Learn to Paint Realistic Strawberries Without Reference

Learn to Paint Realistic Strawberries Without Reference - student project

At first I was also weary about this subject, because as much as they're used in food illustrations, strawberries are also one of those tougher subjects to grasp. So when one of my students suggested this topic for me, I too had to figure out how to break it down and study the form instead of copying from a reference image. This is how I come about to these methods that I'm going to share with you today, so everyone will be able to use the subject with ease whenever they want to incorporate it into their paintings.

This class is divided into several parts and cut into smaller lessons so the information is easier to digest. And here is the class outline in which the class formatted for help you learn with ease.



  1. Introduction
  2. List of Supplies
  3. DRAWING EXERCISE: Understanding Shapes
  4. DRAWING EXERCISE: Grooves and Seeds
  5. DRAWING EXERCISE: Drawing Leaf Caps
  6. DRAWING EXERCISE: Additional Elements and Rough Composition
  10. PAINTING EXERCISE: 2nd Layer (Shadows and Grooves)
  11. PAINTING EXERCISE: Highlights and Seeds
  13. FINAL PAINTING: Strawberry Base
  14. FINAL PAINTING: Strawberry Details (Shadows and Grooves)
  15. FINAL PAINTING: Highlights and Seeds
  16. FINAL PAINTING: Leaf Caps
  17. FINAL PAINTING: Leaf Details/Final Details
  18. Closing and Class Project

This class is geared towards intermediate to advance students who has a fair understanding of drawing and has a level of comfort with watercolour as a medium because there will be certain steps where it takes multiple tasks to think about in order to complete. I also encourage students to use the method and the steps that have been taught in the lesson to apply it to their own paintings whether it be botanical paintings, pattern design or food illustrations. However there will also be a Paint with me section in the class, where students can follow along to the painting using the method that they've learnt in the previous lessons to be applied to a full composition. 

The outline of the final painting is provided in the downloadable section of this class along with the exercise sheet which students can print and draw on or trace to paint on as extra exercise before applying the method into their final paintings. I will also attach the list of colours as well as the mixes in this section so students can have it as reference next to them as reference or a reminder of the colours as they're painting.

For the Class project I would like you to either recreate the final painting from this class or create your own painting where strawberries are featured using the method provided by the class. You may also include the study and exercises that you've made prior to creating your final painting to share your progression of learning with me as well as your fellow students. Best of luck and happy painting! :D

Learn to Paint Realistic Strawberries Without Reference - image 1 - student projectLearn to Paint Realistic Strawberries Without Reference - image 2 - student project

Eugenia Sudargo
Watercolorist and Graphic Designer