Cool Beans here we go, we’re about to paint the woodland berries we found at the McLaughry Spring Woods using watercolor paints!!!
Step 1: In this painting we are going to paint all three berries at once. Make a rough sketch of all 3 berry types: from top left, #1 false solomon seal, #2 doll’s eyes, and bottom #3 jack in the pulpit, on 140lb hotpress watercolor paper. Unless you are painting for a botanical illustration, don’t count every single berry and drive yourself crazy. Who wants added stress? Not me, I have enough…thanks!
Step 2: Let’s start with green. Upper top left: I used green gold to paint the leaf of the false solomon seal. With the doll’s eyes, because the berries are poisonous white, we have to do some negative painting. Negative painting is when you paint the background instead of your subject. With a mixture of sap green and indigo, I painted around the white doll’s eyes berries. To soften the edges, take a clean brush with water and move the edge around. Lastly the bottom, jack in the pulpit has a stem that looks like a green onion stem. Using green gold and green sap, paint the stem under the berries first, then with a clean wet brush push the pigment further down the stem. Nothin’ to it!
Step 3: Just a little detail. In the upper left take some sap green and darken the leaf along the veins. Soften the edges with clean water. With crimson red, paint the poisonous stems of the doll’s eyes…how fun is that! Bring on the nature fun…ho…hey!
Step 4: With crimson, paint some false solomon seal berries. The darker red is more pigment, less water. The lighter red is more water, less pigment. Still keepin’ it simple.
Step 5: Holy Cow is this fun! Now make some speckled marks on the false solomon seal. I’ve never seen speckled berries in the wild before so this is big, significant stuff to me! I used pure crimson and splotched dots with a small rigger brush. These berries in the woodland will eventually turn a deep red. We caught them just in time!
For the jack in the pulpit, the light is coming from the top, so paint make a layer of yellow. Let dry. Using cadmium red (an orange color), paint a few top berries and all of the bottom berries.
Step 6: With cadmium red, paint around the jack in the pulpit berries. To smooth edges use clean water.
Step 7 Final: With a black micron #3 pen, make outline some significant berries and stems. I labeled my berries so everybody can learn them. That’s it…we did it!!!
“Woodland Berries in September”
white mat outside dimensions: 10×8
I hope you enjoyed this step by step process on how to paint woodland berries in watercolor paints.