Watercolor Lemons and other Citrus Fruits | Irina Trzaskos | Skillshare

Watercolor Lemons and other Citrus Fruits

Irina Trzaskos, Watercolor Artist & Illustrator

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10 Lessons (1h 25m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Supplies

    • 3. Mixing Colors

    • 4. Painting Lemons

    • 5. Painting Slices of Citrus Fruits

    • 6. Painting a Lime with Fineliner and Watercolor

    • 7. Painting a Kumquat Wreath

    • 8. Unsual Colors

    • 9. Class Project

    • 10. Last Thoughts


About This Class


Welcome to the class!

Lemons and citrus fruits are a timeless trend  and they will make a bright addition to your art collection or your creative portfolio. I love painting citrus fruits and I hope you will enjoy this class.

In this class, we will be painting different citrus fruits such as:

  • Lemons
  • Orange slices
  • Lime
  • Kumquat 

Also, I will show you alternative composition and color schemes for your fruit illustrations.

This class is geared toward designers, illustrators or nature sketchers who use watercolor or are attracted to watercolor media.


1. Introduction: Hi everyone. My name is Irina Trzaskos. I am an assistant illustrator. Welcome to my new class. In today's class, we'll be painting lemons and other citrus fruits. Citrus fruits are a [inaudible] and will make a great addition to your art collection. In this class, I will show you different ways of painting this beautiful fruit in watercolor. I hope my classes will help you build a beautiful [inaudible] and fresh portfolio. In next video, I'll show you the supplies will be using in this class. Let's get started. 2. Supplies: In today's class we will be using the following supplies: watercolor paint, watercolor paper, Canson cold press I'm using but you can use any kind you like, watercolor palette, paper towel, pencil, eraser. Also, we'll need a big watercolor brush, this is number six with a wood tip. Meet the watercolor brush, this is number four Carl Gazebo and a small brush, this is number two also Carl Gazebo. For illustrative style we'll need fine liner. I'm using a sharper fine liner pen. Just make sure it's waterproof. Also, we'll need a white job pen or whitewash for the test, and of course we'll need water. In next tutor, we will be mixing colors for our beautiful illustrations. 3. Mixing Colors: In today's class, we'll be using a variety of colors for our citrus fruits. Let's start with lemon so for lemon we'll be using cadmium yellow, mostly for the whole fruit. Take the cadmium yellow and sometimes we get some warmer shade of yellow. We need this warmer shade of yellow for art. Then we'll add a little bit of golden orange. For a shaded part, we'll add just a drop of purple. This one's too much. It's cadmium yellow, well done orange and the little bit of purple. An orange fruit we'll use again some cadmium yellow on the lighter part. Now, most of the fruit will be golden orange. For darkest part we'll be using Carmen red which will dilute in orange so it won't be. It will be looking like red, but it will give you some darker part of orange. It will be a little bit of cadmium yellow. Must be golden orange and Carmen red. Our lines we'll be using mostly yellow green. As you see it's too bright so we'll add yellow in the lighter part and some lines are really light, so depending on how light you want your climb, you'll add more or less yellow. For darkened part we'll be using Prussian blue. We'll have again, cadmium yellow, yellow green or any bright green you have and Prussian blue or a warmer shade of blue you have. What amount of an Ultramarine. I'll say I'd like us to be kookith. It's so like the orange fruit. It's pretty much looks like orange, but it's more and it's warmer and yellow basically. Our main color will be yellow with golden orange and for darker part it'll be cadmium orange. For kookith it will be yellow, golden orange and the cadmium orange. I'll say today we'll be painting a blood orange which outside looks just like regular orange but inside it's ideally beautiful color. For it we'll be using cadmium orange as the base. Then we'll darken the texture with cadmium red and then we'll add some burgundy. It'll give us some beautiful blood orange colors. It's cadmium orange, cadmium red and burgundy, beautiful. Now, what about our leaves. We'll have different leaves and because I want to show a natural looking fruits and also decorative looking fruitful. For natural-looking leaves we'll be using yellow, green yellow. This will be mostly on lemon leaves.. Then Prussian blue. this says like kookith looking leave. Of course, for orange leaves we'll need the darker shades so we'll be using yellow. For this is green yellow and Prussian blue. For orange leaves we'll be using yellow as this. Then a regular green and for darkest parts we'll add to it some Ultramarine blue. We have cadmium yellow, green and Ultramarine blue. That's how I would like to paint some unusual leaves. For