Juicy Wild Blackberries

A few weeks ago, after I posted a watercolor of wild blackberries, several people recommended creating another painting using the juice of the berries. I liked the idea, so this morning while my wife and I were out picking wild blackberries for a cobbler, I created a sketch using berry juice as paint.

I sketched the blackberries in pencil, then ink, until I got a drawing I liked. Then I crushed a few berries, watching their vivid, rose-colored juice collect in the corner of a small, flat-bottomed container. The berries gave off a sweet fragrance and I imagined how great that cobbler was going to taste.

After selecting an old brush to guard against damaging my good sable brushes, I began to paint. Dipping my brush into the juice, I applied the first layer and watched as it soaked into the paper and turned a grayish purple color. But when I applied additional layers, the juice kept its beautiful pink color. The final painting looked deceptively like two different colors. I have no idea how long the pigment will last without fading, but with a scan or photograph, I’ll be able to enjoy the colors forever.

With the painting complete, we headed home to make cobbler.

We didn’t realize how many berries we’d picked and were surprised to measure out 10 full cups. We created two cobblers, enough to share with friends. I sketched the cobbler right out of the oven because I had a feeling it wouldn’t last. I was right.

The recipe I used can be found on Jean’s wonderful recipe blog Delightfulrepast.com.

8 thoughts on “Juicy Wild Blackberries

  1. Thanks Jean! Yes, your blackberry cobbler was definitely worth sketching–and eating! Glad you like it.

  2. Great idea!! I make many berry cobblers as we have a few bushes in the backyard. Next time I’ll have to try your idea for using the juice to paint with. Sure sounds like fun.

  3. Thanks Clair! There are tons of wild blackberries around my house right now and I almost never see anyone picking them. But that’s ok, more for me! I hope you get to make cobbler this year, it’s so delicious.
    Yes, if you get a chance, try painting with the juice. All you have to do is squeeze the berries and the juice is ready for painting. It’s easy and fun!

  4. Thanks Michael for your comment! I had never picked wild blackberries until recently and now I can’t believe I’ve let all those berries dry up! I agree, Blackberry cobbler with a scoop of ice cream is about as good as it gets.

  5. Thanks Peter! Well, thanks to you and a couple of other people on Flickr for mentioning the idea! It was a fun experiment. BTW, how’s your painting coming along? : )

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