From the beginning of my art career I specialized in still life imagery. Soon, I was illustrating a lot of fruit. Therefore, I not only considered my niche to be one of being a food illustrator, sometimes I’ve referred to myself as a fruit-label illustrator!
On this post, I will share a lot of images. There is less for me to write about in a technical sense, since I’ve already covered a lot of concepts that are applied to illustrating fruit. Water droplets certainly have enhanced many of my fruit illustrations.
Here is a summary of things I’ve already discussed:
1. I always tend to incorporate reflected light, especially on spherical shapes.
2. I utilize complementary colors to enhance the more brilliant colors.
3. I utilize contrast to create depth and dimension. Highlights and shadows are important. Colors and shadows reflect between fruits if they are in a group.
4. I have solved many fruit textures using the “whatever works” method.
Regarding textures, here are a few tips of what I’ve done to solve some of my favorite, fruit textures.
a. Citrus peels are created using a transparent, acrylic glazing technique. See Post #12.
b. Dots that are light on an apple are either masked with liquid friskit, or applied with a toothpick and opaque white (Pen White or Acrylic), `or picked out with an exacto knife.
c. The texture on a pear can be created by spattering paint with a toothbrush.
d. The fuzz on a peach and the “bloom” on grapes are often enhanced through the use of light, colored pencils over the water based dye. The pencil can be “dissolved” by using a blender marker for additional effects.
Any time opaque white is added to dye colors; there is a bluish, “cool” quality that results. I have used that to my advantage in order to create the “fuzz” on a peach, or the cloudy, powdery coating on plums and grapes.
Strawberries and raspberries have specific patterns to their “globules” and “hives.” Pineapples are challenging to illustrate and have a similar pattern. The spiky leaves on a pineapple are significantly purple and those leaves have a powdery coating similar to plums and grapes.
I have particularly enjoyed illustrating kiwi fruit. The hairy exterior, which is similar to coconut, is easily done using a crowquill pen and acrylic. I find the interior of a kiwi to be very beautiful, as I love the contrast of the iridescent, light green.
When illustrating citrus fruits that were cut open, I truly studied the patterns. I always attempted to maintain clean, segment separations and varied, “sparkling” highlights. Most of those highlights were masked out in order to keep them as white as possible.
When I created my stock library, I was able to create new compositions from many of my paintings. I have many “clipboards” or groups of fruit. It has been interesting for me to see some of my fruit illustrations that were purchased as stock and utilized in different ways.
My specialty of being a “package design illustrator” involved many lines of labels for yogurt, juices, and fruit flavored items.
I have so many illustrations of fruit to share, that I plan to do a separate post with many of my labels that were done for yogurt companies.
Over the course of my career, I think I preferred illustrating fruit to anything else, even vegetables! I am so comfortable illustrating any kind of fruit, that I can actually paint fruit without any reference at all!