Tropical Fruit Series: DRAGON FRUIT [course 3]. Paint Cute Food Postcards in Watercolor Like a Pro | Yana Shvets | Skillshare

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Tropical Fruit Series: DRAGON FRUIT [course 3]. Paint Cute Food Postcards in Watercolor Like a Pro

teacher avatar Yana Shvets, Paint.Travel.Take a risk

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

10 Lessons (41m)
    • 1. Let's paint a dragon fruit together!

    • 2. Materials for the dragon fruit postcard

    • 3. Shapes of a dragon (fruit)

    • 4. How to color the dragon fruit?

    • 5. Let's sketch it!

    • 6. First pink layer on the fruit

    • 7. Painting a heart of the dragon fruit

    • 8. Let's make it 3-dimensional!

    • 9. Wrapping up the painting: background, splashes

    • 10. Your class project

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About This Class

If you love painting food art you are in the perfect place!

Welcome to Tropical Fruit Series: Dragon Fruit!

This is the third course in my exotic food art series, so jump in! Today we are painting a truly exotic subject - dragon fruit.



- How to draw a dragon fruit - the specifics of its shapes and forms.

- Main materials to paint a dragon fruit.

- Colors you need to paint a pink dragon fruit and how to mix paints to achieve harmonious color mixes.

- Practicing wet on dry and wet on wet techniques.

- Use layering technique to achieve depth and make your fruit look three-dimensional.

- How to naturally integrate a background into your painting.

- And more!


I prepared 10 courses that are interconnected: during the first 9 courses, we will discover techniques and secrets of painting various fruits step by step.

I will release each course one after another so you are not overwhelmed with the amount of content.

Following my course series, you will paint 9 single fruits: watermelon, papaya, dragon fruit, passion fruit, star fruit, figs, guava, mango, durian.


After painting each fruit separately and mastering watercolor techniques, I will release course #10 where you will apply all previous knowledge learned into a masterpiece

We will compose our own piece and paint all the fruits we've been practicing during this tropical fruit series! This is a sneak peek into how my master piece turned out ;)


In the end of this course, you will get a lovely postcard-size painting of a dragon fruit

The reference image for this course is in Class Project.

And by the end of this course series, you will have 9 little postcard artworks of different exotic fruits AND a large masterpiece with all the fruits you've been practicing!

Your skills will improve gradually while you are having fun painting fruits!

Let's start!


PS This is the third course of my Tropical fruit series. If you haven't watched the first two I recommend starting there:

Course 1 - Watermelon

Course 2 - Papaya

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Yana Shvets

Paint.Travel.Take a risk


Born in Ukraine, raised in travel. 
I am a professional watercolor artist, full-time traveler and a salsa lover ;)
After a burnout in the office, I hit the road without any plan and since 2014 I've been travelling around the globe, visiting different countries & settling down for a few months (sometimes years) in different cities. My watercolors are inspired by places I've visited and people I've met.

You can follow my travel-inspired adventures on Instagram.


My original paintings and prints of those are available for sale if you appreciate art on your walls ;) 
I am open for commissions and happy to create an artwork that will inspire you, have an impact on your family or become a gift for beloved ones. Just hit me a message.

