How to Paint Realistic Cherries in Watercolor

How to Paint Cherries in Watercolor

I finally got around into writing another art tutorial. It is almost the end of July and it is World Watercolor Month. For this month, I challenged myself to not paint flowers so this tutorial is about painting cherries.  The reference photo for this painting is from Pexels.

I always start with a drawing and I marked all the areas where I put my highlights and shadows.

How to Paint Cherries in Watercolor (1)

I used Raphael kolinsky round brushes (size 2 and 4) and I used Daler-Rowney watercolors. For this painting, I used alizarin crimson, cadmium red, prussian blue, chinese white, viridian and yellow ochre.

To get the colors I wanted that are close to the dark red plump cherries. I play with these three colors: alizarin crimson, cadmium red, prussian blue. I mix alizarin crimson with prussian blue when painting the areas and the shadows. I used the individual colors to match the different tones in the cherry.

How to Paint Cherries in Watercolor (2)

Whenever I start painting, I always have this fear that I would be wasting my time trying to paint and end up with unsatisfactory painting. I like to scare myself that way. (Praning-praningan. hehehe) When I started, the first cherry did not look like a cherry at all. Honestly, I was not sure if I am going to successfully paint it but I continued painting. It took me almost two hours to complete the painting.

As you can see there were areas that I avoided painting, those are the areas for highlighting. Cherries have shiny skin. To show that shine, you need to leave areas unpainted because it is easier to add color to these areas later than to remove the pigment. For me, the markings on the drawing where to put the highlights and shadows are helpful in the painting process. I have not yet developed the skill of painting from memory. I still need planning on how to tackle a certain painting. I always look at the reference photo as a whole and try to understand where the light source is and how the light casts shadows on the surface. I also try to identify the different colors on the object so even if we see that the cherry is dark red, there are different shades of red you can see and these shades depend on how the light illuminates the surface. This is how I study the subject so that it would closely resemble the real thing.

In every painting I work on, I always have a tissue near my palette to easily blot the excess water on the brush. I also have another paper on the side where I test if I mixed the right color.

My usual painting technique when using watercolor is to apply my strokes using a dry and more saturated color on the dark areas and I gradually spread the color using a wet brush. I use this technique when my subject is either a flower, fruit or animal. It may look like I am very certain and precise about my strokes and colors.  In reality, I am really looking at the reference photo every now and then and I paint the different shades on the different areas as I see fit.

At this point, the painting is slowly taking shape. Attention to details is important in realistic paintings. Each little highlight and fine stroke contribute to the painting a whole. This is one of the benefits in learning how to paint; you tend to be very observant of your surroundings.

How to Paint Cherries in Watercolor (4)

All these colors used in painting cherries are the different colors that are produced from mixing alizarin crimson, cadmium red and prussian blue. These are the specific pigments I used. You can also try different shades of red available in you palette. Try to experiment one bright red pigment, one medium red and one dark blue or any combination of red and blue. Cherries have stages of ripeness and different varieties so different combinations of reds and blues could still result to a realistic painting.

Painting a glass jar can look challenging. It is easier to paint it by studying the jar. Understand that this jar is a clear object. It does not have color. The reflection of the cherries on the surface tells us that this is a glass jar. Also try to observe the way the light hits the surface. For the rim and grooves on jar, I see shades of light gray to gray on the surface of the glass. I used the existing colors on my palette . I mixed everything which made the mixture close to black and when I mix black with white, I get grey. The different shades of gray is dependent on the amount of white mixed in. In that way, I did not have use tube of black paint. I get save on paint by the the colors I already have in my palette.

How to Paint Cherries in Watercolor (5)

In painting a jar, you do not have to paint the entire shape. You just paint the reflection and shadows and when finished, you can already see the shape of the container. When looking at the reference photo, I really try to identify the very dark areas and try to replicate it in the painting. The contrast between light and dark adds depth and makes the painting look real.

For the finishing touches, I went over the painting and started blending the colors until I was satisfied with the outcome.

This is the completed painting.

How to Paint Cherries in Watercolor (7)

This is the Youtube video of the process.

Until the next tutorial!

