Wild fruits offer some pretty amazing colors. As the summer months progress, fruit begins to grow and is gathered to enjoy! Not all wild fruit is necessarily edible but all can create beautiful hues, making a rather unique palette.
When gathering berries and wild fruit it is always important to identify what you’re picking, even when the intention is not to eat. Secondly, it’s best to gather from areas that are safe and can withstand harvesting. Gathering the last of the berries from a shrub is not being very mindful of the creatures who rely on the plant for food or the plant’s needs. Luckily, when making natural watercolors, few berries are needed.
What to do
Gather a heaping 1/4 cup of each berry you wish to experiment and paint with.
Mash the berries up individually with a fork.
Next, you’ll want to strain the berries from their seeds and skin with a fine mesh strainer.
Some berries produce more juice (watercolor) than others, so you may want to add additional water.
It’s fun to keep track of what berry you’re using, so be sure to label your bowls of watercolor as they start to look very similar.
Your watercolor paints are now ready for use! Grab some watercolor paper, paint away, and experiment! It’s interesting to see how the color drys after a few minutes, hours, and days. Some colors change dramatically at first and others after a few days.
Some berry options here in New England
Raspberry, Blackberry, Black Raspberry, Blueberry, Autumn Olive, Pokeberry (highly toxic), Elderberry, Strawberry, Chokeberry
(Left to Right Top: Elderberry, Blueberry – Left to Right Bottom: Raspberry, Pokeberry)
Turmeric, Coffee, Various Teas, Hibiscus, Goldenrod, Cabbage, Red Onion, and many more!