1.  After experimenting on many paintings, I have come to the conclusion that an underpainting of warm and cool yellows will liven up the entire painting - especially areas that will end up with a green, gold or orange hue. Oddly enough, the deep warm yellow in the shadows will make those dark areas livelier with greater depth and visual interest.

The color used in the first layer will always influence every additional glaze applied over top since the watercolors I prefer to use are mostly transparent, somewhat like stacking layers of colored glass.

I start with an accurate drawing as the basis of a realistic painting, erasing the pencil lines as I go, especially in areas that will remain very light in the completed painting.

The masking fluid I used on this painting is pale yellow so it doesn't show in this image. To preserve the white areas, it has been applied to the brightest edges of many of the leaves and is dotted all over the surface of the apples to save the white speckles usually found on apple peels. Dried masking fluid is like rubber cement that does not stick permanently to the paper.
2.  Most of the leaves are defined with two different greens; a deep, bold green in the shadows and a more yellowish green for the brighter sunlit areas.

I used Phthalo Green in the shadowed areas, but it is too garish and unnatural by itself. Mixing in varying amounts of red, which is the complement of green, has toned down the harshness.
Apples - watercolor demonstration of red apples

5.  The masking fluid is removed and the white speckles on the apples are now visible. The shadows on the apples are deep and sharp-edged indicating bright, direct sun. Shadows with soft, blurred edges are a result of indirect or diffused light.
6.  The final step of Apples has subtle differences from Step 5. All the shadows are darkened and a hint of red on many of the leaves pulls that color throughout the painting. Some lime green gives more interest to the dominating red of the apples, too.

Go ahead. Pick one, shine it up, and take a bite!
4.  In an outdoor scene with bright sun, I like a background with some blue in it. That's not right or wrong, I just like it. 

The vivid red will be toned down a lot, but will lend a glow to the apples in the finished painting.
3.  If the apples' shape didn't give it away, the glazes of orange red rule out the possibility that these are Golden Delicious. 

This stage adds the stems and lot of definition to the leaf veins.
Watercolor painting demonstration of red apples step 6
Watercolor painting demonstration of red apples step 4
Watercolor painting demonstration of red apples step 5
Watercolor painting demonstration of red apples step 2
Watercolor painting demonstration of red apples step 1
Watercolor painting demonstration of red apples step 3

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Apples
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Watercolor painting demonstration of red apples step 6