example, of the lemons would look great with some Ultramarine blue leaves. As far as the correlative projects, like fabric design or unusual stationery. Some feathers, would look great. Alignment would look great with Ultramarine blue and we can add some purple in it, so it will look even more beautiful. Also I like to combine orange with some turquoise leaves. During the class we'll explore different ways of showing citrus fruits in different compositions and in different ways. I added some Prussian blue to my turquoise and let's add a little bit of purple to it too. This is an unusual type of liquid you can paint with our citrus fruits and also I like sometimes to use really dark leaves, dark blue leaves, so I'll just make some emerald green with purple and this result will have this beautiful blue and a little more ultramarine. A little bit more emerald green. Other colors I would like to use are turquoise or aqua blue. There's shine blue, purple, ultramarine, beautiful royal color and some emerald green. As you've seen in this class we'll be using a lot of colors and I'll create a lot of interesting illustrations. In next video we'll be painting some lemons and branches. You can find the list of all the colors in the project section of the class. 4. Painting Lemons: My favorite citrus fruits to paint are lemons. We'll start with lemons and branches. The challenge of this illustration is to paint everything in one layer, maximum in two. Today it's really quick, and fun, and easy/ let's start with a drawing. I'm painting two lemons. To draw a lemon is really easy as it's just an oval which has this little pimple here, and here. Then we'll have a branch. The amazing part about lemons and branches is that you can see the lemons and the flowers at the same time. I always lived in the areas with four seasons. I never see the flowers and the fruit on a branch at the same time. It seems pretty amazing to me. Also I love the shape of the leaves, they are long and elegant. You can draw as many leaves as you feel like. I think lemons are so beautiful you can use them for surface design if you put them in a pattern. You can use them on ceramics or stationary. It would work for a wedding invitations, for [inaudible] , or any printing, if it is suitable. After we have our drawing, we can start painting. Let's start with lemons. I got my big brush at number 6. It is a synthetic brush. Then we take some yellow here. We'll color our lemons with cadmium yellow. A little transparent and watery, but still with enough color to show how vibrant they are, because we will try to go with as little number of layers as possible. You can now paint them one by one if you are not a fast painter, because they'll dry so fast. Especially under my light. After we cover them totally in yellow, we will take a little bit of golden orange and I'll mix with yellow too, to make it lighter, and we'll add some texture to our oranges and a little bit of shade on this lower part. Again just dots for texture and we're diluting in our yellow. Next we'll take a little bit of purple, and again we'll mix it to with yellow, and we'll get this warm gray which we'll add right here. Then I'm taking my paper towel and drying the brush, and taking away the excessive dark. Add a little bit more texture. Beautiful. Next I'll take a smaller brush. Number 2 Kolinsky Sable and with Sepia. I'm not sure if I mentioned sepia in the color chart, but if you don't have sepia you can just mix yellow with purple. That color will work also beautifully for branches. We'll go carefully with sepia and we'll make this really dark. This branch is thicker than I planned, but it's okay. This I draw [inaudible] Lemons, we just paint them in as little layers as it's possible, so they'll still be a pretty paint really, and fun. Next we have to paint our leaves. Again we'll start with cadmium yellow. Then I'll mix some cadmium yellow with yellow-green. Next we'll add some Prussian blue. Add a little more Prussian blue on the bottom of the leaf. The same thing with the next leaf. You can vary the quantity of yellow-green and blue, so they don't have to look all the same. One can be lighter and the other can be with more blue and darker. Also you can mix some Prussian blue with yellow-green on the palette instead of mixing it on paper. Make sure you always have your paper towel next to you, it's really helpful. I'll switch to a softer brush. Always start with the lightest color, which is yellow, and then I go to medium shade, and finish with the darkest color. Try not to over work it because some watercolor is really beautiful when it's transparent and it's not many layers, or at least you can see through layers. In this painting I don't want to show any extra texture on the leaves. I want it to be really light and [inaudible]. Now let's make it a little bit of green with cadmium yellow and put a few more greenish dots. As the final touch we can add some white dots with white gel pen. These are our lemons and branches. 