Cadmium-free apple

Today I spent the afternoon painting (drum roll) an apple. I just bought some "Cadmium-free red" and “Cadmium-free yellow” from Utrecht paints. I'd heard about them from their designer, who was interviewed on Eric Rhodes' Plein Air Podcast. So I wanted to paint something with red and yellow to try them out. Thus the choices were (1) an apple, (2) a peach, or (3) the national flag of Spain or China. As I had no peaches or flags lying around, I went with an apple. I liked the paints but found them a tad dry; nothing medium won't fix.

To add to the fun, I also chose to follow Mark Carder's "color checker" method. For more info, see his website and many interesting videos:

I own Mr. Carder’s color-checker, so I made myself check almost all the colors I put in. He wants you to put in just one little stripe of color wherever you see it, and never to blend. Mostly I did that. For me, it's great training in judging values (i.e., lights and darks). Whenever I do his method, I'm always amazed at how poorly I judge shadow values: they're almost always darker than I expect. A LOT darker than I expect. The cast shadow here should be darker, but the only way I could figure to do that was with black, and I didn't want black.

I didn't color-check the background because I wanted to change it to suit my evil compositional design -- darker background by the lightest side of the apple, for example. Mwuhaha!

Geoff Watson, “Cadmium-free apple,” oil on panel, 6” x 6,” 2019.

Geoff Watson, “Cadmium-free apple,” oil on panel, 6” x 6,” 2019.