Let’s Paint Autumn Berries!

When I was at Starved Rock I found more blue berries. Not blueberries, but blue berries. That fact alone has made it impossible for me to identify this plant on a search site because the site always wants to substitute my berries. I’m guessing buckthorn family, but I really don’t know. Here is the photo:

Never letting a lack of knowledge stand in my way, I’m painting it anyway…that’s how I learn.

So let’s get going and paint Autumn Berries!

Step 1: This is going to be a watercolor painting. I taped my paper down, masked my leaves with Grumbacher Miskit fluid (that orange stuff) and made a nice drippy purple wash in the background. I love drippy backgrounds. I’m not sure why but it gives the painting a bit of interest. It’s also just loads of fun to run watercolors on the floor or on your lap! πŸ˜€

Step 2: I removed one leaf’s masking fluid and started painting the berries. When painting berries, don’t paint them all the same color even if you think they are the same color. Light reflects on them differently due to space, so it’s reflected color really is different, plus objects can take on the color of things around them.

Step 3: Oh this is fun! Paint some yellow leaves and while wet add a touch of green and brown. Scrape the leaf with the edge of a sharp object to make some veins. The indented paper will suck up some color and look nice.

Step 4: Add the twig and branch. Don’t forget those viny things going crazy in nature, that too is so much fun I can hardly bare it!

Step 5 Final: I always like to touch up my watercolors with ink. Some people do, some people don’t, it’s just a personal preference. The painting in step 4 could have been the final if you wanted it to. In this step I just used a Micron pen and went around the leaves, berries, and some crazy viny things.

Ta-Da it’s finished!

This watercolor is called Autumn Berries. The image is 6.4×4.5 placed in a 10×8 off white mat.

I hope you enjoyed this step by step demonstration on how to paint autumn berries!


  1. From the leaves I’d say the berries are the fruit of the carrion flower. It’s given that name because the flowers stink!

  2. What a gorgeous watercolor, Chris!!! The backwash does look great with the mixed tones adding texture. What a beautiful berry find during this time of the year. πŸ˜€ I love how the berries are survivors. Great imagery.

    Hugs, JJ

  3. Jim: Hey I’m going to look that one up…thanks!!! PS how can a flower stink? HA, HA, HAAA

    Shelley: Thank you so much! πŸ™‚

    JJ: Isn’t it wonderful how the berries are left for the birds and critters??? What a perfect plan! Thanks!

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