Tropical Fruit Series: PAPAYA [course 2]. Paint Cute Food Postcards in Watercolor Like a Pro | Yana Shvets | Skillshare

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Tropical Fruit Series: PAPAYA [course 2]. 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 (36m)
    • 1. Welcome and let's paint papaya!

    • 2. Materials you will need for papaya

    • 3. Let's discuss shapes

    • 4. Sketching a papaya

    • 5. Discovering your color palette

    • 6. Painting the first layer of papaya

    • 7. Painting a cast shadow

    • 8. Painting seeds

    • 9. Final touches

    • 10. Your class project and next course!

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About This Class

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

Welcome to Tropical Fruit Series: Papaya!

This is the second course in my exotic food art series, so jump in! Today we are painting vibrant papaya.



- How to draw the shape of papaya - whole or cut in two.

- Main materials to paint papaya.

- Colors you need to paint papaya and how to combine paint to achieve harmonious color mixes.

- Practicing wet on dry and wet on wet techniques.

- Use layering technique to achieve depth in your artwork.

- How to integrate realistic background into your painting and make it look realistic.

- 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 papaya.

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 second course of my Tropical fruit series. If you haven't watched the first one where we painted a watermelon, I recommend to start from it: 

In the next course you will learn how to paint a dragon fruit! Excited? Stay tuned!

