I have sold a few more of my candy apple pieces, so it's time to start another one. I'm working on my usual favorite surface for candy apples; cradled Ampersand Gessobord coated with Terra Cotta Colourfix pastel primer. In the first photo I've worked the apples and some of the shadows in just colored pencil, only one or two layers of color. If you look close, I think you can see the texture of the surface through the apples. It's not giving the shiny appearance of candy apples with the textured board showing through. Colourfix is meant for pastels so it is quite textured. In the second photo, I have added solvent (odorless mineral spirits) with a brush and more pencil on top to achieve a paint-like quality to the pencil applied so none of the texture shows through and the apples look shiny. It takes some manipulating of the pencil and solvent to create this effect. If I add too much solvent, the pencil runs and won't apply evenly. Or if I try to brush out the solvent and pencil, sometimes the brush lifts the pencil right off. One of the most effective ways of moving the pencil around while it is wet is with my fingers so I'm actually doing some fingerpainting to mix and blend colors on the surface.
I'm staying in Florida right now and took a drive to the local art store which is quite large compared to the stores in Rhode Island, for me it is like being a kid in a candy store. I realize the 18 new colors of Prismacolor Pencils have been out since last fall but I have just seen them for the first time in the store. For my apples, I purchased Permanent Red (replaces Poppy Red) and Pomegranate (which replaces the Lightfast Thio Violet) as well as the Neon Pink for some exciting hot-pink highlights where the light hits the apples. I'm also using Cobalt Blue Hue in the shadows and reflections and am happy that Prismacolor has come back with Indanthrone Blue to replace the Lightfast version as that is one of my standards I use for darks, it's not quite as harsh as the Indigo Blue.
I will post the finished piece in a few days I hope because I'm competing with beautiful Florida weather which keeps pulling me outside!