... See full profile

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1. Let's paint a dragon fruit together!: Have you ever tried to dragon fruit? It's famous for its bride's kin color and drag and resemblance. But painting this tropical fruit is even more exciting than infinite. And that's exactly what I'm going to teach you today. In this course, you will learn basic and most common watercolor techniques, such as what a dry layering. You will find out how to use a limited color palette and mix colors, consciously pulling the actual color mixing rules, you will create different tones without using black paint. And finally, you will be able to create a realistic painting of an exotic fruit. Instead of illustration. This course is back to it. Useful tips and basic rules for watercolor, which you get to practice in a fun and relaxed atmosphere. Welcome to my tropical fruits series. This dragon fruit is the third course of this series. We've already touched some basics with watermelon and papaya in previous courses. I recommend you to check them out and follow my courses are in chronological order. Every class opens up a little more knowledge and secrets about watercolors so you can grow gradually and with no stress, My name is Yana, I'm professional watercolor artist and I want you to start painting with confidence. You can do it and you don't need a special background for it. I've been painting with watercolor for more than 10 years. I'm also a full-time traveler, which gave me a chance to post what are called workshops across the world, have been regularly teaching classes and Thailand, Vietnam, and posting various art events introduced by traveled to working with students face-to-face gave me an insight into what they actually mean, what difficulties with watercolor they have. And now I know how to help them best. That is exactly what I'm going to teach you in this series of courses. But Y series, I believe information is easier to just small portions like this mini paintings. Practicing each tropical fruits separately. You will get confidence with watercolor as a medium and won't get overwhelmed. The series consists of nine independent forces devoted to nine different tropical fruits. You've already painted a watermelon for Baia And now dragon fruit. Every next group will be a bit more challenging and exciting to work on. And this is leading to a final force number ten, where you will apply all the knowledge and skills you've learned so far, integrating masterpiece. Are you ready to paint this dragon fruit? Now, let's start. 2. Materials for the dragon fruit postcard: What materials will you need to pay? It's a dragon fruit. Let's start from vapor. As usual, I am using a set of 100 percent cotton. Watercolor paper is professional grade paper from SM LT. It's also in a shape of a postcard. So in the end of the series, you will have a nice collection of little postcards. And alternatively, you can use cellulose paper. For example, Kansan or any other brand of cellulose watercolor paper that is available for you. The size is a six. The texture of the paper, it is cold press, which means you have a little bit of a tooth and your paper. And it will show nicely through the watercolor painting, but not too much. That's why I will suggest to avoid rough texture. Or you can go with hot press type of texture that doesn't have any visible and brain whatsoever. And it also works perfectly for food art. I will also have a separate piece of paper to practice the colors and finding our color mixes and the best color combinations for this painting. The brush I'm using for this course and all the courses from this exotic fruits theory is synthetic brush. It's nice, pointy and synthetic brush. Size eight, however, do not mind the size because every brands they have different way of sizing your brushes. So it's British for especially if you compare it to the paper sheet. And if you want, you can use any other brush. But really this will be just enough for what we're gonna do today. And for the painting, we will use different colors. It's going to be a limited color palette, but here I have all different colors already squeezed into my palate. It's going to be just really three or four colors that we're going to use. But of course, I will talk about it in more detail in the next lessons. The sketch will be created with automatic pencil. It will give me a nice thing, line, sharp line. But if you don't have an ultimate pencil, you can use a regular pencil. Just make sure it is hard, not solved. So you can go for any type of pencil to draw your sketch. And if you need to erase it, you can use kneadable eraser, which was great for lifting the pencil line without damaging the paper. If you don't have a kneadable eraser, you can go with the regular eraser. Just do not use it too often. You will need some dishes, bucket of water, and good moods, Let's do it. 3. Shapes of a dragon (fruit): Let's discuss how exactly we will approach drawing our dragon fruit. I decided that from the reference, I will choose dragon fruit, that is cotton hub. I think it's more interesting because you can also paint the inside. And well, it just looks more excited for me to try. But of course you can pick any dragon fruit you like from the reference or even the one you find on the internet. So the approach secondly is just an oval. And since I'm painting the one that's carbon two, and this is going to be the inside with a bunch of seeds in it, right? I'm not going to draw it right now. Then. It has a skin to skin. Follows the shape, the