Summer is here! Keep an eye out for growing fruits. Now is also a great time to collect and draw full, green leaves. If you’re following a plant all year, track the progress of its growing fruit or seed pods, and draw its green leaves. It’s also strawberry season! Try drawing the pattern of seeds on a strawberry. If you can find a fruit tree, draw the fruit at this stage, even if it’s not quite ripe, a baby fruit can be a very sweet drawing.
The harvest is coming! Now is a great time to look for edible fruits and vegetables. When you’re done drawing your subject, be sure to taste it! 🙂 If you’re following a plant all year, are its fruits mature? Investigate how its seeds might disperse at this time of year. Is there a dried seed pod? What do the seeds look like? If the seeds are really small, try drawing them 2-3x bigger to capture the details.
If you can find lots of stages of your subject (fruit, seeds, flowers, etc), try preparing a complex composition.
Looking for inspiration? See what our botanical artists are drawing around the globe!
Wendy Hollender, Accord, NY, USA
Catskills, Upstate NY
Summer begins, and so much is blooming now, and of course there are plenty of edibles emerging, so foraging season is upon us, too! You can learn which weeds are edible and draw your way to some delicious healthy dining and fun drawing. There is no better summer subject than digging out some vegetables as they are growing. If you don’t have your own vegetable garden, make friends with your local farmer and discover the magic of what our food looks like in the ground. Radishes are great subjects, we draw the swollen roots and leaves first, and then the flower and seed pods as they emerge later on in summer. Every year I focus on something different. I hope to one day draw all my edible plants and trees growing in my garden. So many complex flowers start to appear in summer. Every year I like to revisit the most challenging ones. Roses, peonies, and dahlias are really complex, and I like to challenge myself to capture a really delicate bunch of ruffling petals, get the light just right on a rose, and really understand the center of a sunflower. And now the fruiting trees are starting to go wild. Notice the fruit laden sagging branches and as you thin the fruit, start some drawings. Once a fruit is ripe do a finished drawing, add in a cross section and of course eat your subjects! Write about the taste!
Sam McWilliams, Vancouver, BC, Canada
My farmer friends, Kimi and Kareno of Sweet Digz Organic Farm in Richmond, BC, gifted me this black beauty mini watermelon start, and I planted it in my art studio garden plot. I’d never grown watermelon before, and it was so much fun to watch it grow, harvest it, draw it, and eat it! I love drawing all the veggie bounty from Sweet Digz Farm. During farm season, I work one day a week for them – it’s my favorite day of the week, and I leave loaded up with inspiration, great food, and bountiful drawing subjects.
Esther Carpi, Del Mar, CA, USA
I love to paint a seasonal walk in the woods. Since I do not live near a “woods”. I painted a walk on the beach.
I love to paint the vegetables growing in my garden. I often plant them just to paint them.
I love to document the plants in my garden and summer brings lots of colorful plants to paint.
How else can you find subjects and get inspired to draw this season?
Go for a walk (go to a park, a hike, a body of water, wander your backyard)
Visit a local farmers market and ask them what their favorite plant is doing this season.