In the first part of this tutorial, you will learn how to draw a plum and a list of my favorite drawing supplies.
In just a few easy steps, you will learn how to draw the contour of a plum (the outline of the plum).
The second part of the post will show how to draw realistic drawings by adding values, shadows, and highlights.
Plums come in various sizes, shapes, and shapes, which make them a fun subject for artists to paint and draw.
Staging a variety of summer fruits and vegetables can make a beautiful still life drawing everyone would love to display in their kitchen.
Plums have beautiful curved lines that will help you to enhance your drawing skills.
The skin of plums, apples, and grapes is smooth, making the light react similarly to each subject.
While this drawing tutorial will demonstrate adding 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 apricot 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 for all of your drawings.
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.
I get most of my images at Wildlife Reference Photos or commissioned jobs for my original drawings.
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Reference image courtasy of Pixabay.
My Favorit Drawing Supplies
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
If you want to draw a plum with colors, read Pastel Pencils vs. Colored Pencils.
How To Draw A Plum Step By Step
Like most how-to-draw fruit lessons, this tutorial begins with sketching a simple circle.
Do not be concerned about drawing a perfect circle.
Most fruits in real life are not entirely round.
Study the reference image and notice that the bottom of the plum is more narrow and flat.
Next, draw a “V” and a curved line at the top of the “V” that does not connect from one end of the “V” to the other.
This is where the stem connects to the plum. In this drawing, there is no stem, but you could draw one by drawing two parallel lines for the stem.
The last step is to draw in the highlight and the cast shadow.
Study the reference image and observe which direction the light is coming from.
In this drawing tutorial, the light is coming from the top left.
Congratulations, you have learned how to draw a plum in three easy steps.
In the next section, you will learn to draw a realistic plum drawing by adding value, highlights, and shadows.
- The proportions of the subject you are drawing must be accurate if your goal is to draw a realistic drawing. Using the grid method to sketch out the subject will help you keep the proportions correct. You can also use this to practice sketching a plum 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.
- Sketching the subject lightly will make it easier to erase the subject’s outline 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.
- If you are not using the grid method, use your pencil or a ruler to be more accurate with the proportions of the apricot.
- Make sure that you are using a sharp pencil.
- Protect your drawing surface by placing a piece of paper between your hand and the drawing surface. The oils from your hand will soil the drawing surface, which will make it impossible to add soft value changes.
- Study your drawing and the reference image to see if adjustments need to be made before adding value to the subject.
Create A Realistic Drawing By Adding Value To The plum
Adding value to the plum will create a three-dimensional illusion and make the plum pop off the drawing surface.
Adding value is my favorite part of the drawing process. There is no better feeling than to watch a drawing come to life right before your eyes.
Before you start to add value to your drawing, stand back to think about what you will be drawing.
Identify which direction the light is coming from and where the darkest values are on the apricot.
Adding value to the plum 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 is 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 plum.
Drawing Tip: Using a 2H pencil first, 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.
Notice on the reference image that there are darker values at the bottom of the plum and the indention where the stem connects to the plum.
The darker and lighter values create the contour and shape of the plum.
Drawing Tip: Squint your eyes when you observe the lighter and darker values of a subject.
Keep looking at your reference photo to identify where the darkest darks are and where the highlights 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 plum are.
Do not add graphite to the highlight section yet.
At this point, you only want to add graphite to the darkest sections of the plum.
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.
At this point, you should have graphite on the entire plum except for the lightest areas, including the highlight.
Do not be too concerned about the imperfections at this point. The nest part will be to smooth the graphite by cross-hatching.
Cross-hatching is when you draw lines over each other in different directions. The more lines you draw, the darker the area will become.
Use your Tombow Mono Zero Refillable Eraser to erase the lines of the highlights you sketched out earlier.
Drawing Tip: Use light pressure when you are erasing any unwanted lines. If you press too hard, you will damage the paper making it impossible to add soft value changes.
Continue to add more value to the darkest areas with the cross-hatching technique. Use smaller stokes and work from dark to light.
The cross-hatching will remove any white spots left during the first stage.
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.
Lightly blend in the graphite from dark to light with a Loew-Cornell Blending Stump.
Drawing Tip: Do not press too hard with the drawing stump; doing so will make it difficult to add more graphite to the area.
Continue repeating the steps above until you are satisfied with the values of the plum.
Blend in the highlighted areas with your blending stump.
Be careful not to press too hard.
The graphite on the stump will put a light coat of graphite to the highlights.
Use your Prismacolor Kneaded Rubber Erasers to lighten up some areas of the highlights.
Use a 2H pencil to even out the values of the highlights.
Use your Tombow Mono Zero Refillable Eraser to create the light spots on the skin of the plum.
Refer to your reference image to identify the value of the spots.
The values will differ depending on where the light source is.
The final step for this how-to-draw a plum tutorial is to add a cast shadow.
First, observe which way the light is coming from.
Start adding graphite with your 2H pencil and work from dark to light.
Notice that the darkest area of the cast shadow is closest to the plum.
Use your HB or 2B pencil if you need to add more value.
Blend the graphite with a blending stump.
More Drawing Tutorials
Below are more free drawing tutorials.