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30 Days of Fruit Illustrations - Part One

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Hello all,
At the beginning of May I decided to follow along with the 30 Days of Art "Fruit" Themed Challenge, which was created by SeaLemon - you can find her on Instagram and YouTube.
I'm normally super apprehensive about starting a challenge like this - in TikTok language I'm the CEO of panicking and hiding halfway through a challenge. I certainly didn't plan on making any sort of commitment at the moment - as well experiencing these strange new times, I also lost a close loved one in the last week of April, and I'm very much on a rollercoaster of emotions at the moment. And yet, here we are, with the first 10 days under my belt and lots of enthusiasm for more designs going forward - how strange?!

I've been posting the designs daily on my Instagram - on my TimorousEclectic account - but I wanted to do a little round up here, for people who don't use Instagram, and also so I could share a bit more about the decisions behind the making, and how I went on to develop the illustration (if at all).

Day 1 - Watermelon

Hand drawn watermelon shapes on navy blue background

For Day One I, all of a sudden  - as in after a gap of about 10 years - decided I wanted to play with china markers again. Random. I wanted to have a bold, but textured line and I thought this would be a fun way to go. I do like the effect, but I want to definitely expand on it - ideally I'd like the line to be about twice as thick! I also played around with making some of my own brushes for Photoshop, by scanning in watercolor paint marks, and then colouring these digitally in a watercolour style. Again, I like the effect but would like to crank it up a notch.

 I drew the watermelon elements individually, and turned them into a Clipart and Digital Paper Pack on my Digital Etsy Shop, and I also expanded on this type of surface design and uploaded some variations to my Society6 and Redbubble stores - although I think this blue background is my favourite!

Day 2 - Blueberry

acrylic paint blueberry painted with a palette knife, against a white background.


Another day of sudden, nostalgic creative drive as I attempted palette knife painting for, again, the first time in about a decade. (As a side note, the fact that I have mad whims like this is the reason I end up hoarding all art supplies, forever.) Because the shape of a blueberry is so simple, I wanted to play with creating texture and "detail" within the basic shape. I feel like I did achieve what I set out to do, and I know things like my colour mixing and understanding of shade and light will come back to me and improve with practice.

I only painted this one, single blueberry but I turned it into a surface pattern and uploaded it to my Society6 and Redbubble stores on a range of backgrounds - I think it looks pretty cool with the really distinct texture and the bold colours!

Day 3 - Pineapple

Sketchbook page showing a ballpoint pen drawing of a pineapple

This was one of the days I struggled with! There are so many options with a pineapple and so many styles that I wanted to try out - colours, lines, shapes, textures - that I just sort of froze for the majority of the day. In the end, I really wanted to keep going with the challenge but I'd left it a little late in the day for getting the paints out, so I decided to go back to my old faithful: ballpoint pen drawings. Definitely not my strongest drawing, but it actually ended up being kind of a fun interpretation when usually pineapples are so bold and colourful!

I didn't scan in or develop this days illustration any further - you beat me this time pineapples, but I will return!

Day 4 - Lemon

Lemon painted with acrylic paint and a palette knife of a white background


Back at it with the palette knife again! I just couldn't resist having another shot at trying to create some movement and life on what is usually quite a flat, even surface. I did have to make myself promise not to do this with every other round/citrus fruit on the list though!

 I feel like the painting of the actual fruit is a step forward with this one, but I really, really don't like that streak of white on the leaves. Shudder. I scanned this - and the other lemon I painted - in to Photoshop (tried to dull that white a bit) and then uploaded the pattern to my Redbubble and Society6 stores - again I really like how it looks with the very textured fruit against the solid, saturated background.

Day 5 - Banana

three rolls of fabric featuring banana prints, standing against a wall.

For this day, I went a little fancy with my post and shared a few of my banana patterns on this fabric mockup (which is from Creatsy). These are digitally drawn and coloured in, pretty simple banana shapes that are quite striking in their own way. They are for sale in my Etsy shop as a Digital Paper Pack, and I liked a couple of the patterns so much that they're up on my Redbubble store - because, seriously, who isn't in the marked for a bright yellow, banana covered shower curtain?

