Learning how to draw a pumpkin is an easy subject to practice your artistic skills using curved lines. Creating realistic pencil drawings can be accomplished by adding shadows and highlights to the pumpkin. In this how-to draw a pumpkin 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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Pumpkins come in a variety of sizes, and colors which make them a fun subject for artists to paint and draw.
Some pumpkins are oval in shape while others are more round which makes drawing pumpkins a top choice for artists when it comes to creating still-life artwork.
But it is different than learning how to draw a strawberry or how to draw an orange.
The skin of pumpkins, bananas, apples, and grapes is smooth.
Strawberries and oranges have dimples.
Light reacts differently to a smooth surface versus a dimpled surface.
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 pumpkin 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 pumpkins for your pumpkin 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 pumpkin. The shadows 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 Pumpkin Step By Step
Lightly sketch the pumpkin outline using a Tombow Mono HB Pencil on a 5″ x 7″ piece of Strathmore Series Bristol Board Smooth.
You can create the drawing larger or smaller if you wish. But if you draw the pumpkin 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 pumpkins to enhance your sketching skills.
Drawing this pumpkin can be a challenge because there are subtle value changes that create this pumpkin’s skin texture.
Note: The lines in the drawing below are darker than what I normally sketch for my drawings.
I only drew the outline of the grapes darker in this drawing tutorial so you can see them better on 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 Pumpkin
Start by sketching the pumpkin outline.
Drawing Tips – Sketch the pumpkin 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.
Start by lightly sketching a circle shape for the outline of the pumpkin.
Drawing Tip: Study the reference image of the pumpkin to see if the pumpkin is more circular or oval. Notice how the bottom of the pumpkin is flatter.
Lightly sketch the stem of the pumpkin.
Drawing Tip: The stem of the pumpkin is a rectangular shape.
Sketch “C” shapes and “S” for the bottom of the stem.
Sketch in where the darkest areas of the pumpkin.
Drawing Tip: Lightly sketch where the shadows are on the pumpkin so you can easily block off the highlights and shadows,
Sketch the outline of the shadow.
At this point, you could give the contour drawing of the pumpkin to your child to color.
To draw a realistic drawing, you will have to add values to the pumpkin and add a shadow.
To learn more visit Drawing Tips For Realistic Drawings – The Elements Of Shading.
Shade The Banana
Adding value to the pumpkin will create a three-dimensional illusion and make the pumpkin 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 pumpkin.
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 pumpkin.
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 pumpkin.
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.
Start by adding graphite to the darkest areas of the pumpkin.
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 pumpkin 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.
Fill in any spaces you missed.
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.
Next, add some graphite to the lighter sections of the pumpkin.
Drawing Tip: It is easier to make areas darker by adding more graphite to an area than it is to lighten an area with an eraser.
Add the details to the pumpkin’s stem.
Drawing Tip: Always refer to your reference image.
Next, you will want to draw in the shadow to give the drawing a three-dimensional illusion.
Drawing Tips: The darkest area of the shadow will be against the pumpkin. The value will lighten up slightly the farther the shadow is from the pumpkin.
Use a blending stump to soften the lines.
Drawing Tip: Use the blending stump for the final touches of your drawing. Work from dark to light to soften up the values.
The last step is to draw in the highlights with your kneaded eraser.
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