Though an apple may be the first thing one would try to paint when learning, I have never done it so far. In fact, I don't think I have done any still life (not counting the flowers). So, here are my first apples, six of them to make up for the past.Yesterday I came across the Daily Paintworks site and their Ten Minute Challenge. The idea is to divide your canvas or paper into small squares, and to paint the same object into each of them giving yourself only 10 minutes for each. Start with the first square and when 10 minutes expire, stop no matter where you are. Then reset your time back to 0 and start with the second square. You can rotate your object and/or change the light for each new square.
This was a great exercise. The limited time forces you to focus on the main things and prevents you from fiddling. Repeating the same object, allows you to try different approaches. For example, the second and third apples I did by first applying blue, letting it dry, and then putting in the yellow and red. The bottom row I did without pencil and mixing the wet colors directly on the paper. Only the cast shadow was a pre-mixed gray.
I think I now know how to paint an apple :)