How to Gain a Loyal Customer the Jackson’s Art Way

This post can also be entitled as “How not to go crazy with the Philippine Post Office”.

I am always on a hunt for online stores where I can buy my art supplies. I live in the province and my sources for art supply are in the bigger cities. I bought my watercolor materials from Fullybooked in Manila, Art Friend and Straits Art Co in Singapore. There is Art Nebula which I have already ordered items twice before and the transactions were seamless. But I am hoping for a wider range of products to try. Shout out to Art Bar! Please open your online shop already.

So imagine my excitement when I learned from an artist I follow on Instagram that the art supplies she ordered from Jackson’s Art in UK arrived at her doorstep in just a few days; I wanted to try it for myself. Jackson’s Art has a droolworthy selection of products for artists. I have a limited budget so I picked only what I immediately needed- brushes! I needed brushes for oil painting. I got an oil paint set as a gift from a friend. I also got two blank canvases as Christmas gift from another friend. Yes, I am lucky to have friends who understood my love for art.

So I immediately found myself browsing for brushes and learned that they offer free shipping for brush orders worth more than £20. I availed of the free shipping by ordering 5 brushes. The package was sent via regular post. It was estimated to arrive in 2 to 3 weeks. This was ordered on December 2, 2017. When I did not receive any notice 2 weeks after, I went to the post office on December 20, 2017. The person assigned there tried to check their records and found nothing. She told me to ask for the tracking number so she can look for it in their system. I told them I do not have a tracking number. I did not want to bother Jackson’s Art. I went home empty-handed and decided to go back a week after.

I went back on December 29, 2017. I still did not get my package. The person there told me to get the tracking number because it is easier to look for a package with a tracking number. I decided to email Jackson’s Art to ask for a tracking number. They replied immediately. I was told there was no tracking number because it was sent using regular mail. They were reassuring. They told me that the package may be delayed due to the holidays.

I was patient and I was persistent, too. So I went to the post office again on January 5, 2018. The person there again told me about getting a tracking number. I told her that it was sent through regular mail. She said that they have not gotten through their regular mails. I asked her that if it would be easier if I have a picture of what the package looks like. She said yes. So I emailed Jackson’s Art again about the possibility of showing me a photo what the package looks. They replied that all they can tell me is that it is in a regular padded mailing envelope and they did not have a photo since the package was processed in their warehouse. Carla of Jackson’s Art also told me to inform them if I still do not have the package by January 12.

At that moment, I was too disappointed with the Philippine post that I just decided to wait it out because that is what they are supposed to do. They are supposed to deliver the package (or at least a notice) to my doorstep and not me going to the post office. That is why there is an address written on the parcel! So I went digital, I know there is a Facebook page of the Philippine Post so I sent a message on the possible timeline for regular mail packages because the person in our post office seemed to treat them as last priority. So I got this reply.


It is already the 4th week of January and more than 35 working days since December 2, 2018. No package.

I have accepted the idea that I cannot trust the Philippines Post Office anymore. This is not the first time I have issues with them. The first time happened some years ago, I was expecting a dress from China. It was a blogger mail in exchange for a blog post. A month after it was sent, the sender emailed me if I received the package since it was already sent a month before so I went to the post office to check. I was just lucky that when I went there the package on the table in front of me was my package. It was already marked that they were unable to deliver it twice. It baffles me why they were not able to locate my house when utility companies and LBC are able deliver bills and packages successfully. The second incident was in the early 2015 when I joined a mailing exchange to practice calligraphy. I was supposed to receive 10 to 12 mails every month and I only received 3. So when I went for a vacation in Bacolod that year, I sent myself a post card through a post office there. I never received that post card. My friend, Gail, who sent herself a postcard, too, received hers in Davao City. My city’s post office needs to step up.

This was the postcard I should have received through mail.  This was my Instagram post  in 2015.

I was sad but Jackson’s Art is awesome. Since Carla said that I should email them if I have not received my package, I sent them an email on January 18, 2018.

And this is what I got in reply!

They refunded my payment! No questions asked. In my country, if you want a refund, you need certification that the mail did not arrive and a lot more paperwork. Jackson’s Art is awesome, people!

