Sketch: Apple

Note: I will be distinguishing in this blog between sketches and projects. Sketches are quick drawings I do in my sketchbook while finished projects are completed on sturdier single pages and focus on additional elements such as composition and background.





Artist’s Loft 9×12 sketch pad with a medium tooth

4H graphite drawing pencil

Plastic eraser

Kneaded eraser

Pencil sharpener

Drafting brush (for getting rid of eraser bits)

Prismacolor colorless blender pencil


I’m new to colored pencils (and waiting to get some Prismacolors for Christmas! Right now I am using generic brand kids’ pencils) but I wanted to try a technique I haven’t used yet called underpainting. After sketching out the outline of the apple, I used a dark brown pencil to fill in areas of shade, leaving areas of highlight untouched.

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IMG_2949 (2)

After that, I began to fill in with the local colors of red and yellow-green.

IMG_2952 (2)

Because of all the layers of colored pencil applied, the underpainting doesn’t really show through. I imagine this technique might be trickier when it comes to lighter objects. I focused a lot on building up layers of color to get to the shade of red I wanted, and in doing so I was a little careless with my directional strokes, using straight lines where a curved line might have served me better. Luckily this is just a quick sketch and not a complete drawing. I read that using a dark brown and an indigo blue would create a more realistic shade of black for the shadow than the manufactured blacks, but I didn’t really find that to be the case in this instance. Perhaps with more practice I will be able to use this trick better.

I think in the future I will capture at least one more stage of my sketches/ projects in between the underpainting and the finished product to give a better idea of how the final picture came together.

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