Day 6 - Strawberry

repeating pattern of white, line drawn strawberries on a pink background

Cracked out the Sharpie Marker (nothing like the smell of an alcohol based marker pen at 8 in the morning, yikes) for this one today and drew some, not quite continuous line, but I guess expressive line shapes? I drew probably around 6-8 strawberries, quickly and instinctively and at the end I felt one was a lot stronger than the others so voila, scanned it in and made it into this seamless, repeating pattern. 

I wanted colours that felt true to the strawberry, but also matched the more modern, simple feel of the drawing and I feel I nailed that. I would really like to explore making a Digital Paper Pack with this kind of drawing - but for now, I uploaded this colouring and a more rose gold palette to both my Society6 and Redbubble stores.

Day 7 - Orange

Graphic pattern featuring orange segments and slices, drawn digitally.

I'll be honest, I think this illustration has gotten by far the least love on my Instagram of all the fruits so far, but it's easily in my personal top 3?! I really wanted a simple graphic feel, not too detailed, and with lots of contrast - and I feel like I did that. I drew and coloured these elements indiviually in Photoshop, so that I could combine them to make this design, but also turn them into a Clipart Set and Digital Paper Pack for my Etsy Store. 

Given the lack of response to these designs so far, I haven't made any patterns to put up on Print or Demand, but down the road I might come back to it if I have a bit of free time of an afternoon or something.

Day 8 - Apple

Sketchbook page showing sketches of apples in red pencil

The closes I came to just missing a day altogether - I was just not feeling this. Again, it's not so much that I couldn't get inspired, but as with the pineapple, it's more like I was overwhelmed with ideas and just couldn't settle to anything, so I basically did nothing. 

In the end, the best I could do was these pencil sketches in my Moleskine sketchbook, a little page of "studies", or really more like doodles. On one hand, I'm proud of myself for playing with a different medium (for this challenge) and still making something, but on the other hand, I don't feel this is my best work and I don't love that it's on my grid.

I didn't develop this idea any further, but I did jot down a bunch of the other apple ideas I had and hopefully I'll circle back around to them.

Day 9 - Kiwi

watercolor and mixed media kiwi fruit slices on a pale pink background.

Day 9 started innocently enough with me deciding to crack out my watercolours and have a little go at painting a kiwi slice, only to spend a frustrating hour remembering that I am in fact very bad at watercolours. Rather than scrap what I'd painted and start again with something I'm more comfortable with, I decided to bring in some felt tip pens and fineliners and see if there was a way to resuce the kiwi a bit. I mean, it helped a bit I guess.

Once finished it was scanned and made into a simple repeating pattern in Photoshop, and while I have no plans to upload this to any Print on Demand sites,or do anything further with it at all one thing I do really like is the colour scheme, so I'm calling that a win at least.

Day 10 - Dragonfruit

Dragonfruit illustration painted with acrylic paints and photographed against a white wall.

As soon as I saw what this day was I knew I wanted to crack out the acrylic paint - this was such an insanely fun palette to paint with! I wanted to go for a more layered, translucent wash style than I usually do to try and capture the way these beautiful hues merge into one another and while this is far from perfect, I think it's a pretty nice little study and has a lot of strengths going for it. Plus, did I mention how fun it was to paint?

While the colours definitely make me want to produce a dragonfruit Digital Paper Pack in the future (frankly whether anyone else would want it or not!), for now this dragonfruit was made into a repeating pattern and uploaded to my Redbubble and Society6 stores - on quite a few background colours actually, I just couldn't choose!

Conclusion

I'm enjoying this project so much more than I've ever enjoyed another challenge like this, but I can't quite put my finger on why? Of course, I still have a long way to go, but I'm excited to see what media I decide to play with and to see people react to my little doodles and scribbles on Instagram. I will of course share the rest of the project in two more, 10 day incremement posts, but in the meantine, I'd love to hear of any other art challeneges you enjoy or would recommend? I think I've caught the bug!

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