Learning how to draw different items will not only help you enhance your drawing skills but also teach you how to see simple shapes that make a more complex subject. In this how-to-draw a butternut squash tutorial, I will show you how to sketch a butternut squash and add value to the squash to create a realistic drawing.
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First, I will show you how to draw a butternut squash’s outline, and then I will show you how to add value, highlights, and shadows with images and video, which will create a three-dimensional illusion to make the squash pop of your drawing surface.
Butternut squash comes in various sizes and shapes, making them a fun subject for artists to paint and draw.
Squash has beautiful curved lines that will help you to enhance your drawing skills.
Learning to draw a squash is similar to learning to draw an apple or grapes.
The skin of butternut squash, apples, and grapes is smooth, which makes the light react similarly to each subject.
While this drawing tutorial will demonstrate how to add shadows and highlights for a realistic drawing, it can also be a fun exercise for kids.
Kids can learn how to draw the contour of the butternut squash in just a few easy steps and color it with crayons or colored pencils.
I encourage all children to have fun with their creative minds, and this easy drawing should be included in their coloring page portfolio.
I recommend using a reference image of butternut squash for your butternut squash drawing.
I use Pixabay for reference images for most of my tutorials.
Pixabay offers stunning free images and royalty-free stock, which you can use for practicing your art skills.
For my original drawings, I get most of my images at Wildlife Reference Photos or commissioned jobs.
Reference image courtasy of Pixabay.
Below is a list of all the materials I use for my drawings. I purchase all of my drawing supplies online at Blick Art Materials.
- Strathmore 300 Series Bristol Board Pads 9″ x 12″ Smooth
- Strathmore 300 Series Bristol Board Pads 9″ x 12″ Velum
- General’s Factis Magic Black Eraser
- Tombow Mono Zero Refillable Eraser
- Prismacolor Kneaded Rubber Erasers
- Alvin Dry Cleaning Pad
How To Draw A Butternut Squash Step By Step
You can create the drawing larger or smaller if you wish. But if you draw the squash too small, you will find it challenging to add subtle value changes and details to the drawing.
Drawing Tip: The proportions of the subject you are drawing must be accurate if your goal is to draw a realistic drawing. Use the grid method to sketch the subject will help keep the proportions accurate. You can also use this to practice sketching squash to enhance your sketching skills.
Learning how to see value changes and simple shapes of a subject is an essential part of drawing and sketching.
This exercise and the other still life drawing tutorials will help you see soft value changes and simple shapes that create a more complex subject.
Note: The lines in the drawing below are darker than I usually sketch for my drawings.
I only outlined the squash darker in this drawing tutorial so that you can see them better in this post.
Sketching the subject lightly will make it easier to erase the subject’s outline after adding the shading.
Nothing in life has a line around it.
If you are trying to create realistic drawings, you want to create a form and separate planes with values, not outlines.
Values are the different shades you will be drawing with your graphite pencil.
Easy Squash Pencil Drawing
We will start by sketching the butternut squash outline. This is also known as the contour or the butternut squash.
Drawing Tips – Sketch the butternut squash lightly so you can easily erase the guidelines later.
Keep in mind that you will adjust the drawing as you go along; this is just a rough sketch.
Use the grid method if you are interested in drawing a realistic drawing.
This how-to draw a butternut squash tutorial starts by sketching an oval shape for the bottom of the squash.
Notice in the reference image that the oval shape is more narrow at the top that connects to the top section of the squash.
Drawing Tip: If you are not using the grid method, use your pencil or a ruler to be more accurate with the proportions of the squash.
Next, draw an oval that goes about a quarter through the bottom circle you sketched.
Drawing Tip: Use light lines when you are drawing the rough sketch. When you finish sketching the squash, it will be easier to erase any unwanted lines.
Draw the stem of the squash.
Refer to the reference image to see where the stem sits on top of the squash.
Drawing tip: Use a sharp pencil when you are drawing and sketching realistic drawings.
Draw the stem of the squash.
Refer to the reference image for the proportions and where the stem sits on top of the squash.
The last step is to erase all unnecessary guidelines you drew in the initial sketch.
As you can see, it is easy to sketch a squash by seeing the simple shapes that build a squash.
More Fun Still Life Drawing Tutorials:
Drawing Tip: Study your drawing and the reference image to see if any adjustments need to be made before adding value to the squash.
At this point, you could give the contour drawing of the squash to your child to color.
You must add values, highlights, and shadows to draw a realistic drawing.
To learn more, visit Drawing Tips For Realistic Drawings – The Elements Of Shading.
Add Value To The Squash
Adding value to the squash will create a three-dimensional illusion and make the squash pop off the drawing surface.
Before you add value to your drawing, stand back to think about what you will be drawing.
Identify the direction from which the light is coming and where the darkest values are on the squash.
Adding value to the squash is a valuable exercise for drawing soft value changes.
The soft value changes are similar to drawing portraits and figure drawings.
Is there a cast shadow?
A cast shadow is a shadow that casts from an object or figure.
The cast shadow varies in value and is not a solid shape. The closer the cast shadow is from an object, the darker it will be. The farther the cast shadow is from an object, the lighter and less defined it will be.
Drawing Tip: The darkest part of an object is where the light does not hit.
Start by adding value with your 2H pencil to the darkest area of the squash.
Drawing Tip: Using a 2H pencil first will condition the paper and add graphite to the bottom of the tooth on your drawing paper. This will prevent the little white dots you will get if you start with a softer lead. Start applying graphite with your HB pencil when you can not get any more value from your 2H pencil. If the area is still not dark enough, continue with your 2B pencil.
Work from dark to light and follow the contour of the squash.
Begin each line from the darkest area and draw towards the lighter areas reducing the pressure as you go, and lightly lift the pencil off the paper to feather the edge to white.
Do not be concerned about the dimple at this point. We will add the fine details at the end.
Start by adding graphite to the darkest areas of the squash.
The reference image shows that darker values are at the bottom of the squash and around the edges. The darker values create the contour and shape of the squash.
You will want to draw the darker and lighter value to create the round shape of the squash.
Drawing Tip: Squint your eyes when observing a subject’s lighter and darker values.
Keep looking at your reference photo to identify where the darkest darks are.
Don’t worry about adding too much detail at this point. The objective is only to add value to the darkest areas.
Drawing Tips: The darkest areas are where light does not hit.
Continue to add graphite to the darker areas.
Use a 2H pencil until the area does not get darker, then use an HB pencil.
Gradually lighten up the value where the lighter sections of the squash are.
Drawing Tip: Work from dark to light to create a soft value change. Make sure your pencil is sharp so the graphite reaches the valleys of the paper.
Drawing Tip: Continue to darken areas by drawing over an area with cross-hatching. Be sure not to leave any gaps between the lines. The more you cross-hatch over an area, the smoother the values will become.
Use an HB and a 2B pencil to continue adding graphite to the darkest areas of the squash.
Draw in any lines that you miss.
Drawing Tip: Fill in any spaces or dots you miss while adding the graphite to the drawing surface. Do not put this off to another time because you could miss some imperfections making the drawing look less realistic.
Use a Tombow Mono Zero Refillable Eraser to draw in the highlights.
Refer to the reference image to observe where the highlights are.
Use a Prismacolor Kneaded Rubber Eraser to remove some value where the light hits the squash.
Draw the stem with a 2H pencil.
Congratulations, you have completed the how to draw a butternut squash tutorial.
You can continue the above steps to see how far you can take your drawings.