Have you ever had an “aha” moment where you feel like everything you’ve been striving to achieve just falls into place? Those moments don’t come very often, so when they do, they’re certainly worth celebrating. In this post, I’m celebrating my own “aha” moment. It came about as I was working in my Moleskine sketchbook. I decided to use the simplest of lines to create a two-page fruit illustration. Imagining little people interacting with my fruits was a fun way to continue to stretch my imagination. And, because the lines for my peeps also stayed simple, adding minimal shading and watercolor complimented the illustration really nicely. I think of this as Loopy Fruit Art, but my brain was anything but loopy when I created it!

Loopy Fruit Art

Here’s a look at my process. Specifically, from the point where I took my freehand-drawn ink illustration through to adding shading and then the first pops of color:


The video above has been sped up. What you’re seeing (the shading on the upper two-thirds of the pages, followed by the coloring of the raspberries and lemon) took about 9 minutes in real time. I’m not sure how long it took me to color the entire illustration. As with the drawing, I got absorbed by the flow of what I was doing and lost track of time. (That’s one of the reasons I love to draw!)

The Finished Illustration

Loopy Fruit Art Moleskine ink and watercolor illustration by Joana Miranda

Is now available as a print in my shop at Etsy!

Loopy Fruit Art print by Joana Miranda Studio.  Available at Joana Miranda Studio at Etsy

A Final Thought…

Simplicity is the final achievement. After one has played a vast quantity of notes and more notes, it is simplicity that emerges as the crowning reward of art.

Frederic Chopin


    • Joana says:

      I, too, love fruit. My favorite, watermelon, didn’t make “the cut” for this illustration, but that was only because I wanted to keep my fruits to a slightly smaller scale. Actually, cherries are probably my favorite and, as you can see, they DID make it into the illustration.:-)

      What are your favorite fruits?

      xox – Joana

      • Helen Reich says:

        Cherries are also among my favorites! Gosh, it’s hard to choose. Lately, I’ve been enjoying the blood orange crop, along with the other citrus fruits that are a little less acidic (easier on my sensitive teeth). I also love plums, peaches, nectarines, kiwis (especially the rare and expensive golden kiwis, swoon), and I do like trying the various varieties of antique apples and pears that you can find around here at farmers markets. Of course, for much of the summer, I have a huge raspberry crop, and even though they are delicious, they just don’t count as favorites because of all those seeds!

        • Joana says:

          Hi Helen,

          Your email made my mouth water! I haven’t eaten too many blood oranges but I think I’ll get some this week. I tried a golden kiwi last year but I didn’t like it quite as well as the green ones. (Maybe I didn’t get a good one?) I love a perfectly ripe persimmon, and adore pomegranate seeds, too. Passion fruit is a flavor that you find quite a bit in Portugal, but I don’t think I’ve ever eaten an actual passion fruit (I do love the flavor.) Recently, I tried a dragon fruit and then remembered that I had actually tried one once before and found it utterly tasteless. I ADORE fresh apricots. I think I love them more than plums, peaches and nectarines, but mostly because apricots aren’t as juicy/messy as those other stone fruits.

          When we lived in California (I was a wee thing then) we used to go berry picking at the local farms and come home with strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and ollollyberries (sp?) Whenever we can, my mom and I still go to local farms in NH to pick whatever’s in season. Mostly, it’s blueberries, raspberries and apples. But sometimes we can also pick sour pie cherries.

          What are your favorite apples? I’ve never tried an antique apple. Just an old one…;-)
          xox – Joana

  1. Helen Reich says:

    Oh, I forgot about the apricots! I agree completely, I love them for all the same reasons. I forgot about mango, blueberries and strawberries.

    Well, there are lots of heirloom apple varieties. I kind of like the tart Russet varieties……fall Russet, summer Russet, golden Russet. Winesaps are also nice. There’s a rare variety to try if you ever get a chance…..it’s called Pink Pearl, and it’s a small green apple with pink flesh. It’s hard to keep track of all of them, really.

    • Joana says:

      Hi Helen,

      I’ll look out for those Russet and Pink Pearl apples! Last summer my mom and I picked apples at an orchard in NH. We picked two different varieties (though I’m now drawing a blank on their names.) Interestingly, the more popular “eating” apple turned out to be utterly tasteless. The other variety we picked made for ONE amazing batch of applesauce. However, a few days later when I went to use those same apples for some apple pie bars and another batch of applesauce, the apples remained hard and refused to mush down. Odd, eh? It’s almost like their chemical composition changed in the few extra hours of being off the branch. (There was a drought in New England last summer, so maybe that’s why the apples were behaving oddly?)

      I LOVE mangos, blueberries and strawberries when they’re really fresh and ripe. Blueberries and strawberries are especially nice picked off the vine and warmed by the sun. 🙂

      XOX – Joana

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