How to Paint Fruit with Watercolor Paint

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Looking for something easy to paint with watercolors? Learn how to paint fruit with watercolor paint. This easy tutorial includes a printable template so that you can learn to paint even if you can’t draw.

You might also like these other watercolor tutorials.

watercolor painted orange and blueberries

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Fruit is one of my favorite things to paint. I love blending paint colors to create the perfect colors for fruit. It’s really relaxing.

How to Paint Fruit with Watercolor

Here’s how I paint fruit with watercolors. I’ve tried to simplify the process and shapes so that everyone can do this tutorial.

Supplies Needed:

Tips for Painting Fruit with Watercolors

  • Use more than one color to create depth. I’ve noted the colors I used in each tutorial.
  • Utilize the wet-on-wet technique to add more color.
  • Work light to dark, leaving white areas as needed. Shiny fruits will have more intense white highlights. Softer fruits will have more subtle highlights.
  • As you paint, leave an area with less paint to create a subtle highlight. The edges should be a bit darker. Use your brush to move the paint where you need it.
  • You can use a brush to remove excess paint.
  • Add highlights with a white pen (or white gouache.)
  • Paint age spots to create realism.
  • Add shadows at the bottom of each fruit.
  • Embrace the imperfections. Fruit isn’t perfect. Neither is watercolor. I love a painterly feel rather than a realistic look.

Shadows and Highlights – A Quick Overview

Since we use a lot of highlights for painting fruit, it’s good to know where to add them.

Pick a spot for the light source. I don’t know why, but I like to pretend my light is coming from the top right corner.

painting demonstrating shadow and highlight

That area where the light shines is always a bit lighter.

Add shadows where the fruit blocks the light (the bottom left corner.)

I love adding really subtle shadows with very diluted paint. You can dilute black paint or use purple or blue.

A few more things

I’m including a printable template (located at the bottom of the post) so that you can use this tutorial even if you don’t know how to draw. I’ll also include a description of the shape of each fruit.

Draw out your fruit shapes with a ColErase pencil. I like using a red color because it blends with most of the fruit colors. Regular pencils can smudge and make the paint muddy.

I used my Schminke watercolors, but you can use any paint you want. I’ve included color guides so that you can mix your own colors.

I also use this pastel red liquid watercolor.

ecoline pastel red swatch

It’s my favorite paint to use for creating a pale pink color. You can also use a warm red that is very diluted. I love that it has a glowy feeling. If you use liquid watercolor paint, keep in mind that it’s harder to lift.


A slice of watermelon is shaped like a triangle with a rounded bottom. The edge is green, and it blends into the pink fruit.

Watermelons can be painted with pink and red. The pink is closer to the bottom, near the white rind. The top part is more of a dark pink or red color.

color swatches for watermelon paintings
  1. Paint the top part of the watermelon slice in diluted cool red and warm red. Let the colors mix as you paint. watermelon being painted with watercolor
  2. Paint a thin green line along the bottom edge of the rind.watermelon being painted
  3. Use water to blend it up to the pink part.
  4. Let it dry for a few minutes.
  5. Add a thinner line of dark green to the bottom. painting watermelon in watercolor
  6. Paint another coat of diluted warm red over the top part. Drop in less diluted paint into the wet mix and let it blend. This gives it a more realistic texture and color.watermelon painting in progress
  7. Let the paint dry completely.
  8. Add seeds with black paint. watermelon painted in watercolor
  9. After the paint dries, add highlights to the seeds with a white gel pen. watercolor watermelon


Cherries have a soft, rounded heart shape. The stems are usually curved.

Cherries are painted with pink, red, and dark red. If you don’t have dark red, you can mix red with brown to create the right color.

paint swatches for cherries
  1. Paint a layer with light red for the cherry shape. Leave a spot for the highlight. painting cherries with watercolors
  2. Add another layer of cool red over the first layer of paint. Let some of the first layer peek through. cherry painting in progress
  3. Add dark red to the edges of the cherry. cherry painting in progress
  4. Paint the stem brown and the leaf a light green color.
  5. Add a layer of dark green to the leaf. cherry painted with watercolor
  6. Paint a thin line of brown paint along one side of the stem.


Oranges have a soft, rounded shape.

Paint oranges with orange and yellow paint.

paint swatches for oranges
  1. To paint a whole orange, fill a round shape with orange paint. painting orange with watercolor
  2. Add a bit of yellow to the highlight area.
  3. Paint the leaf green.
  4. Add another layer of orange around the outsides of the orange. orange being painted with watercolor
  5. Let the paint dry.
  6. Add orange spots to the orange to add texture. orange painted with watercolors
  7. Paint half of the leaf green to create a vein.
  8. Paint the stem brown.
  9. Let the paint dry and add white spots to the surface of the painted with watercolors

Slices can be created in the same way as directed below for lemons and limes. The background color will be yellow. Paint the segments with orange in a stripy motion to add texture.

orange slice painted with watercolor paint

By the way, oranges generally have 8-10 segments.

