How to Paint With Blueberries!





Introduction: How to Paint With Blueberries!

About: Im a woodworker and restoration painter from Finland with a bloodtype of diy.

Way way back in in the day when i was just a young lad in my early 30's i was going through an experimental phase...
Ok not really that far back, it was in the year of 2011 and I was experimenting with making my own paints from common things found in nature. In Finland where i live our forests are full of blueberries in the fall and i remembered from my childhood a time when i got scolded for dropping some blueberries on a white rug. It was said that blueberry stains might never come off. I can't recall if the stain washed off or not but i figured perhaps blueberries would make a nice paint!

In my experiment i used an airbrush and painted on canvas but you can do this with regular paint brush and water color paper. If you use a paintbrush then you can just read the first and step then skip to the last!

Here is what you need to make your blueberry paint!

  1. A handful of frozen blueberries (frozen or fresh doesn't matter really)!
  2. A microwave oven!
  3. A cup or glass that can be used in the microwave oven!
  4. Pantyhose ... wait did he say pantyhose? Yes you read that correctly, pantyhose are perfect for filtering paint.
    Just a small tip, if you're a single guy like i was the first time i needed pantyhose for filtering paint, don't walk up to random girls and ask if they can spare some old pantyhose. Instead just head on to the store and buy a few pairs, don't start explaining why you need them either.. JUST BUY A PAIR (not gonna give you the backstory, just trust me on this ok)!

Moving on to step 1

Step 1: Preparing the Blueberries

Take a handful a handful of frozen blueberries!

Put them in a cup or glass that can be used in the microwave oven. Next put them in the microwave for 2 minutes at about 600 watts! Be careful not to burn yourself when you take them out!

After nuking them mash them up with a spoon, then put a piece of pantyhose over another glass or cup and pour the blueberries through the pantyhose!

The Filtered juice is your finished paint, just let it cool down a bit before you begin painting!

Step 2: Airbrushing With Blueberry Paint!

Coming up with a motive wasn't difficult in this case, after all what would be a better motive for my test piece than Fats Domino!

Got a reference photo and drew out the lines on a piece of frisket. I used a razor blade to cut out the basic shape in the frisket and painted some outlines. After that i removed the frisket and continued freehanding!

Step 3: Some Notes

At this point i was surprised how well blueberries worked, like they were made for airbrushing!

Something to note!

Blueberry juice darkens and changes color when it dries and if you go over the same spot enough times it becomes almost black!

Step 4: What Happens When Blueberry Paint Ages!

This image was taken 2 years after i painted the painting, as you can see it still looks pretty good but the color has gone from a red/purple/blue to almost grey! This change happened slowly during the 2 years and after this the painting has not changed any further. Total time since i painted is now about 4 years.

This tutorial was initially written in finnish back in 2011, here is a link to the Finnish version



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    9 Discussions

    At that time i tested coffee, tea, beetroot, carrots, charcoal, medical charcoal. But i have made paint from other things in the past, due to my profession i have often had to make my own dry pigments from different earth layers and sea shells. Other things that are not so natural has been grinding down graphite from old pencils where the core has broken due to clumsy hands dropping the pencils. Have also turned plastic into a liquid paint using acerone. Those are the things that i remember from the top of my head.

    Going to write more instructables over time, just need to search old photos (allot of my experiments were done before time of digital images).

    This is fresh. Your choice of subject for this piece was spot on (obviously). Nice job.

    Have you done any more blueberry airbrush paintings since this one? Or experimented with any other fruit juice airbrushing?

    3 replies

    I have done other blueberry paintings since but i don't have any photos. Have also tried allot of other sources from nature and i plan to post some more as instructables.

    I look forward to it!

    You should try to get someone to take a process shot of you loading the airbrush tool and painting. :)

    That would make things easier but my workshop is about an hour away from civilization so its hard to convince anyone to come visit.