Learning how to draw a lemon is an easy subject to practice your artistic skills using curved lines and creating a rough texture. Creating realistic pencil drawings can be accomplished by adding shadows and highlights to the lemon and leaves. In this how to draw a lemon drawing tutorial, I am going to share with you my drawing techniques so your pencil drawings will pop off the drawing surface.
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Lemons come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors which make them a fun subject for artists to paint and draw.
Some lemons are oval in shape while others are more round which makes drawing lemons a top choice for artists when it comes to creating still-life artwork.
The skin of pumpkins, bananas, apples, and grapes is smooth but lemons have dimples that make the light react differently when it hits the surface of the lemon.
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 lemon 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 lemons for your lemon 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.
I chose this reference image because of the way the light is hitting the lemon hanging from the lemon tree. The shadows and the texture of the lemon will be a challenge but will be a great practice to enhance drawing soft value changes.
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 Lemon Step By Step
You can create the drawing larger or smaller if you wish. But if you draw the lemon too small you will find it difficult to add subtle value changes and details to the drawing.
Drawing Tip: The proportions of the subject you are drawing have to be accurate if your goal is to draw a realistic drawing. Using the grid method to sketch out the subject will help you to keep the proportions accurate.
You can also use this as a practice for sketching lemons to enhance your sketching skills.
Learning how to see value changes and simple shapes of a subject is an important part of the drawing.
Note: The lines in the drawing below are darker than what I normally sketch for my drawings.
I only drew the outline of the lemon darker in this drawing tutorial so you can see them better in this post.
Sketching the subject lightly will make it easier to erase the outline of the subject after you have added 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.
Sketch The Lemon
Start by sketching the lemon outline.
Drawing Tips – Sketch the lemon lightly so you can easily erase the guidelines later.
Keep in mind that you will be adjusting the drawing as you go along, this is just a rough sketch at this point.
Use the grid method if you are interested in drawing a realism drawing.
Start by lightly sketching the bottom of the lemon using a “C” shape curve
Draw the tip of the lemon with a small “C” shape and the top of the lemon with a larger “C” shape.
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 lemon.
Sketch the part of the leaf overlapping the lemon with a “cone” shape.
Continue to draw the leaf with a curve line for the top and a curve line for the bottom of the leaf.
Draw the stem of the lemon with two parallel lines.
Drawing Tip: Continue to refer to the reference image. Do not press too hard when you are sketching the lemon. Pressing too hard will make it difficult to lighten up the lines which will make it impossible to draw soft value changes.
Lightly sketch the second leave with curve shapes that connect in the middle of the leaf.
Finish the lemon sketch by drawing in the rest of the leaf and stem.
Drawing Tip: Compare your sketch with the reference image and make any necessary adjustments.
At this point, you could give the contour drawing of the lemon to your child to color.
To draw a realistic drawing, you will have to add value to the lemon and lemon leaves.
To learn more visit Drawing Tips For Realistic Drawings – The Elements Of Shading.
Add Value To The Lemon
Adding value to the lemon will create a three-dimensional illusion and make the lemon pop off the drawing surface.
Before you start to add value to your drawing stand back to think about what you are going to be drawing.
Identify which direction the light is coming from and where the darkest values are on the lemon, the lemon leaves, and the stem.
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 to 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 lemon.
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. When you can not get any more value from your 2H pencil start applying graphite with your HB 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 lemon.
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 line 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 lemon.
This will be at the bottom of the fruit.
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 to only add value to the darkest areas.
Drawing Tips: The darkest areas are where light does not hit.
Gradually lighten up the value where the lighter sections of the lemon 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.
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 end up missing some imperfections making the drawing look less realistic.
Separate the leaf and the lemon by different values, not a single line.
In real life, objects are separated by value changes. Cartoon drawings have an outline of the different objects.
Lightly tap off any imperfections with your kneaded eraser.
Drawing Tip: Continue to fill in any lines that you miss and tap off any dark spots while you are drawing.
Next, add value to the leaves. Refer to the reference image to notice the different values.
Add graphite to the bottom of the stem and lighten up as you get to the top of the stem.
Continue to add value to the leaf.
At this point, you could say the drawing is completed.
But you can take your drawings as far as you wish.
Add graphite to the valleys of the dimples in the lemon skin and remove graphite with a kneaded eraser to create highlights.
Adding the fine details will help you when you are learning how to draw animal drawings.
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