Assignment 6 – Fruit

Assignment 6 of the Society of Botanical Artist’s Distance Learning Diploma involved painting a fruit of our choosing. I really struggled with my choice of fruit in my head, but as soon as I got out into the farmer’s markerts/farm shops I was instantly stuck by these pomegranates. They were so bright and I just had to paint them.


I knew that I wanted to do something slightly different with the composition, but, as usual, I didn’t leave myself nearly enough time to complete the piece to the standard I aim for. I knew that my composition had to be restricted to only one fruit (rather than a study of multiple pomegranates).  I had to be inventive with just 1 pomegranate, showing all the aspects of the fruit that I could…

I got out my kitchen knife and you can see the results below! Choosing the composition was quite difficult.

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My chosen composition.

As I mentioned above, to say there was a pressure of time is a huge understatement, but it was entirely my own fault so I just had to plow on.

I did do one small study, but basically I just dove in, I had to… I started work first on the main bulk of the skin, using varying mixes of Quinacridone Rose (Daniel Smith), Alizarin Crimson, Cobalt Blue, Scarlet Lake (all Windsor & Newton) and a concoction of browns/yellows. I laid down a number washes to build up the depth of colour using the wet-in-wet technique. I did try and give the impression of the textured skin even at this stage.


Wash No. 1


After a few more layers of washes. 

I then started to add more texture to the skin using the dry-brush technique. Also adding form to the fruit at the same time (shadow and highlight)


Starting to build up the textured surface of the skin.


The form and surface texture now complete.

Next I went onto the seeds. These I did do some practicing, as it was really important to capture the highlights, the translucency with the inner seed inside, as well as the bright pink colour.


Pomegranate seeds.


Practicing the pomegranate seeds – tricky things!


Slowly, slowly….


Keeping the seeds to the left hand side (where the light is coming from) a warmer colour, and the seeds further away in shadow, a cooler shade using some Cobalt Blue.


Seeds completed! Phew.

The next part I had to work on was the twirl of skin. The outer part was just a continuation of the process I had used for the main bulk of the skin, but the inner pith required a mix of a botanical grey, with some yellow ochre, really trying to demonstrate the texture inside where the seeds lie.


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The Final Piece

Pomegranate with watermark


The feedback I received was generally good, which I was very surprised about but obviously very pleased. The main critique was from the ‘line’ component, which I actually completely agreed with. It appeared that the way the skin fell to the left hand side of the fruit wasn’t quite believable. This was in fact how it did fall, but I do agree that it would make more sense to the eye to have it coming from slightly higher up.

I received a mark of 9.15 for this piece…

…onto vegetables now. With lots of time….


8 thoughts on “Assignment 6 – Fruit

  1. I love the whole series of pictures including your thought process. You seem very organised as everything worked methodically including the way you protected the rest of the picture. It was a lovely result and i am glad you were rewarded with a high mark. Regarding the way the peel fell and comments; i remember having a picture rejected once even though i had painted what i saw. It was explained to me that its dependant upon what the viewer thinks they see in the final picture, and if it can be misunderstood an adjustment should be made.

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