Painting a Colorful Cantaloupe

As any of my former colleagues will tell you, I’ve been a little pink/magenta crazy… Magenta blouses, scarves, accessories, and even in presentations or other design work I haven’t been afraid to use this vibrant color — I love it!

Nowadays this color still attracts me, so it was with great joy this week that I saw my art teacher using magenta for her underpainting. I was also pleasantly surprised, because given the still life set up, this color wouldn’t have crossed my mind. Who would think magenta would meet yellow and orange in a cantaloupe? This was going to be a blast to paint!

For the curious readers who may want to start with pastels. I’d love to share some good tips, I’ve learned so far during my art classes and also to give you a behind-the-scenes view in how a still life set up becomes a painting (otherwise scroll to the top to enjoy my visualization):


  • Paper: 1 colored (sienna) sheet 9″ x 12″ from my favorite brand “Pastelmat”;
  • Basic set of hard pastels from the brand “Prismacolor Nupastels”;
  • Dark background color: a brown/black Soft Pastel (dark toned set “Senneliers”);
  • To highlight some spots: white, yellow, purple Soft Pastel (basic color set “Senneliers”).


  • I started with a monochromatic underpainting in magenta to block in the overall composition and the dark and middle values (magenta Hard Nupastel);
  • The next step I did was adding the dark background color (brown/ black Soft Pastel Senneliers). Right away your composition will pop up and get more depth;
  • In this step I added more colors and just did what came to my mind, while moving my hand freely over the paper. I used olive green, sap green, cadmium red, yellow ochre, cadmium yellow, purple, light blue, dark blue, warm white, orange, alizarin, magenta and egg plant;
  • In the end I used soft pastels to highlight some spots in the drawing: warm yellow, warm white and purple/grey.

Feel free to share your creations if the spirits move you!

Comments 1

  1. Susie Sullivan

    Wow, Simone! You make it seem easy, but I know it’s your eye for everything design that can produce such a beautiful piece. Love it!

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