oval shape, but it has a little tail in the bottom. It also not perfectly straight, not perfectly outlined as a as an oval, right? It has connect her with skin over here, some texture like this. The interesting part is on top. So on top we have those, I would call them hair. Here all the drugs include which of course is not the right way to say it, but since I don't know the right way, as UPI, the locks of the dragon fruit. Anyway, you can see them on the reference. And it's quite wavy. Just like locks in the girl's hair. And this is something I will paint them. I put it too high up. So technically, for the Barrow sake of the composition, you want to move it a little bit lower so that this top bar is completely fits into our paper sheet. That's exactly why it's better to draw and prepare upfront before you actually start painting on the actual disappear. So there's that. And really the complicated part would be to have all this intersections here. So instead of drawing the top straight like this, which would make it look weird and boring and kind of like pineapple looking rather than dragon fruit looking. Remember that this part is soft and wavy just like this. I don't know. Like seaweed. Just like so. Other than that, it's pretty easy. Although it's not perfect circle, it's a little bit more extended like this. So it's more like an oval. The top part usually is as long as the body or even longer. So consider this when you will sketch dragon fruit. And that said, let's move on. 4. How to color the dragon fruit?: Colors, color scholars. So as usual, the color palette will be very limited. We're going to use literally just three colors, pink, black, and green. Let's look into each of them. So main color is obviously pink, and technically I think doesn't exist in watercolor. If you swipe, if you turn your tube, you will see that it is being red. So the content is pigment red, even though the color looks like pink. The content pigment is red, which means that it's true for all the ink colors that you see. So this is just the way how the paint is cooked. And technically all the pink colors are just called red colors. If you remember from our watermelon course, we were talking about warm red colors and today we're going to talk about cold red colors. So let's try. So this is matter. Read this as my agenda. For the variety. That's trying to integrate, only luck. So those three are all pink colors, looking like the colors, but actually they are with the red pigment content inside. Those look pretty good for me for the painting. The same rule applies. To make the color darker, you just need to add a complimentary, which is the opposite color on the color wheel. And opposite of Fred is green. So opposite of being could be some sort of light vibrant green. And here we go, nice deep pink color that we can use for the shadows of our dragon fruit. The slides that I'm going to paint, the half of the dragon fruit is not really, doesn't have that many shadows in it. But if you prefer to paint the whole fruit, it has a lot of shadows and textures. So you will use the shadow paint, the shadow mix quite often. So if you have any of those, you can use any of those. Just make sure that the red colored that you use is cold. It's not warm. Just to remind you, worn red is something like this. And you sort of cadmium, cadmium red, bright red, far-red, any type of warm red. So this is not going to fly in our painting today. Let's move on. How about the top part of our fruit? It looks something like lemon yellow. That is slowly moving towards green. As I said, the car bullet is limited so you don't really have to use a lemon, for example. I just think it's more interesting. Here we go. And this yellow can transition towards emerald green or any sort of green that you have. So you can see that when you kind of start mixing them together, they have this nice soft transition. And to achieve darker tone of green, we have to do exactly the same. Just add red or pink. To achieve darker down. Complimentary color rule applies here. And of course, we will need neutral black to paint the seeds and the darkest shadows just to make the tone deeper. Now, let's sketch. 5. Let's sketch it!: Since the sheet is really small, it's important to think about the composition. And as I mentioned in a previous lesson, we have quite an extended fruit if we think of it like a realistic as big N, right? So there's the body, which is an oval, and then there is the top part which I call hair. So you need to place your foot on the paper. Why is considering the size of the fruit itself? Of course, you can make some of the parse disappearing out of the frame. But I prefer to have complete the frame. I don't want to make the line too dark. Remember to sketch very lightly so that you almost don't see the pencil line. I'm pressing the pencil really hard to so that you can see it on the video. But you please make sure that your sketch is very, very light because otherwise you will see it on your painting through the layer of paint. And you don't want that. Just making them inside. 