Antiqued Fruit Tin

By  Andy B. Jones 

  • Antique Fruit Tin
  • Worksheet


  • Fluted Edge Tray (6-1/2”x6-1/2”) from Painter’s Paradise
  • Plaid FolkArt Acrylic Paints: Bayberry, Brilliant Ultramarine, Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber, Ice Blue Dark, Licorice, Lipstick Red, Red Light, Sap Green, Titanium White, True Burgundy, Yellow Light, Yellow Ochre
  • Silver Brush: Golden Natural: Bright (Shader), Series 2002S, #8, #10; Script Liner, Series 2007S, #2; Square Wash, Series 2008S, 3/4”; Ruby Satin: Filbert, Series 2503S, #8, #10; PCM Studios: Glaze Varnish, Series 1414S, 1”


  • Oil-based polyurethane varnish
  • Cotman Sepia Watercolor
  • Old face cloth

Pattern - Antiqued Fruit Tin

  • Preparation
  • 1. No priming is necessary as tray comes primed. Use glaze varnish brush to slip-slap tray with mix of Bayberry + Burnt Umber + tch. of Titanium White (dull green) allowing visible brush marks. Apply second coat if necessary. Base fluted edge Yellow Ochre.
  • 2. Print out pattern; transfer basic pattern lines onto tray. (Transfer details as needed.)
  • Artist's Tips
  • 1. For color mix ratios, the first color listed is the main color and the second used is a lesser amount (e.g., use first color then add some of second color for desired color.) The three color mix would be the same; add much more of first color than second color, and more of second color than third color.
  • 2. Refer to worksheet.

  • Basecoating
  • 1. Undercoat design elements as listed for opaque coverage with dry brush (brush should be completely dry) using largest brush that can easily be manipulated in an area: pear Yellow Ochre; lemon rind Yellow Lt.; inside lemon with mix of Yellow Ochre + a tiny bit of Burnt Umber; leaves with mix of Sap Green + Burnt Umber; grapes with mix of Brilliant Ultramarine + tch. of Burnt Umber.
  • Shading
  • 1. Shade elements using a side-loaded brush. Be sure paint on edge of brush is fully loaded; you don't want to apply several layers to achieve desired darkness. Shade pear Burnt Sienna; repeat shading with mix of Burnt Sienna + Burnt Umber covering less space and allowing first shading to still be visible. Shade inside lemon with mix of Sap Green + tch. of Burnt Umber. Shade right side of lemon rind with mix of Burnt Sienna + tch. of Burnt Umber. Do not shade leaves and grapes.
  • Highlighting
  • 1. Highlight elements using a dry filbert brush and scant amount of paint using layering technique. Always begin highlight where you want highlight to be brightest. Do not add water to brush during highlight process.
  • 2. For pear, highlight Yellow Ochre, then with mix of Yellow Ochre + Yellow Lt., then Yellow Lt., and then with mix of Yellow Lt. + Titanium White. Add more Titanium White for final highlight. Use shader to blush or tint pear with wash of Red Lt. and then Lipstick Red or True Burgundy.
  • 3. For lemon rind, highlight Yellow Lt., then with mix of Yellow Lt. + Titanium White. Add a touch of Sap Green along left edge. For final highlight, stipple or dab more Titanium White for textured look.
  • 4. Lightly transfer lemon sections with pencil. Use liner to paint sections with mix of Titanium White + Yellow Ochre + Burnt Umber. Highlight with Yellow Lt., then with mix of Yellow Lt. + Titanium White, and then with a little more Titanium White making sure highlights on right are lighter.
  • 5. For leaves, highlight with mix of Sap Green + Yellow Lt.; continue to add Yellow Lt. as you build highlights. Add a tiny amount of Titanium White to final highlights.
  • 6. For grapes, side-load shader with Ice Blue Dk. to begin forming shape; float light half with a half circle stroke. Then load liner with same color and line to form any dark edges that are visible. Use filbert to begin building highlights on light side with Ice Blue Dk., then add some Titanium White to mix. Continue to build highlights as needed.
  • Antiquing
  • 1. Use square wash brush to apply a thin even coat of Sepia watercolor over tin. Let dry. Begin removing antiquing to reveal design but so edges remain dark. Using fresh part of cloth wrapped around index finger, remove antiquing from highlighted areas of fruit design and background. Leave antiquing darker in shadow areas of design. (Note: Be sure to change to clean portion of rag often as you remove antiquing.) When satisfied with antiquing, allow piece to rest a few minutes. If too much antiquing is removed, simple reapply Sepia watercolor. If you are not pleased with results, wet cloth and wash antiquing off completely and try again.
  • Antiquing: Artist's Tips
  • 1. I usually squeeze the watercolor into a small plastic container with a tight fitting lid so I can keep it fresh for next time. When applying watercolor, it should be of thin syrup consistency. After watercolor is applied, you want to be able to see painted design just slightly. Should you not like the antiquing, you will be able to remove it. If watercolor "creeps", add a drop or two of liquid dishwashing liquid to it; the soap will cause it to flow out smoothly. Allow watercolor to dry completely before removing. To remove antiquing, dampen old face cloth; wring out well. Fold cloth into soft pad and begin wiping away antiquing. Rinse cloth out often so as not to redeposit antiquing; make sure to wring cloth out well after each rinse.
  • Finishing
  • 1. Apply oil-based varnish. (Note: Do not use water-based varnish as it will wash off watercolor.) Let dry overnight.
  • Refine Design
  • 1. Do not attempt to repaint piece, just freshen highlights and add details. Highlight pear and lemon with Yellow Lt, then with mix of Yellow Lt. + Titanium White, and then Titanium White. Paint leaf veins with mix of Titanium White + Sap Green + Yellow Lt. For grapes, freshen highlight with blues listed, then add wash of True Burgundy or Red Lt. to dark sides. Use liner to add some reflected blue or green highlights. Base pear and grape stems with mix of Burnt Umber + Licorice; highlight Ice Blue Dk. then Titanium White.
  • 2. Apply two additional oil-based varnish coats.