Practice Method #5 - Sketch A Shell & A Fruit


Cockle Shell & Persimmon

If you find yourself so busy working with watercolor as a botanical illustrator, you may like this new Practice Method #5!

Free edx course

In the summer of 2016, I took a wonderful FREE edX Course online and during the course I sketched out a Cockle shell and a Persimmon.  I completed both of them fairly quickly, the shell within just a few hours, and the Persimmon in a couple of days - here a little and there a little - So I thought they would make an excellent practice method to show you.

Sketch a Cockle Shell

The Cockle shell I did on a Sunday afternoon in total leisure - As a matter of fact, I was so relaxed that I did not even think to take photos until it was almost completely drawn out.  I apologize for that because I love to show you my step by step progress.  I hope you will still get the idea :)

I found it to be quite mesmerizing drawing all of those lines so closely together on this beautiful shell… 


Before I knew it, I had completed it and was ready to move on!


I chose to put the shell on a 5 x 7 piece of Arches, hot pressed, 140 lb watercolor paper so that I could frame it or make prints from it later.  It ended up being a wonderful framed birthday gift for a dear friend.

Sketch A Persimmon

Next I began to draw a Persimmon that had been on my art desk for almost a month!  Honestly, I’m surprised it held out so long.


I was hoping to finish this in at least two days’ time – and I reached my goal barely.  I wanted to do it just to encourage myself to speed up a little.  I was ready for the challenge!


Frame it!

After drawing this Persimmon, I ate it.  I had never had a Persimmon before and it was quite enjoyable not only to draw, but tasty too!  Although the real fruit is gone, the drawing has been preserved and framed and hangs on my wall today...


Make A sTudy Page

You can do any kind of shell or fruit for this practice method, but these two subjects were just enough of a challenge for me.  However, if you would like to add to this practice method, you could make a study page out of these two subjects and maybe add a small leaf like I did for my course...


I completed all of these works using a 2H pencil overall and a 5B for the darker shadowed areas on the Persimmon.  I hope you find them as fun and rewarding as I did!



Constance Reeder