Toad Hollow Studio's Drawing Tutorials And Classes by Carol Rosinski

Pencil Drawing Video - Still Life Study Of Apples

One of the things I love about drawing is that you don't need a lot of art supplies to do it. I just used a pencil, paper, and kneaded eraser to draw this still life. Here are a few frames from the video and some notes about how I drew it. The video is at the bottom of the page.
pencil drawing video - line

The apples were setting about three feet away and I drew them at life size. I used an HB pencil for the entire drawing.

Drawing steps:

  • Took measurements with my pencil and thumb and marked them on the paper.
  • Lightly drew a rough composition.
  • Drew the outlines with more accuracy.
pencil drawing video - highlights

  • Shaded from top to bottom to help mimic the apple surface grain.
  • Added cast shadows.
  • Worked to create rounded form by studying the values and correcting the shading where needed.

pencil drawing video - erasing highlights

  • Corrected values for the final time and erased the largest and brightest highlights.
  • This drawing took about 35 minutes.

still life pencil drawing

Still Life Drawing Tips

Still lifes don't have to be made of anything more than simple things you can find nearby right now. Lighting is important though, so try to arrange one main light to one side and slightly above the still life. It should cast easily seen shadows.

Remember that shadows "push" a form back into space and highlights "pull" it forward. When you think of it like this, drawing is a lot like sculpting and it helps you to draw well when you think of the shading as creating three dimensional shape.

Art Supplies Used:

  • HB Drawing Pencil
  • Kneaded Eraser
  • Smooth Drawing Paper

Video: Three Apples Drawn From Life

Carol Rosinski
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Toad Hollow Studio - Teaching how to draw since 1999