the proper artist language to describe why, but the 2 words that come to this laypersons mind are "richer" and "complete".