6. First pink layer on the fruit: I would like to start from the pink part of our Dragon for it. I'll take a little bit of matter read. Using wet-on-dry technique. I'll start outlining the skin. I'm moving really lightly. I have lots of water in my brush. And as you can see, the shape that I chose to show is kind of broken. So I'm not trying to make everything in one smooth line. I am making rapid moves. Dropping the pigment. I just want to achieve more. Magenta is slightly different. Just to make our drug and throat skin more interesting. To show the variety. Also, you can see that I'm leaving some spots blank on purpose. Just to give more of a playful look to our painting. Here, as I'm moving closer to the green part, I'm switching to cadmium lemon yellow color. You can skip this step and move straight to painting green. And because I have lots of water on my brush, the colors mix smoothly. Accidentally covered all my yellow. So I'm going to lift it. Could reapply back again. The other part, I don't really try to control the paint too much and just allow it to blend and mix. And I just navigate it. You should be very careful because if you bleed into each other, if you do not want this effect. Just wait until it gets dry and then continue. And now I would like to quickly mix a darker tone of green by adding red into it. So I can work on darker parts of the image right away. I do it right away because that layers are still wet. And it allows me to make those colors mix and blend smoothly so I don't have aching sharp edges anywhere. Make sure that those shocks that you created blended. So you can use a semi wet brush and just delete the stroke. If you feel if it's fake or you can always delete it. I added a little bit of a shadow colors to blend with each other. Stroke and make it look more natural to dry right now. 7. Painting a heart of the dragon fruit: So while the scheme of the dragon fruit is getting dry, I would like to prepare the inside of our fruit. So we know that in watercolor, if you want to paint something that's white, the best way to do it to each, just leave the paper blank. The whiteness of the paper will show the white color, basically the best. But in this painting, I still want to show a very, very, very transparent super light, super diluted the collar, both this white part. So what I do now, first, I would just apply clean water right in the center, trying not to touch the pink skin. Just water. And then I think but really diluted a lot with water and drop a little bit of that pink right in the center where I just applied clean water. So the job here is to make sure that this layer is absolutely soft, transparent and very, very light. There should be no hard edges, no connections, nothing Just to very, very nice and soft. If you feel like it came out too sharp, you can take your brush clean it, reads it, make sure it doesn't have too much water in it. And lift the pigment, make the edge wet where you see the edge and lifted the tissue. This will give us a feeling of three-dimensionality of this inside of it. 8. Let's make it 3-dimensional!: Now while the center is getting dry, we can work on details on the skin. So by now this kid should be dry or almost dry, which is fine for us. And I just want to add tiny little elements that we see on the reference in green or in yellow. Just to show that there is something at the back showing all of this interesting texture. And drag it in like texture or the fruit. And just show it a little bit on the side. As well as mixing darker tone of I think to work the detail. Just to remind you, a darker tone of things can be achieved by a different green into your being, or even a little bit of black, but just a tiny, tiny, tiny touch just to make it darker. So this is way too black. And to fix this, I'm cleaning my brush. The reason it from excessive water. Diluting this black stroke that 9. Wrapping up the painting: background, splashes: Let's do this first. And here it's very important to make sure that your fashion doesn't leak too much water. So we rinse it over the dishes with a super, super tiny moves. We leave super tiny. Spokesman drops. Our dragon fruit. Some of them are bigger, some are smaller. So he can try to imitate around writing. The center is more densely populated distance between each other. And now you can see because first we created those, excuse me, the light and transparent linear of pink. Now it looks like more three-dimensional, more popping out and realistic than if they would just leave it blank, white. How about we add the shadow? So I apply clean water first. I will use wet-on-wet technique for it. So clean water. Just where the shape of my shadow. And then I'll take some blue and some green. And finally, lag. So that my shadow consists of different interesting colors. And just leave it to bleed and move the way it wants to move. Usually, their shadow is the darkest when it's close to our object. And then it gets lighter and lighter as it moves away from the object. That's why I am removing some of the pain. So it's not too dark here, but the darkest at the area where it's basically touching the dragon fruit. And with the center with brush, I'm just smoothing the line here. And the same on this side. One more time, I will make the bottom lighter, moving the pigment that up. But at the same time I feel like the area where it's touching the dragon fruit can be darker. We usually awareness and shadow is the darkest. I'm dropping some dark tone just a tiny bit. My favorite part. 10. Your class project: Hey there, I hope you enjoyed painting our dragon fruit. This is what I've got in the end. You and your class project will be to paint little, driving through it with me. Or you can also choose a different dragon fruits from the reference and paint, the one that's whole. No matter what you choose, please do submit your painting and I will be very happy to give you the feedback. And also remember that my next course will be about painting a fig. So I'm looking forward to see you there.