thumbnail of Paint Along With Nancy Kominsky; 107; Red apples
Hide -
If this transcript has significant errors that should be corrected, let us know, so we can add it to FIX IT+
Hello again, I'm Nancy Kaminsky and today we're going to paint luscious red apples. This painting is a little easier. Also, we're going to use very dramatic red tones. Actually, it's a little exaggerated, but in painting, I want to show you the structure and in doing so, I've made very, very red yummy apples. Let's get started. In the canvas. Not too runny. So I picked up something on the way in. That's all right. I'll never know the difference. Light it off. Not too hard. I noticed I've just got little fuzz on mine. Be very careful about that because if you get fuzz in your paint, it will show.
Now, put the grids in as usual. Divide your canvas in quarters, first like this. I'm using the same size canvas for a reason, a very technical reason. However, you're not so confined, but I will say one thing. You must consider the size of your canvas along with your subject. In this subject, we will use a vertical canvas because it makes a better composition. And when you see what we're doing, you'll understand what I was trying to, the point I was trying to make. Fine. Now, we're going to draw a branch. This is a little unusual in that we're not using a bowl or a pot or what have you. We're just drawing a branch with some fruit on it. I thought this would be a nice change for you. Let's have one come this way.
Put your branches in very loosely at first. We're going to change them a little later, but the hanger fruit, let's do this. We have one going here, and then we have another one going through the center like this. Of course, it's a branch, so don't have it too smooth and give a little schmaltz like that, and that's it. Then we have another branch like that. It is a little symmetrical, but that's all right. It will change. Now, we have two pieces of fruit back here. Let's put your branches in like that. Leave that for just a moment. Now, we'll start with the apples. Again, very simple form. We have one beautiful apple up here, like this. Mine always gets so large. I've paid everything so large, like that. Then we have another one here, like this. Very loosely. Please don't worry about the form. It will take shape with color, and we have two that are behind the leaves.
As we paint, I will explain this, which will give the impression of fruit behind leaves. You see, they're not all in front, of course. There's some behind the branches and what have you. Then we have another one here, like that. We have one coming down here this way. This happened to be a hole here, so when I designed this composition, I realized that I had a space here, so I just simply added another branch and another apple. That's what's lovely about fruit and flowers. You can add buds and what have you and fill in the holes. Now, we have three apples. These are very interesting because they're one behind the other, and in color you will notice a difference more than in the drawing. Please be sure to draw one fruit over another. Do not try to draw a half a fruit behind. For example, put the center apple, then try to draw a half an apple. Draw the fruit in entirely. Each one. It will save you a lot of problems because of distortion, but we won't paint in that way. I'll show you in a moment how we will paint them.
There's three of them together. Naturally, they're not in the same position. They're like that. One behind the other. Now, we have two apples down here, like this. There again, we have one behind the other. Thank goodness. Draw it in. Like that. Now, don't worry about the little stems in one have you, because we'll add all of that later on. We have some lovely leaves. Please do not draw the leaves in at the moment either, because we will change and add leaves according to the space we have in one have you. So you're not so confined. You may decide to change the position of the leaves or what have you. Leave yourself room to work around in. Don't confine yourself to a drawing in such a way that you can't add a subtract to improve the composition. Of course, sometimes it doesn't always improve if you end up changing it and it's worse than it was before, but that's not very often.
I'm going to add some leaves just to give you an idea, but I will change them in a little while. I'm going to leave that for the moment. Now, the next thing we're going to do is shade the apples. The light is coming from the left, so we're going to shade the right side of the apples. Like this. Now, the point I would like to make in painting the fruit, they are round objects, so we try to use round strokes like this. Every stroke that we put on this canvas furthers the form. You're not filling in an empty space, you're constantly thinking form, creating a form. In this case, think apples, think round like this. See? That's very important. It's one stroke. You create the character of the object you're painting like that. Now, this apple is in deep shadow. It's a matter of fact, these are in deep shadow because they're behind the leaves, which you will see in a little while. This is behind this one, like that. This one side only.
This is behind this apple, so it's just one and this one is in front, so it's part of it is shaded only. This is not as dark as those, but it's not as light as these are in the light. I think that's all. That's enough of the drawing and leave it alone. Now, we're going to, of course, do the painting. In this painting, we have a little different situation that we have the dark tone at the top, the middle tone, and the light tone. The reason I did this is because we have a lot of dark leaves there. In painting it dark, it will help us when we have all these leaves to do. We need to keep that area very dark and very dense. So, we'll start with the dark tone at the top like this. Now, you'll notice as we've painted objects or paintings, the background color is always grayed down. That means it's not as bright as the objects we are painting. For the very simple reason, it's just that. It's a background color, and it should not compete with what you're painting. It should just be the background or the foil for the painting or the object you're painting.
