DIY Watercolor Fruit

Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap  —  March 10, 2014 — 1 Comment

Well, this weekend was not nearly as productive as I’d hoped. I started watching Scandal on Netflix last week and lost pretty much my entire weekend to the world of Olivia Pope. I’m proud to say that I did attempt a couple of projects but–darn–I was met with a roadblock at each turn and forced to head back to the television. Guess those things will have to wait for next weekend. Except wait, there’s an awesome St. Patrick’s Day parade rolling through our neighborhood next weekend so, hmmm, I’m not sure I can make any promises. Anyway, I did get one thing done! I’ve been wanting to create some sort of DIY art in the kitchen and thought I’d try my hand at watercolors since all the other bloggers make it look so easy. I started by tracing some fruit from stock illustrations. I filled them in with colored pencil just for fun.

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Then I flipped my paper over and rubbed firmly on the back to transfer each silhouette onto a piece of watercolor paper. I tried to fit several onto each page so that later when I was painting I could experiment with different shades and techniques and pick out my favorite of each set. As for the paper, my pad of 10 sheets came with a set of watercolors for about $3 (with a coupon).

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That evening I sat down with a glass of wine, my new set of watercolors, and Scandal to get in touch with my inner artist. I mixed together shades of yellow, green, and brown, but they all look sort of fluorescent below thanks to the evening lighting.

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Once they were all dry I scanned them into my computer, picked my favorites, and then cropped and adjusted the lighting/coloring as needed using the basic photo editing software that came with my computer.

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Then I used this nifty website to remove the background from each image so I was left with just my watercolored fruit on a transparent background.

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Once I had my six pieces of fruit cleaned up nice and pretty, I started playing around with arranging them in Microsoft Publisher. I’d thought maybe I would use all six pieces but they just didn’t work together, then I thought maybe I would do just one piece really large, but what finally won me over was this grouping of an apple, a pear, and grapes all in the same shade of green.

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I sent it to be printed on white cardstock at Office Depot ($1.45) since I needed a 10×13 image for the frame that I’d already bought (with a coupon so it was $16 and I also had a gift card so it was kind of free). But for some reason it printed smaller than I’d expected which wouldn’t have been a problem except for the black border I’d forgotten to remove. I had to trim the border off and by then it was too small to fit in the matted opening of the frame. What to do? I checked my fabric stash and found an old table runner from Ikea that was the perfect width. I cut it to length, used some double-sided tape to secure my “painting’ to the center of it, then stuck it in the frame.

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We actually eat each of these fruits regularly. There were other perfectly fine fruit I could’ve painted but it felt inauthentic to display something on our walls that we don’t really eat.

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I’m on the hunt for a big silver serving tray to hang above the stove. It’ll be at about the same height as the fruit and I think they’ll get along nicely.

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If you’ve ever thought about watercoloring give it a try! It’s easy and fun, especially if you give yourself the coloring book experience by tracing your outlines first. And I can’t take credit for the idea to scan and edit it–that came from here–but that really took the pressure off of me to get it “perfect” while I was painting because I knew I could adjust the colors or retouch small areas if needed. I didn’t even know what the final outcome would be while I was painting. I was free to just relax and have fun with it and figure it out as I went. I have to say that I’m really pleased with the outcome!

I hope y’all had a great weekend! Thanks for reading!

Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap

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  1. Gimme Some Sugar | Living Well on the Cheap - March 12, 2014

    […] energy, and money to tackle some of the more functional improvements. Soon after I completed the watercolor fruit, this print that I’d ordered from Etsy arrived! I popped it into a frame and hung it up in […]

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