Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Sterappel





It has been a while again since my last post. Partially because I haven't painted much since my last blog. At least, not very botanical anyway. BUT now I have finished something that's worth sharing.
Some weeks ago I went to a nursery ("De Vrolijke Noot") of fruit trees and bushes. The owner gave me a cutting from one of his apple trees. The apple is named "Sterappel". That means "Star Apple" if you translate it. Stars, because the apple has very clear bright lenticels on the very dark red skin.
I posted the end result on Flickr and Facebook already and was very happy when Rosie Sanders complimented me on the painting. Rosie made a few years ago the famous Apple Book. She knows a lot about the different varieties and asked me what kind this is. I didn't know the English name of it. I only know the German, French and Dutch name. Later Rosie sent me a bit of more information about the apple: "I've looked it up in the National Apple Register and it seems that it is Reinette Rouge Étoilée, first described in 1830, provenance Belgium or the Netherlands. Has lots of synonyms including Sterappel and Sternrenette. Interesting!". 
What I do know is that this used to be a very popular apple in the Netherlands but has become very rare now. The problem with these apples is that it falls too early from the tree. Often it hasn't got the deep red colour yet when it hits the ground. To give the apples the wonderful, dark colour the apples were placed on straw between the trees to get more sunlight and the cold from the nights. To save the apples from dehydration the apples had to be wetted. Also to get an even red colour the apples had to be turned after a while. Very intensive work if you have a large orchard.

Now, about the painting... I used for this Arches HP (I was out of Fabriano) and painted it first in watercolour. Using masking fluid to save the "stars". After that I put on layers of coloured pencil. And although I did get a very nice and rich dark red colour with the watercolour, the coloured pencils made it even more alive. I really loved this way of working and I think I'll use this technique more. The only thing I don't like is that the watercolours roughen the paper surface. I will have to find a cure for that. More experimenting is needed. 

The painting (only watercolour) with the masking fluid to protect the "stars".

Oh, and remember that an apple a day keeps the doctor away.... right? Not really.... I went to the doctor last week and it turned out that I have a very sportive right arm: a golfer's and tennis elbow (bilateral epicondylitis). With painkillers it's possible to work for about an hour a day. So the next project will take some time to get finished. But I promise, it will be a bit different ;)

15 comments:

Hennie Schutter-Weening said...

Prachtig Sigrid, voor ik zo ver ben......

Vicki Lee Johnston said...

So so good Sigrid, I hope you are happy and proud .. it's brilliant, perfection ... as much as nature can be. I am also interested in your technique and see it is working so well for you.

Sketchbook Squirrel said...

This is such a beautiful piece Sigrid. The softness and subtleties of the skin tones are just wonderful.

Hedera said...

A great post and incredible work Sigrid - I can almost pluck them from the screen!! Beautiful.

Teresa said...

Hi Sigrid,

I hesitate to even mention this because your work is so exquisite and I really don't feel qualified to pose solutions...but...about the paper getting rough after you've applied watercolor... have you tried using a smooth spoon and slowly and gently rubbing it over the painted areas? I use this when I make corrections to a watercolor and it leaves that area rough. Usually works pretty well.

Your apples are simply gorgeous.

Ingrid Ormestad said...

Beautiful work ... as always~! :)

Sigrid Frensen said...

Thanks all!
@ Teresa, yes, that is one of the ways I wanted to test it. That's what I do too when scratching or cutting paper away. I'll have a go at it as soon as I am able to draw/paint again.

Jessica Rosemary Shepherd said...

Great post Sigrid - sorry it took me a while to spot this one! So intense are those colours - stunning! Sorry to hear you have a poorly arm, I do hope it sorts itself out soon for you. It must be very frustrating for you and your artwork.

Anyway - thank you for sharing this, it is fascinating to hear your process.

renatabarillipainter said...

Ciao Sigrid. Bellissima mela!!!.
What a good idea to use watercolor first and then col.pencil. may bee I'll ive a try , just to tasted something new. Sempre brava sei
mannaggia!!!!!!!!!complimenti

Jane said...

Outstanding painting..absolutely worth sharing :-))

RSA Australia said...

What a beautiful piece!

Lois said...

Very nice. Enjoyed your story.

Ostrich Fern said...

The apples are looking so beautiful. The apple is one of my favorite fruit.

Anonymous said...

Hello Sigrid, Im an Australian wjo would like to (legally) obtain sd ome Sterappel sseds. My mother has fond memories of this fruit & I am most keen & curious to propagate myself. It eould be of great delight to her. We have a small nursery business here, it is registered as such. I am hoping for some guidance from you. Thank you, Karen

Anonymous said...

Thanks all!
@ Karen: I don't have seeds of this apple and I don't own such an apple tree either. I got a branch from some friends at a nursery called "De Vrolijke Noot". Perhaps you could contact them for more info:
http://www.devrolijkenoot.nl/
Good luck ;)