This prompted me to just reorder my brushes and order the watercolor papers I wanted to try. I picked DHL for mail this time. And I got the package today! Just 5 working days after I ordered them.

Happy mail!! Good job, DHL!

I got my brushes and watercolor pads!


This made me realize how we crave good customer service when it should not be something we beg from businesses. It should be a standard. When their customers are treated well, businesses will surely get much better returns. I ordered more that what I planned to spend initially after I got the refund. Hurray for Jackson’s Art! You definitely gained one loyal customer.

Update:

I got the package from the post office on February 8, 2018.

I have a YouTube Channel!

Three weeks ago, I decided to set up my YouTube Channel.  Clicking on the YouTube icon above will direct you to my channel.

So what do I have there? For now, I have three painting videos which you can follow to learn some of my techniques. This is my way of sharing what I know. This is also my way of giving back.  It was through a YouTube video that triggered my renewed interest in painting. I know that videos can be very helpful to others in pursuing their interests.  I know how videos helped me improve in painting.

In the future, I plan to include travel videos, recipe videos and just  about anything I want to share. I am still new to this and I hope I will be able to improve my videos as I go along.  Oh, there is so much to learn about making my videos better and I am excited to try them!  Please subscribe to my channel and let me know what you think of them.

These are the first three videos up on the channel. Enjoy!
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scZAsv2Briw] [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZy9jBoM6Qc] [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9g3VyHa1XzU]

How I Continue to Learn Painting Using Watercolors

I am often asked what websites to visit when learning how to paint.  I would immediately reply, “Youtube!”

My watercolor art journey started two years ago and I have learned a lot since then. I still continue to learn. Albert Einstein said that once you stop learning, you start dying. So I chose to learn unceasingly  (Well, with leisure on the side).

I often refer to Anna Mason’s tutorials when it comes to botanicals. I love to paint flowers. Here is her tutorial in painting a rose:
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=83C5oitfM2I]

Here is my version using one of her watercolor painting of a rose as a model.
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Two years ago, I came across a tutorial on how to draw a realistic eye.
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJ25OngOLts]

I think I have improved the technique since then.
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I continue to practice. I think it is the best way to learn.  Put on the 10,000 hours of work and eventually, I get better than the last time. Here are my recent original botanical paintings.

anemone-katrinacenteno

peonies-katrina centeno

I also follow a lot of watercolor artists on Instagram.  I am currently part of the @wgcollab on instagram, where different watercolor artists share their painting techniques every day. Follow us there to learn more techniques. Use #wgcollab16 hashtag to find the videos.  The videos are also  posted on Facebook via Watercolour Gallery’s page.  Here is my painting video I made for this month.

[facebook url=”https://www.facebook.com/watercolourgallery/videos/1207394052625664/” /]  

July is also the World Watercolor Month. Find inspiration using the hashtag ‪#‎WorldWatercolorMonth‬ on Facebook and Instagram.
Follow my instagram page: @katrinacenteno
Like my Facebook page: Katrina Karen Art

 

 

Transitioning

I was walking the dogs early this morning and I already saw a number of kids carrying their bags to school. Summer vacation is definitely over. Since the end of May, I have slowly gone back to my routine.  I am back to working out regularly. Although you can see me crossing out rest days more often than crossing out the scheduled workout, I am happy that I still get to exercise at least three times a week.  It is better than nothing.

My erudite uncle left all these books since he finished reading all these before he left. I have finished one book and I plan to start a new one.  I also caught up with some TV shows I have missed.

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I have cleaned my closet and have done some laundry. I have a lot more to tackle but I am taking baby steps. We are still experiencing El Niño. Weather is hot and every simple movement  I make leaves me sweating so I work slow to minimize the sweating. Sweat and I are not a good mix.

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I have done most of the errands and obligations I need to finish.

I had the time to do some art.

This is for the Watercolour Gallery collab I am doing. Follow @wgcollab and @watercolour_gallery on Instagram.

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I also bought pearlescent watercolor from itrydiy.com so I tried them on this painting. Can you see the sheen on the petals?

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My friend, Jasmin, requested me to paint this jasmine for her.

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I was also able to insert some practice. The rose is not perfect. I will try again to make it look better. Hopefully.

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I am doing art and I love it!

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