New Kid in Town, progress • © 2011 Karen Lynn Ingalls
The painting is finally beginning to come into its own. Here, I've worked on the edge of the box behind the left apple, thinned the vertical charcoal line, and brought a pale apricot-ish color into the background on the right. I've also brought more yellow into the background on the left, evening out the color somewhat.
I've used scumbling extensively. (To see a scumbling demonstration, see "Scumbling video lesson with Jan Blencowe.") Not only have I used it to soften the shadows under the apples (I've also brought some of the red of the apples into the shadows), but I have also used it to soften the colors of the apples themselves, as well as their highlights. On the apples, I rubbed the paint around with the edge of a paper towel (and used my fingers - but please, use the paper towel - it may be less expedient, but it's just as effective, and much safer).
Where will the painting go next? When a painting gets to this point, it's wise to step back and consider well before each step – one little brush stroke may be all it needs. In my dialogue with the painting, my job here is to listen well. It may take the painting a while to speak to me, so need to sit and look and listen for as long as it takes. I'll let this painting tell me where it wants to go next – but I think I'm likely to tone down the intensity of the yellow in the background. I may also bring some layers of glazing over the apples - but we'll see.