I set up some lighting and the only plan I made was to make a chiaroscuro-type painting, using a classical palette of cobalt blue, ultramarine blue, alizarin crimson, permanent rose, scarlet lake, lemon yellow, cadmium yellow light, and the earth colours burnt umber, yellow ochre and terre verte. I did take 30 minutes or so to think about and premix several colours. I decided on a rich dark background (ultramarine blue + burnt umber) turning to an airy green in the foreground (cobalt blue + yellow ochre; a colour Vermeer liked as it provides depth). The red of the braeburn apples was close to permanent rose, which replaced the usual cadmium red in my palette.
To stay in a fast frame of mind, rather than a detailed drawing, I did a quick sketch of the apples.
Still trying not to think too much, I painted fast and two hours later I ended up with a near-finished painting. I'm pleased with the result as I managed to keep the brushwork free which is a contrast with my usual style. I ended up with a refreshing piece of work (for me anyway), feeling I had achieved something. This surely was a breeze compared with the weeks I worked on the melon painting, and this freedom clearly shows I think. Perhaps I should do more of this more often - will need to see whether people prefer this style to my slow-moving usual style.
At least I can now give back those apples to Paul.