Tutorial: How to paint oranges in watercolour

Oranges are such a fresh, summery fruit! And they’re really easy to paint in watercolour.

In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to paint a whole orange, using shading to make it seem spherical and adding texture to the skin. And then we’ll paint a cut orange half, adding segments and letting them blend together. Let’s get started!

tutorial how to paint oranges in watercolor

What you will need


  • Cadmium Orange
  • Scarlet Lake

All the watercolour paint I use is Winsor & Newton Professional. 

How to paint oranges in watercolour – step by step

  1. Start by creating a circle in a light orange wash. Drop some clean water in the top edge and let it spread to create a highlight.
  2. Add an arc of darker orange on the underneath opposite the highlight and allow to blend out.
  3. Repeat again with an arc of red right on the shadow side and allow to blend..
  4. While it dries, add another ring in a mid-orange colour. Then paint a small triangle in the centre for the segment.
  5. Change the colour on your brush and add a second segment triangle, letting them touch. It could be more red, or more water to fade the value. Repeat the process until all the segments are complete.
  6. Finish with little touches of red along the edges of some segments to create contrast.

And that’s how you paint an orange in watercolour! I love to fill up a whole page like this.

Other watercolour fruit tutorials

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