Watercolor Foods

When it comes to painting, you can find your muse anywhere! Become inspired by the gorgeous colors and textures of seasonal foods in this exercise from One Watercolor a DayStart by mixing colors and creating depth, then draw your outlines to create your food shapes. It takes a bit of planning, but it’s a lot of fun!

Berries, watercolor and ink Peppers,
Berries, watercolor and ink

This exercise is all about food—painting it, that is. Choose a selection of foods with colors that excite you. Here, Greg has painted blackberries, blueberries, peppers, and a shrimp in vibrant tones.

Peppers, watercolor and ink

Start this exercise in one of two ways: Either draw a few loose shapes with a pen and waterproof ink as a rough guide, or begin without any line, by laying down some washes of color in the shapes of what you’re drawing. Allow the colors to bleed into each other at times, as Greg has done, for movement. You’ll have to do a little planning, thinking about where you will put the line and where you want pure color to hold the shape or information. It helps to be free about it, though, and allow things to happen with the watercolor. This is not about creating a line to fill in with color, but about finding essential form and volume.

Shrimp, watercolor and ink
Shrimp, watercolor and ink

Once the color washes are dry, use a pen and black or colored ink to draw the defining lines and some of the details. Keep the colors fairly pure and bright to create an appetizing array of paintings.

Rosemary, watercolor
Rosemary, watercolor


Try painting food without any black or pencil line, as in my version of rosemary (above). Allow the initial shapes to stay a little bit wet, and drop in other colors for subtle differences, as you see done with the green and lavender.

Buy from an Online Retailer

In North America:

In The UK:

One Watercolor a DaySpark new ideas and increase your creativity with One Watercolor a Day. This enchanting art book contains six weeks’ worth of daily watercolor paintings and exercises to help you cultivate your imagination and develop your style. Each day will bring you a new painting by one of eight professional illustrators and includes a description of the work, helpful comments by the artist, and a companion exercise that encourages you to put brush to paper to create your own works of art. Uncover new techniques and solutions, and get valuable advice on how to approach and execute your own artwork. Professional tips throughout the book will broaden your knowledge on watercolor painting. One Watercolor a Day brings the world of watercolor painting to your paintbrush and is sure to become a motivational and inspirational book in your personal library.