5. Painting Slices of Citrus Fruits: Citrus fruits are beautiful outside and inside. Now let's try to paint slices of citrus fruits, and they're not difficult to paint. The tricky part is the texture. We'll start with a circle, and start with a slice of orange, just light circle. It's really easy to draw the sliced citrus fruit. Another circle just a few millimeters away. Then I make a line in the middle and just add more lines. Here in the middle we'll erase where they meet and we'll make a little star. This is all the drawing we need. Next we will just take some cadmium yellow and we'll dilute it with a lot of water. We'll cover the enter slice of our orange with a really light cadmium yellow. Doesn't have to be really watery, it can be little dry as much as you are comfortable to work with it. Other colors I'll be using is golden orange. I'll be using my small brush, so I take a lot of golden orange. We'll start working on a slice by slice like this. It's like making long loops. Then I'll have to leave a little bit of space in between and go to the next one. As you see my golden orange is really watery and somewhere loops are totally colored and somewhere we can see through this really light yellow. Same way every piece of the circle. After we fill the entire circle of orange with golden orange color, let's take some golden orange paint and carbon red, mix that together and we have this beautiful darker orange. We'll go again in every slice of the circle and I'll add some lines, which will bring more depth to our slice of orange. Just here and there, try not to overdo this. If you feel some slices have too many light lines, just don't color them now with this paint. Next, let's take some golden orange color and add a really thin line around our orange slice, and few orange dots in the middle of the star shape. With carmine red, just a few tiny lines, really thin lines here and there. This is our orange slice and next let's try to paint a blood orange slice, which is the same as shape. The drawing will be the same and just the color scheme will be different. For blood orange, we have the same drawing but the color scheme will be a little different while the edge will be again, really light here, as well as this star shape in the middle. For these parts, we'll be using cadmium orange. Again, I'll use my small brush to do these loops but I won't leave as many white spaces as before, just few white spaces here and there. As you see my orange is very watery, so transparent. Did too many white spaces here, so I'm covering them. Next we'll take cadmium orange and we'll mix it with some cadmium orange. Again, need some more orange. Just like in previous slice of orange, we'll add some lines. At the same time, we'll take some burgundy and while our red orange is still wet, we'll add some burgundy in it, and this way for every slice of our blood orange. Make sure your red orange has more orange than red since really dark orange in which we'll mix burgundy in. Again, if you feel you have too many white spaces, just fill them in. If you don't have a burgundy color in your color palette, you can mix some carmine red with a little bit of purple and it should work the same way. Here is our last piece of circle and then we'll dry our brush on paper towel, and we'll fix a little bit of the edges with clean brush. We'll make the edge with orange. Add some little burgundy lines and dots in our middle, and a little bit here to show the star better. These are our slices of oranges. A simple orange and a bloody to orange. Now when I have our slices of orange and blood orange, let's drop a sliced lemon but what if we draw it sliced longwise instead of circle? It will look just like a lemon shape. which we draw in previous videos, and it will have a line in the middle. They'll have two halves. To color it, well take cadmium yellow dilute it, very watery so it will be light. We'll cover entire lemon. Even it looks so white when we color it, it's never totally white We still have to have our paper the whitest in the painting, so color it with [inaudible] white layer of yellow. Next we'll mix some cadmium yellow with a little bit of golden orange. Make sure it's more yellow than orange and a drop of purple. This way, we got our darker yellow. What you'll do next, we'll do the same loops we did, but they'll go this direction. Similar loops we did for our oranges. The same way on the other side. You can turn the paper anyway, you're comfortable. I'd definitely turn it if I wouldn't be filming. Around our orange, we can make a little thin line [inaudible]. Next, I'll take our small brush and I'll add to our mix of yellow a little bit of green. Again, really, really fine lines in this direction. We'll add a drop of purple. I'll add a little bit more depth right here in the middle, and a little bit at the edges. I'll clean our brush and we'll dilute this edge until it mixes with other colors. I have to add some dots on the edges and in the middle a little bit, just not so much. This is our sliced lemon, and we can complete this little composition with some leaves. I'm just using green for this, and some branches with some buds on them. It look nice too. If you want it to look more realistic, you can add some shadows to it under the slices. These are our slices of citrus fruits. 