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. Welcome and let's paint papaya!: Hi there, My name is Yana and I'm a professional watercolor artist, and this is a tropical fruit series. It is the second course of this series and we are painting a Yom Kippur fire. First, we will review art materials. You will need to paint this fruit. Them. You will learn how to mix your own colors, such as different tones of orange. To paint a realistic provider, you will find out about negative space technique and use wet-on-wet approach while creating a three-dimensional fruit. I will explain every step I take. Everything's, I use every shadow and highlights in this painting so you can be confident in your, you can do it and you don't need any previous experience. We have started this tropical fruits theories from a watermelon slice. So check this out if you haven't watched yet. Every course of the series opens up a little more and knowledge and Cyprus about watercolor. So you can grow gradually and with no stress. But Y series, because I believe information is easier to digest in small portions like this mini paintings. Practicing each tropical fruits separately, you will get confident with watercolor as a medium and one gets overwhelmed. The series consists of nine courses devoted to nine different routes. All these leading you to a final course number ten, where we will apply all the knowledge and skills you've learned so far into creating the muscle bits. Together we will paint one big artwork combining all the fruits from this series. 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 watercolor workshops across the world. I have been regularly teaching classes and Thailand, Vietnam and the hosting various arguments and tedious and traveled to working with students face-to-face gave me the insight into what they actually need, what difficulties with watercolor they have. And now I know how to. That is exactly what I'm going to teach you in this series of courses. In fact, every part of this series will have the same structure. So you always know what to expect. But the end of this course, you will learn how to paint for a flat illustration of a fruit, but an actual fine art piece. Using a small formats such as opposed curve, will help you relax and focus on learning techniques instead of worrying about covering large paper sheet. In. By the end of this topic, we'll put series. You will paint 10 exotic artworks worth showing your trends. You will learn all the important watercolor techniques. Try additional tricks with we're scratching and lifting paint and create your very own unique masterpiece. And don't worry, if you haven't been painted with watercolor before. We start from the very simple fruit in composition, gradually increasing the difficulty level with each course of the series. I show every step I take, explain the theory behind the process, and support you at all times. So are you ready to paint this provider now, let's start. 2. Materials you will need for papaya: Let's discuss the materials that you will need for this course. Starting from paper. Today I am using block of watercolor paper from as MLT brand. It's a 100 percent cotton paper, the size of a postcard, so it's very small and easy to paint on. The cotton content will make it easier for me to make some blend colors. It's a professional grade watercolor paper. And it's also pretty thick. It's 300 GSM. And I would always suggest to use no less than 300 GSM for your paintings to make sure that it stays straight. If you don't have access to cotton paper, It's not a big problem today. You can also use just the regular cellulose paper. For example, Kansan or Kansas or any other brand. Usually pretty much every brand has an alternative for cotton paper with more of cellulose content in it. And here is just one of the examples. Both of the blocks are pretty small. A6 size, very comfortable and easy to paint postcards. Also, the texture of those blocks of paper is not very unnoticeable. So it's cold press. You can as well go with hot press paper that almost that has almost no texture at all. So it's really up to you. I think rough texture will not really work for our painting today. So if I were you, I would avoid rough type of lectures. Painting, food art. Also, I have a separate piece of paper that will help me to make some find colors that I want to use for this artwork. And speaking of colors today, I have a whole lot of different colors squeezed and ready to go. And the cartilage will be pretty simple and limited arrangement between yellow, orange and a little bit of black, of course, for the middle part of our papaya fruit. But more in detail we will talk about is in the next lesson. We will use pencil. I'd like to use automatic pencil because it's easier and thinner and the line is very clear, sharp. If you don't have automatic cancel, even go with the regular one. Just make sure that it is h. Which means it's hard. You can use any type of harder pencil like a four H2, H1, whatever you prefer. And you will also need a reader. I will suggest you not use a razor too often because it damages the texture of the paper. But if you have to, I will suggest you to stick to kneadable eraser, which is really good for lifting the line from the paper without actually damaging the texture of the paper. And of course, you can use a simple regular eraser. I have a bunch of tissues here with me, paper towels to lift the pigment if I need to correct the mistakes and stuff like that. Alright? And of course, the brush, the brush I'm using is synthetic, pointy, very thin. It's good for details. But also considering the size of our paper is going to be enough just to work on all the layers. And I think that's it. Let's move on. 3. Let's discuss shapes: A quick word about the shape of papaya fruit is we're going to paint today, will quickly walk you through the sketching process before we actually start to sketch on the paper. And our papaya technically looks like, Let's say it appear that is more like regular fruit for us, or maybe a light bulb. So the top is curvy and relatively small and then it goes down and becomes wider, like so. So the top is a little smaller and then it widens up to the main body of the fruit. And in sign we have a bunch of different seeds. I'll just mark them approximately just to show where they are. And here we go, we have a very rough shape of our ion. And when we're going to paint with watercolor, we will mostly focus on this colorful part where we will start from orange here on the border and move inside towards the seeds, making the color more concentrated and bright with orange tone. So the address will be lighter and as we go inside towards the seeds, it's going to become darker. Said, the common mistake would be probably to over-exaggerate the size or the shape. Starting for example, the top of the papaya will be like this and then the bottom will be over-exaggerated or over extended. Technically, of course, by a fruit are all different and they can be both of those versions. But let's stick to the typical papaya shape and make sure it's more balanced. Now let's sketch the same, but in pencil. 4. Sketching a papaya: So let's sketch our papaya. I will probably take over the whole postcard just with one single provider. Make sure when you sketch your fruit, you do not press the pencil too hard. Even me right now, I'm pressing need quite a lot so that you can see it on the video. But later on, I will remove the line with the eraser because that is frankly too dark. Right to the outline is ready. Then I'll just show how far the seeds will go here. But I'm not going to draw every single seed because that's going to take too much time and not really useful for us as we are going to paint it with watercolor and kind of decide on. So I think that's it. I'll just keep it this way. I'll clean up right now the lines that I don't need over here. And also you can see that my papaya is little bit shifted to the right side. That's on purpose because here I would like to later little bit of a shadow so that every fruit in our series has something in common. And they all have the similar approach of painting, which is the shadow and splashes. 