Apples & Pear by Charlie O'Shields

In my quest to make doodlewashes of subjects I’ve never tried, today I chose a couple of my favorite fruits, apples and pears. I had less than 30 minutes to complete it, so I kept getting impatient waiting for the layers to dry, and bounced from fruit to fruit, hoping for the best. The pear was tough for me and seemed to require a ton of colors including: Azo Yellow, Gamboge, Phthalocyanine Green, Sap Green, Ultramarine Blue, Pyrrol Red and Neutral Tint.

The fun thing about choosing the doodlewash before the story is that I have to stare at the end result and see what memories it jogs. Philippe looked at this one and said, “That looks great! So I guess you must have a story about.. fruit?” I just stared at him and said, “Uhmmm… of course!” Meanwhile, inside my head, I said, “crap, crap, crap!”

So next, I’ll do what I always do and just start typing and see what comes out. I mean, who doesn’t have a great apple or pear story, right? Okay, I admit that I haven’t heard many. I must have one somewhere in my dusty memory, but the only thing that suddenly springs to mind is my age-old fear of apple bobbing.

I used to hate bobbing for apples as a kid, having only been forced to try it once or twice, and never attempted it again as an adult. For anyone who doesn’t know what this “game” consists of, you basically are disallowed the use of your arms (sometimes they’re actually tied behind your back) while you shove your face in a barrel of apples floating in water, desperately trying to grab one in your teeth like a wild animal.

It’s often a game played at Halloween parties and I used to dread it as a kid in grade school. I was a bit of an awkward child, on the chubby side, and too smart for my own good. I would watch in horror as my fellow students would shove their whole head in what was essentially a communal bowl of food. It grossed me out and seemed like the most unsanitary thing on the planet. I had no idea where these kids had been, and to risk drowning by shoving my face into a watery mess of food they’d licked at and attempted to gnaw on repulsed me.

I told my teacher I didn’t want to do it and she immediately launched into her teacher/mother voice and told me it was, “Fun! And I should give it a try!” Not to be dissuaded I asked her if we would also be eating off the same lunch tray later without the use of our hands? Her face recoiled and she said, “Ewww! That’s gross!” When I asked her to explain the difference between the two, she feebly said, “Charlie…they’re just apples…”

I was blissfully excused from this barbaric ritual that day and every day moving forward. But they did seem to be having fun. Those other kids, laughing and screaming and happily shoving their faces in that barrel. Perhaps I was missing out on something more than a sinus infection. I guess I’ll never know. Instead, I’ll just sit quietly at a table and consume my apple and pear while I practice the even older tradition of eating with one’s hands.

Posted by:Charlie O'Shields (doodlewash)

Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world!

38 replies on “Apple Bobbing

  1. The fruit is pretty can’t believe you did it in 30 mins. About the story, I did not like bobbing for apples because I can’t swim and the one time I did it I felt like I was drowning. Not my thing but it does look fun!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s a lovely pear you have there, Charlie. I mean the apples are lovely too, of course, but that pear… amazing colour!

    You certainly plucked a good-un out of apparently a blind search😛 I love how you were apparently a total smart-arse kid, answering back and stumping your teacher like that. Brilliant. I share your distaste at the whole concept of apple-bobbing. It doesn’t seem to be too ‘in’ over here – or perhaps we just realised how very awful it was – so mercifully I never had to suffer it!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. WOWZA! Charlie! I wouldn’t mind bobbing for apples if they looked like your painting! Love how REAL and delicious they look! After my own fruit painting, I am truly impressed! 😊 Can I ask how you used Neutral Tint? 🍏🍐🍎

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awwww thanks Jill!! Glad you liked them!! ❤️😃 And as for Neutral tint, I use it at the very end to over-exaggerate the shadows and dark areas so things look more dimensional and to add the surface shadows. Usually because I don’t have time for building up many layers! Hehe… I sometimes add a dot of color to the neutral tint if I’m applying it thicker (with less transparency) so it doesn’t look too flat or to add color to the shadows.

      Liked by 1 person

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