6. Painting a Lime with Fineliner and Watercolor: So many of you like a drawing with fine liner and water color, so I decided to include illustrative style in this lesson too and when we're drawing a lot. We'll with a fine liner. You can start with pencil if you want. Limes are looking pretty much like lemons. Maybe they're a little bit more round. The rule with fine liner if you don't do one line right, or you're not too heavy of it. Just make a line right next to it the way you like and when we'll color and it wont be really too noticeable. Let's pretend it's on a branch. It's a leaf. We can add more leaves later. Let's have the slice of a lime next to it. Also, I can draw a flower, lets pretend its a blooming branch and maybe some flower buds. I speaked about colors when we were picking our color palette for today and we'll start with cadmium yellow again. We'll mix it with green yellow. You don't have to be so precise of your painting and somewhere, you can leaves some white. After we've put the lightest layer, we can mix some yellow green layer of Prussian blue. Again, we are adding dots and still wet watercolor. We'll have it be a default texture. We'll mix more Prussian blue in our green for the bottom of the fruit. To get back to a medium tone, I added a little bit of yellow in it. This is how I draw a lime. Next, we'll have to paint a slice and we'll mix some yellow with green. We'll do just some lines in there, and will leave a lot of white. For branch I'm going to use [inaudible] just like for our lemon painting. Again, I am leaving some white to keep it illustrative. The leaves will be green yellow with yellow. Again, I'll use Prussian blue and there will be bluer than the fruit. This illustrations are so beautiful for editorial illustration or for a sketchbook, for recipe book. Indeed it playful and easy to make. This is going to be in green and a little bit of Prussian blue or green on the bottom. Maybe fewer darker lines here. I'd like to add some golden orange for contrast in the middle of our flower, and maybe a little bit of yellow. As last touch on our painting, we'll have to draw some shade. I'll mix some purple with ultramarine blue, and we'll add some shadow under our slice, and a little bit of shade on our flower. As final touches, we can add some detail with white gel pen, just dots. You can use brush or any white material you like. Few more lines on your slice. Also you can add few more leaves without coloring them. This is our live illustration. 7. Painting a Kumquat Wreath: Creating this course I couldn't miss the opportunity to paint the adorable citrus fruit kumquat. To make it more interesting I decided to arrange it into a leave. we'll have the kumquat branches and leaves, and of course fruits. What i did, I draw a circle, and now I will arrange the kumquat fruits where I would like them. On the kumquat fruits and on the leaves we'll be painting right with watercolor without drawing them. kumquat fruits are really easy to draw. Sometimes they would have little tail and head, or certain watercolor. This point let's decide where we would like to have some fruits on our leaf. Not too many just enough salt to make it balanced. After we're through with the composition for our fruits, we can start painting. Again we'll start with cadmium yellow, and then we'll add golden orange to it. The darkest part will add some cadmium orange and green, we'll just color the entire fruit with yellow first, and then we'll drop in it some golden orange, and then we'll mix some cadmium orange with a little bit of green, and will add just a hint of the shade. It'll need watery yellow, golden orange, and cadmium orange with a drop of green, and the same way on all our fruits. You can use this composition for all kinds of a citrus fruits, and fruits in general you can use it for lemons, limes, oranges, whichever fruit you prefer. If you don't have a golden-orange in your pad, you can make some cadmium orange with yellow, and it'll look just like golden orange. We are mixing the colors right on paper. Just make sure your yellow is still wet when you are dropping orange on it. After we've painted our round fruits we can start adding the leaves and branches. Let's start with branches. For this painting will be using green. Just regular green with a little bit of yellow for the branches. At this point will add under these little branches which are attached to the throat. Because after we add some leaves we may save a branch, or we may not. We'll decide later. You can turn your paper anyway you're comfortable. Next we'll start painting the leaves. I did not want to draw the leaves with a pencil because I would like us to be creative. We'll make