7 Steps to Painting Watercolor Peaches: The Illustration Process

Botanical Art Kitchen Wall Art Magical Realism

I love food illustrations and spend a lot of time thinking about cooking, meal prepping, gardening and painting. As a freelance food illustrator, whenever, a client contacts me to draws upon my experience of any one of these activities, it makes my day!

This post takes an inside look at one of my creative processes, when it comes to food illustration - specifically fruit illustration.

This behind-the-scene look highlights a watercolor illustration I painted for PeachDish.com's for their series of Thank You Featured Artists postcards. PeachDish.com is a sustainable meal-kit  delivery company.

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Truth be told, there are multiple, mini-steps between each main step. However, this infographic provides enough of an idea to understand how the “magic” happens!

Beyond that, I wanted to keep the watercolor painting warm, atmospheric, ethereal and full of visual serenity.

 

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1) Brainstorming & Mood boarding


This part focused on finding inspiration. I searched around for ideas in my sketchbooks, art journals and portfolio.

Then I decided on a tentative direction and created a mood board to collect visual references and inspiration for what I’m thinking about.

After that, I sketched out several very loose, small concept drawings to work out the general composition.

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2) Sketching & Drawing

Generally, there’s one or two thumbnail that immediately stand out and I’ll select one to develop.  In this case there wasn’t a clear winner, so I frankensteined a couple of them together to create a final pencil drawing that’s resolved and ready for the client to review.

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3) Illustrating & Watercolor Painting


Since I have some good color references from the mood board photos, I only did some minimal color studies, mainly to test the final shades I wanted. I also want to make enough of each color I’ll be using, so the color is consistent and most importantly, the watercolor painting doesn’t have time to dry out.


 I often work in multiple layers for realistic art.  So, I start with the application of a very light first watercolor wash of the main color (or underpainting) and let that dry. Then I work my way up to the deepest contrasts and final details. In this artwork I ended up not using ink with the watercolor washes.

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4) Backgrounds & Textures


Normally, if I were doing one piece in one go, I’d start with the background and do the focal point ( the peach) right after that.  However, for this peach, I wanted to separate both. So I selected a swatch of acrylic paint from another project and uploaded it to a design software like Adobe Photoshop to tweak.

 

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Background acrylic texture sample


5) Digital Editing & Coloring


I played around with a bit of digital paint, coloring and filters until I found something that would make the peach pop. I chose to overlay the hand-painted background texture with splashes of brilliant, cerulean turquoise blue.

This decision instantly gave the peach illustration a striking, super atmospheric painted graphic art look.

 

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6) Lettering Mock Up


Even though lettering was not part of the project,  I did want to share a few examples with the client of what the final card would look like with a little bit of text.  Some of the fonts found complimented the piece well and didn’t distract from the ethereal feel of the botanical art.

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7) Illustration Delivered & Tear Sheet Received

After they received the 300 DPI, high resolution image, the client left a glowing review to publicly share their appreciation for the art they received and the process of commissioning art with the studio. They also generously mailed me 4-5 postcards for my records.

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Here’s a snippet of their feedback below. Read the full testimonial on my LinkedIn profile.

 

food illustration, watercolor, freelance illustrator, food illustrator, Food, watercolor prints, wet wash watercolor, uplifting illustrations, Slow Food, realistic art, graphic art, graphic illustration, kitchen wall art, housewarming gifts, gifts for foodies, watercolor artist, packaging illustration, atmospheric, ethereal illustration, watercolor paintings, watercolor illustration, home decor gift, visual art, fine art, marketing illustration, book illustrations, art store, Art commissions, art prints, artist commissions, atmospheric watercolor painting, peach illustration, peach watercolor, fruit still life, fruit painting, infographic illustration, graphics, National Peach Month

 

 

As a card-carrying travel lover, this whole experience made me hungry for organic peaches. One of these days, I might just  go down to Georgia and satisfy my wanderlust with strategic visits to all the sustainable, farm-to-table farm destinations where the Georgia Peach grows. 

For other fun infographics about food and travel, take a look at Wild Dining Illustrated and Top 5 Experiences in Dubai.

 

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Work With Me

 

  • To see what original art and art prints have been released and are already available for sale visit the art shop at United Wanderlust
  • If you’d like me to commission a new art piece or license existing art for your own projects (marketing, book, editorial, stationery etc.), simply submit a request in my Illustration studio contact form with what you have in mind and we can go from there.
  • Or, send me a note through the United Wanderlust shop's contact form.

 

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food illustration, watercolor, freelance illustrator, food illustrator, Food, watercolor prints, wet wash watercolor, uplifting illustrations, Slow Food, realistic art, graphic art, graphic illustration, kitchen wall art, housewarming gifts, gifts for foodies, watercolor artist, packaging illustration, atmospheric, ethereal illustration, watercolor paintings, watercolor illustration, home decor gift, visual art, fine art, marketing illustration, book illustrations, art store, Art commissions, art prints, artist commissions, atmospheric watercolor painting, peach illustration, peach watercolor, fruit still life, fruit painting, infographic illustration

 

     Patricia Jacques works as a food illustrator, travel Illustrator working with food and travel individuals and commercial clients, with an interest in slow food, slow life and slow travel.

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