According to my teacher Danni Dawson, it is a lot easier to sell a still life than a portrait, since nobody wants to hang a stranger's portrait on his wall. At auctions, Thomas Eakins's portrait sold for one-and-a-half million dollars, whereas his still life made 10 million! I don't know whether she is pulling our legs to encourage us to do these still life studies as homework.
Her argument is that even as a portraitist, one has to be able to paint all kinds of things convincingly: flowers, musical instruments, books, furniture, pets, even landscapes! Still lifes are with which you hone your skills at your convenience. Do you agree with her?
This week's assignment is paint apples. Many red apples have green bits as well, just like a
Caucasian skin tone with greenish veins. As you know, reds and greens are complimentary colors; mixing them together makes ugly browns, if you are careless. So one has to learn to lay down red on top of green without making muck. Do you think I succeeded?