Now, if you lose your branches, forget it because we're going to go right back to it. Now, for you, as you paint the mouth, because I don't want you going in between them, it shows. Scratch it out like this. When we get some paint on, I want to show you a stroke that I'm very fond of doing, which we haven't done so far. I call it my criss-cross stroke. I'm sure that Rembrandt had his own ideas about stroke, but I don't think he had a criss-cross stroke. This is strictly a Kaminsky stroke. Get it all on first. Don't try to have a painting right away. Get your paint on and then work it. Go a third of the way down, like this. Now, leave it. Scratch out your branches so you don't really become too lost. I don't want you to get hysterical.
Warning where the branch went, but anyway, oops. That's not part of the system, the oops. Okay, let's go to the middle town, like this. This is a little brighter than I thought, but nonetheless, it's perfectly all right. When you get the green leaves on, you will see the difference. I always get a little impatient with large areas to paint, because I'm anxious to get to the fruit, so I get impatient with the background work, and you will too. But take your time and think it out very carefully, but hurry up. Don't fuss with it. Get it all on. We're going to do something very exciting in just a moment. Now, let's put the light tone on at the bottom.
This paint is very soft, so there we are. This is a yummy color, and it's beautiful with the red apples. Now, you will notice, and I will keep telling you, but there's one thing I do want to tell you right now, I've used an off-shade of green as a background, because what actually happens is that the thing that will be dominant in this painting will be the apples. Because the green leaves and the off-shade of green in the background are related, you will not notice them as much, but the apples will be very, very dramatic. And you must create drama when you paint. You must create a paint that has impact. That's why the nice painting is so wonderful for a beginner. Even if you don't draw very well, it doesn't matter, because I'm the famous impressionist. The work was very distorted, but the color was wonderful, very vibrant.
All right, there we go. We're going to work a stroke in like this. Take a little of the light and medium tone, and go up into the dark tone, and we work a criss-cross stroke like this. Don't lose your tonal values. That's very important not to lose your tonal values, please. You want a lot of trouble to mix those three tones, but don't lose them. We're going to work a little dark tone and medium tone down here like this. You see because you have a large expanse of canvas here. And so we need a little excitement in the background, like this. Don't lose it. There we are. Just enough. So it's not flat looking. Now we'll leave that for just a moment. I would like to darken it with a little purple in here. I'm so sure happy that there isn't anyone standing on the right of me, because right now they would look like a palette.
There we are. Let's make this a little darker because some wonderful dark leaves going up in there. Don't lose your apples. We will change this again and again, so please don't fuss with it and don't worry about it, but get it in there like that. Don't lose them. The apples especially don't lose. We have another branch coming down here like that. And be sure that your apples hang on the branches, right? Don't hang them out there. I encourage you to be very careful, but you don't have a Christmas branch either with Christmas bowls on it. That's to be a little problem too. Let's leave that for the moment. Let's add a wee bit of red for a little excitement, because we're going to use the color in the apples into the background to relate the whole thing.
Now, let's leave that for the moment. Let's start with the apples. We will start at the top. Now this is the thing that's very exciting, and I want you to watch this very carefully, because the stroke again is very important. We take the dark tone like this, and incidentally, these colors are not mixed. They are used straight from the palette. That should be a little blessing for you. And the light tone on the right side like that. Let me take a little purple, and blend it ever so little like that. Now, leave it for just a moment. Remember, we have a core area here, where the little stem comes up, so that must be quite dark, and it has a bit of a light tone on the other side, which creates the feeling. Keep going. We go to this one. These apples here are in the light, catching quite a lot of light, so they're quite bright.
Now we take the purple. That's a bit of a poor little thing. That one is in bad shape. Just a moment. We have a shrivel little apple here. We have a nice sexy apple there. There we are. Dark tone at the bottom. That way. And a little light tone on the right side. Oops. That tells us that the light is catching the opposite side of that depressed area. Where the stem goes. Let's go to the right one here. It's very dark. Actually, it's in the shade, or it's shaded by the leaves. So we do not see the bright tones on this one. Very little, probably just a little on the left, but no highlight, just a wee bit. But not much. There we are.
Take it down here like this. If someone tells you after you're finished painting, that you have a wonderful Christmas tree, just thank them. When I was teaching in California, my son also is an art major. He paints in a very abstract manner. And so he and three of his friends came to visit me at the studio. And of course, they had a drip in school of painting. And in the class, everyone paints the same thing, very much as you do with me. And so they were horrified when they saw ten of everything. And we were standing in front of these ten apples. You see, I was sending my son to college for this little studio. And he was beginning to apologize for me. And I didn't like that. I was getting a little irritated with these boys anyway. And one boy said, do you mean you know what you're going to paint before you paint it? And another one said, this looks like calendar art.
So I was really upset, you know. Finally, we were staying in front of these ten apples in the studio. And I poked my son on the chest. He's six-five. And I said, Michael, do you see those apples that look like apples? He says, Yama. Well, I said, my dear, those apples that look like apples are sending you to college. So you can paint an apple that doesn't look like an apple. Well, he said, too shame us. So finally, I took him all back to the house, gave him a great spaghetti dinner. And this one boy said, well, anyway, Mrs. Commissioner, you sure make great spaghetti. So I wasn't a total loss. There we are, just a wee bit of color, not as much as the apples on the left, just a wee bit like that. Now, this one again is dark, like that. We have to, in this day, in age, when things are changing, especially art forms. But we keep going back to the old way. It's not the old way, it's just a different way.