the leaf on the painting, really dark leaves for this one. Make sure your orange fruit is totally dry before you paint the dark leaf next to it because it can bleed. Otherwise, just follow your intuition at painting the leaves, however you feel like you should go is the right way. While the leaves are still wet, we can add some ultramarine blue or whatever we would like them to be in shadow. Silver color will be cooler in a shade. I'm starting with the darkest leaves and then sometimes when we've gone quiet, the leaves are turned on the other side. For those leaves which are turned from us, we will be mixing some green with orange to get a softer olive green color. Let's first spread paint on the darkest leaves and you see how beautiful they look on a contrast with this bright light fruits. Some of the leaves may have more ultramarine blue to make it more interesting. Your frame can be in different shapes. It can be a square, a rectangle, any shape you like, it doesn't have to be round. Now, let's mix some green with golden orange and we'll have this beautiful, soft olive green. This is how compound leaves look when they are turned on the other side, and in a soft and beautiful, and this will bring more depth to our composition, different values. You've got to keep going as long as you feel you are happy of your composition. This is our compound leaf and you can use it for different purposes. For example, you can put a monogram in the middle if you feel like it and that's it. The next day they'll be talking about different color ways of representing citrus fruits. 8. Unsual Colors: Often in my artwork for citrus fruit illustrations, I would use unusual color combinations. I would still keep both fruits the same color as they are in real life or close to it. I'd try different backgrounds and leaves would have different color from what they are in nature. In this exercise, I would try to use unusual colors for foliage and background of our citrus fruits. For example, we can use one of my favorites combinations. I already prepared the fruits as they are in real life. I would try it first. The combination of orange with some turquoise leaves. I think this color combination is really fresh and joyful and just makes your heart beat so good. You can use any color combinations you think will work. Feel free to experiment as much as you want. Then I take some Prussian blue on this leaf. I think different warm blues look great with orange, also you can add some chocolate and in blue. At the same time you can use also in the same combination and the colors, bright green yellow, which also looks pretty. Let's try to use some dark blue for the leaf mixing some ultramarine with purple. I think it looks interesting. Another combination, I would use some ultramarine with purple and emerald green. I guess it is a different kind of blue which also look great with our yellow. Also you can try to use some newer gel colors. You can follow my artwork: it's mostly important, colorful. I think it looks very fresh and contemporary. I want to show you that citrus fruits and citrus fruits slices look great on a dark background and for that I'll also mix the same color of Teal. You can see how beautiful it looks on a dark background. At the same time you can use different geometrical shapes or lines, or your illustrations, or even random brush strokes will look really beautiful too, then just blend it. For the leaves, I would like to try some purples. So mixing some purple with some common red. Alternative color ways are good if you're trying some decorative illustration and some border design and you want to make something unusual; a peeling crash. I think this is also very beautiful color combination. For our own kumquat we can try with small brush. Instead of coloring the leaves and take the dark blue color and just make some align work would also look very contemporary and fresh. Also, you can fill our leaves with pattern, lines, and dots. These are the unusual color ways I wanted to show you. You are welcome to try more and more of different backgrounds and different colors for your leaves of your citrus spirits. 9. Class Project: For the project of this class who can beat any citrus fruity like in the style you prefer. It could be a simple one layer painterly style, or it can be a sketching style, can be wreath or slices. You can also make a pattern if you prefer, using different colors. Also adding different elements to your citrus fruits can change a character on the illustration. Like if we add some flowers, it would look more romantic. But if we add some all winter elements, it will look Christmassy. If we add some graphical elements to the same drawing , It'll look totally summery. Feel free to paint any citrus you like in the style you prefer. 10. Last Thoughts: Thank you for watching my classes. I hope you liked this class. Please leave a review and upload a project to the project section of the class. I can't wait to see your artwork. See you in my next class.