Lemons and Limes

Lemons and limes are about the same shape, an oval with soft, pointy ends. Limes are normally a bit smaller.

Lemons are painted yellow, but I like to add a bit of warm green. Limes are painted warm green, but I like to add a bit of yellow.

color swatches for limes and lemons
  1. A whole lemon or lime is painted similarly to the orange, with a solid color that is darker around the edges. Add dots for texture. You can add leaves if you want. lemons painted with watercolors
  2. To paint a lemon slice, paint the entire shape with a light color (light yellow works for lemons, limes, and oranges.)lemon being painted in watercolor
  3. Paint a thin layer around the edge of the slice.
  4. Fill the segments with a layer of paint in the appropriate color. (Don’t go too dark.)lemon slice painted in watercolor
  5. Let the paint dry.
  6. Add a stripey texture to each segment.
  7. Let the paint dry.
  8. Add white highlights with a white pen. watercolor lemon painting

Lemons and limes generally have 8-9 segments.


Pineapples have a rounded, oval shape with a leafy, spiky top.

Pineapples are painted with brown and yellow. The leaves are painted with warm green and brown paint.

paint swatches for pineapples
  1. Paint the pineapple leaves green.
  2. Add brown paint to the top of the pineapple, letting the paint blend.pineapple being painted in watercolors
  3. Use a wet-on-wet technique to add yellow and brown spots to the body of the pineapple.pineapple painted in watercolor
  4. Add green paint to the bottom of the pineapple. Let the colors blend.
  5. Allow the paint to dry.
  6. Add another coat of brown paint to the body. Add wonky curved lines.watercolor pineapple in progress
  7. Mix the green with a bit of brown paint to make a darker green. Paint the leaves.watercolor pineapple in progress
  8. Let the paint dry.
  9. Add one more coat of brown curved lines to the pineapple body. pineapple painted in watercolors


Apples have a rounded shape with a large dent in the top and a smaller dent in the bottom.

Apples can be red, pink, yellow, or green. Mix a few of the colors to create a nice effect.

paint swatches for green apples
  1. Paint the shape light green, leaving a lighter area in the highlight spot. green apple being painted in watercolors
  2. Paint the stem brown and the leaf green. watercolor apple painting
  3. Add another layer of green to the apple. watercolor apple painting in progress
  4. Paint half of the leaf dark green.
  5. Add green spots to the apple body. watercolor apple painting


Strawberries have a rounded heart shape with a spiky leaf and stem on top.

Paint strawberries with pink and red with green leaves and stems.

paint swatches for strawberries
  1. Use light red to paint the body of the strawberry, leaving room for the leaves.strawberry being painted with watercolors
  2. Let the paint dry.
  3. Paint the stem and leaves green. watercolor strawberry in progress
  4. Add another layer of red paint to the strawberry. You can drop in cool red to add more color. adding color to strawberry painting
  5. Allow the paint to dry.
  6. Add darker red lines for the seeds. strawberry painting in progress, seeds added
  7. Let dry.
  8. Add another layer of paint to the strawberry to deepen the color and blend the seeds in a bit. adding color to strawberry painting
  9. Add dark green to the leaves and stem.
  10. Use a white pen to add highlights to the seeds. strawberry painted in watercolor


Blueberries are round with a spiky shape.

They are a warm blue color. You can use dark blue or blue-purple to paint them. I like adding a bit of green to some of them.

paint swatches for blueberries
  1. Paint the lighter areas with light blue-purple (or diluted blue paint.)blueberry painting in progress
  2. Add blue paint to the remaining blueberry shapes while the paint is wet. You can add green to a few as well. painting blueberries in watercolors
  3. Let the paint dry.
  4. Add another layer of indigo to the blueberries, leaving the light spots. watercolor blueberries


Pears are an oval shape with a smaller top and a larger bottom.

Pears are usually a warm yellow color with warm green or warm red areas. They can also be a warm red or purple color.

paint swatches for pear painting
  1. Paint the top part of the pear warm yellow.
  2. Add green paint to the bottom part of the pear and let the colors blend. pear being painted in watercolors
  3. Create dimension with yellow ochre paint.pear being painted in watercolor
  4. While the paint is wet, drop in warm red or warm purple. pear painted in watercolor
  5. Paint the stem brown. stem painted on pear in watercolor
  6. Add brown dots to the pear. watercolor painted pear
sketchbook spread with watercolor fruit

You Might Also Like:

Download a Fruit Template

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Fruit Template

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watermelon slice painted with watercolor

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