I've been accused of painting an old-fashioned way. But by golly, every once in a while, we still come back to fruit that looks like fruit. As a beginner, you'll find that it's easier for you to paint things that are representational. You cannot abstract form unless you know form first. And when you do, remember that a modern or abstract painting is concerned with the space around the object. When we're learning, we are only concerned with the object. When you learn the shape of your object, and what you're doing, then you can make changes. Let's try this one here. I had this one very bright. I have a darker tone here like this. Now, please don't be too concerned with getting them absolutely perfect.
Painting is charming if it isn't. I want to create a feeling in here of a light hitting it right on top because that apples turned up like that. All right, we go down to the last apples. Do you see how I used a flat of a knife? Like that. There we are. All right, I'm going to put a little highlight here. We have two apples down here. Middle tone. There we are. Heat this dark. This is behind this one. Remember, and add a little wee bit of purple on the right side of that to emphasize the difference.
We should do that here also. A little purple, just like that. Oops. Now, I would like to put a little highlight here. The background is quite soft, but you get the idea. I'm interested in not showing you what a great painter I am. I want to show you how to paint. So I'm interested in showing you structure, form, texture, and what have you. And that is important, especially in palette knife painting. And you get away with a bad drawing or distorted drawing if you have very good color.
Fine, there we go. Now, let's put in our leaves and branches. We're going to draw them. And this again is a little different as a little departure. We're going to draw in our branches and our leaves with the brush and purple, like this. Pick up a huge gob of paint like that on your brush. And very lightly trail down branches. And of course, it goes without saying that they are not to be perfect. Remember, it's a branch after all. Like that. Like this. Pick it up. And don't drop it if you do. Remember that you've dropped it because you won't remember, and it will stain whatever you have. You're clothing or your carpet or whatever. If you'd be so full, of course, it's a paint on carpet, then I think you have a problem.
There we are. You have one here like this. Let's put these leaves in. The color will tell us what we're doing. We have some leaves coming down on top of the apples like this. I like, I don't like things to look static. So try to get some movement in your leaves and do not have stiff leaves. Like this. They must, of course, flip and change. They do not stain one set position, especially on the edges like this. It's very interesting to have a few leaves sticking up.
This is a wonderful thing. You can use this design for lemons, for any other fruit that grows on a tree, of course. I'm going to leave that for the moment. I'm going to start with my dark tone and start working very quickly like this. And then medium tone. And then we quickly draw them in that way. Dark tone on this side like this. Take your little knife and score them to create the form like that. It's simply a way of using your greens and your stroke.
Flatten the knife please like this. Nice light tone on the side like that. Keep it exciting. Keep it interesting and keep it moving. I think this one's about to run away. The dark tone on the right side. Medium tone. I'm taking a little artistic license here with these leaves. And I must put the highlight in. I'll do that right now. On the left side like that. That gives them a luscious, delicious look. One on the back apples because they are in shadow and are not catching the light. Let's go back a wee bit for a little more purple.
We've firm our branches. Put a lot of secondary branches like this. Because it does you know have some other branches like that. This you can do afterwards. Because actually trees do have lots of little branchy secondary young branches. And they're like that. Well, there we are. Another masterpiece. But before we sign off, I would like to show you the palette, the way it really looks. I know you've seen these colors in the openings, but I want to show you how it looks on the palette before I fooled with it. We have 10 colors and only 10 colors plus white. And I want to tell you what those colors are. The first color, Burnt Armor.
The second color, ultramarine blue, a lizard crimson, light red, orange, yellow ochre, cadmium yellow, light, a napalgello, cadmium yellow medium, and veridian or thalegrene, and of course white. Now for the signature. Goodbye for now. Thank you very much.
This program was made possible by a grant from Commercial Union Assurance Companies. Thank you. Thank you.
Paint Along With Nancy Kominsky
Episode Number
Red apples
Producing Organization
Connecticut Public Television
Contributing Organization
Library of Congress (Washington, District of Columbia)
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, or if you have concerns about this record, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip-dcf529ab0a3).
Episode Description
Nancy Kominsky teaches viewers how to paint red apples.
Created Date
Asset type
Fine Arts
Media type
Moving Image
Embed Code
Copy and paste this HTML to include AAPB content on your blog or webpage.
Host: Kominsky, Nancy
Producing Organization: Connecticut Public Television
AAPB Contributor Holdings
Library of Congress
Identifier: cpb-aacip-967a8d04a3b (Filename)
Format: 2 inch videotape
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
Chicago: “Paint Along With Nancy Kominsky; 107; Red apples,” 1976, Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 16, 2024,
MLA: “Paint Along With Nancy Kominsky; 107; Red apples.” 1976. Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 16, 2024. <>.
APA: Paint Along With Nancy Kominsky; 107; Red apples. Boston, MA: Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from