5. Discovering your color palette: Before we move on with our painting, less discards the colors that we will use so that we feel consonant. Painting this fruit. The color palette is pretty limited as well. Just like with our watermelon slice, here, we will need religious town two colors, yellow for the writer part, and orange for the darker part of fire, and black for a seeds. Let's look into it in more detail. For orange, I'm, I will use cadmium yellow. But if you want, you can go with gamboge, for example. They're very similar. Gamboge is more vivid and bright. So if you want to make it stand out more, you can use gamboge instead of cadmium. That's pretty simple. How about orange? So if you have more engineer pull out those awesome, you can use pre-made orange. We will connect to those two colors, yellow with orange. And also you see that our Papaya is really, really vibrant in, has really intense colors. So what we can do is first we can mix the color by ourself, for example, mixing yellow with red. And dependent on how much of each color you add into the mix. That's how bright the color will be and it's going to lean towards one or another. So if you add more yellow, It's going to lean more towards more of an orangey, very bright orange down. If you add more red, it's going to lean towards red, as well as you can play around and even add a little bit of a brown, but just a tiny drop of it. For the variety. Like for example here I just added burnt sienna. Or really any type of warm brown color. Like for example, if I start with orange and for example, mother, brown. Kinda play nicely and create really vibrant color that we can use. As we move closer to the seeds in our papaya. And neutral body will work well for the seats. I think this is enough. And now we can start painting. 6. Painting the first layer of papaya: In watercolor, we always want to start from the lightest color and move towards the darkest color. So let's follow the rule and start from the lightest color, which is yellow. Here as well. We will start from using wet on dry technique, which is having lots of water in our brush, glass of water in the paint, but not applying any water on papers or paper is dry. And now with this watery layer, we start applying lines. Right on the border of our rinsing my brush. Brush. I am diluting the edges of my stroke. Right away. I had boys orange from the center and I allow it to bleed into the yellow that is still wet. And thus, while we have this nice blending colors, right away, I drop a little bit of ground here and there, but make sure that you do not cover everything in the same color. You want to move around and switch between orange and a little bit of brown and orange again, maybe even read. This will give you more variety to your painting. You can also see that right now, I am avoiding the heart of the fruit in kind of paint around it. But not just in a straight line, but kind of outlining the seeds. This is called negative space. Painting my wash, right now, I am outlining the shape of the seeds that are inside. So instead of painting the seeds, I'm kind of outline in them. The other part of my painting that I am working on right now, I am returning to finish this first layer. Here they are, I'm dropping more intense color like brown mix with red, for example, to make this part more vibrant, more concentrated. And you remember that when the watercolor dries, it loses its intensity a little. And now I want to make sure that my color is intense enough so I don't have to go over it again. Also inside I'm marking some areas where will we see that? Some parts are just traveling through the seeds, some orange parts. And I'm just marking in preparing this area. And I don't really bother with the shape of it because when it will work on the seeds, they are much darker so that will cover everything I do right now. Beyond rule can manage the shape that way we want. Right now I am laying down the underpainting. So I'm trying to create good conditions for our future seeds here on top and just add a slightly darker tone. Just like we see on the reference. We can add a tiny drop of black into. Our first layer. Is ready. 7. Painting a cast shadow: While we're waiting for the buyer to get dry, I would like us to focus on the shadow. This is not very typical approach. But why does time, if we can continue painting and I would like to work on the shadow as well as considering the fact that probably this part is a little wet and it will blend and bleed into the shadow that I'm going to paint now creating very nice soft transition, which I think is pretty good idea. So I take my brown color, in my case, it's mother brown. And I will add a little bit of blue in the friendly my case, you can add any sorts of blue. You have. Ultramarine blue, whatever you prefer. But make sure that there's more brown, the blue in your mix. So you have a really dark brown town. And I'm adding little bit of neutral black. So my mixes ready? And now I take a wet brush, rotate in my painting so it's easier for me and apply clean water in the area where I want my shadow to be. So now that it's ready, I can apply the shadow. We're using wet on wet technique. Because before applying our layer of paint, we made sure to make paper, but this gives us a very nice and soft transition. No sharp edges. Everything is very, very soft. Now let's work at the edge of our shadow. I clean my brush, rinse it so it's wet but not written well. And now I'm only touching the end of the shadow, the edge of the shadow. And making sure to dilute the stroke. Make it softer. You also can work on the shape of your shadow. If it turned out to be not very. You can kind of correct. Those. Make it larger. As well as add a little bit of brown tone here and there. Because our Papaya is orange mostly. So it makes sense that this orange color will reflect into the shadow. But usually shadows, they are halftone darker than the original color. That's why I am choosing brown. I don't really like how this part. So I take a tissue again with a wet brush, clean wet brush for removing the lines that I like. So while I was working on the shadow parts of the provide and dry and move on. 8. Painting seeds: This seems they are going to be mostly black. But for the sake of playfulness of this course, I would like to mix it up with tiny bits of blue and brown. Let's do it in. Blue. Add a tiny bit of brown into it, and start working on this Aedes. Important part is that in most of the seeds, in a lot of proceeds, let's put it this way. I am leaving blank space. This will give our painting nice feeling of a runners. If I can say that. It will make it playful, light, it's going to make the papaya look alive, shining and breathing. If you just cover everything black. It's going to strip this pore fruit of life. And in artistic way, Look at, look, make it look not very interesting. So you can see that my brush is carrying some water, so I don't fully dry pigment. I am switching between the blue and brown tiny bits of creating the seeds, which is basically just circles. Some of them will be darker and some of them will be lighter. This is just going to give more of a natural feeling. Because essentially it's all about the game of light and shadow. Remember this part that we covered a little bit too? Yellow tone. So now we'll use this part. I will let it shine through the layer of our seats. So if you take a step back and evaluate if the seeds are way too tiny, or if they're the right size compared to the general size of the fruit. As I said, in some places it's darker. In some places is lighter. Depending on how the light is covering. The fruit. Doesn't show all the seeds clearly. And that's what makes the painting look more realistic. I'll also go ahead and add tiny spots of orange. Just to show the fruit. This kinda shines through our seeds. And you can see that because I left a lot of blank spots. They are representing highlights of the seeds. Now, the whole painting look really light and Arab. 9. Final touches: Let's just add some final needles. I'll take Brown, probably orange with a dry brush, with a dry pigment. I will just drop a few strokes here and there to show the texture of our papayar. Especially here on top. If your line to not to be too sick, you can diluted with an almost dry brush. So it is wet but not just enough to dilute a stroke. And here on top I'll add the final details. Do not overdo your paint in with details. This Benton is pretty loose, so we don't need to make it heavy with all the tiny strokes and textures that you see on the reference. I know it is seducing me to show all those textures that we see. But trust me, you want to keep this faint and light. Did not overwhelm it with the details. Just like that. It's a good time to stop. Oh, no. My favorite part. The splashes. Lots of big island, lots of water. While now it's done. 10. Your class project and next course!: And hope you enjoyed painting this nice tropical fruit with me today. And your class project will be to well paint our papaya using this limited color palette, as well as changing your papaya fruit if you want. Because of the photo reference, you can see a little slice on the side. So feel free to paint the slice and show it to me. I'll be very happy to give you feedback and also stay tuned for my next course where we will be painting dragon fruit.