Tuesday’s Tip – I


A small table lamp with/without a shade. Feel free to set up your very own still life by positioning your apple on a light surface and adjust the location of your lamp until you’re satisfied with the lighting and shadows!


Materials you will need:

-White paper, either regular computer paper or cartridge paper
-2B & 6B pencil – any brand will suffice
-Eraser – I use a kneaded eraser
-A round object to draw around – nothing too large, i’m using the bottom of a coffee cup
-A tortillion – paper stump
-Apple – green or red

1) Use your 2B pencil to draw lightly around your circle object, this helps to give you a starting point and will help with form.


2) I then make a mark indicating the edge of the cast shadow.

3) Lightly draw an ellipse shape which will become your cast shadow. Your ellipse will cut through the shape of the circle.


4) Lightly draw in the shape of the stem.

5) Using the circle as a guide, draw lines which should reflect the shape of the apple Remember to take it line by line, it does not have to be perfect!


6) Draw the shape of the highlight. Highlights are going to be the brightest points on your object.


7) Reinforce the cast shadow shape noticing – the darkest part that sits directly under the apple, the mid tone that makes up the majority of the cast shadow shape while keeping a lighter line as you get towards the lightest, softest tail of the cast shadow. Lightly draw the shadow line(it has a slight curve to it) and the curve under!



9) The curved line below the shadow line creates a band where the form shadow core falls. This will be the darkest area of the apple.

10) Shade a mid-tone(not too light, not too dark) along this band. This will be darker eventually but for now it helps so that we can set tonal values in other places!


11) Shade the darkest parts of the stem, if the your stem is entirely dark, then get it as dark as you can get it. If you don’t have to blend other tones then again, make your stem as dark as possible. My reference photo will require light shading so for now I’ll make more of an outline.

12) Switch to a softer pencil, 6B, and shade the cast shadow. Try to shade in the same direction you did on shadow band on your apple! I used a crosshatching technique on both.


13) Use your 2B to shade in the bottom of the apple/your cast shadow, as you go out towards the edge use the 6B. *remember the cast shadow has dark/medium/light tonal values.

14) Shadow your shadow

15) Now that you’ve shadowed your cast use the values as a reference point to shade your apple!

16) Shade away! Changing hand positions and rotating the paper, I can follow the shape of the form.


17) Lightly shade across the whole of the light side to indicate the half tone.


18) Using our secret weapon, our paper stump start to blend the tones together to achieve the soft transition between the light side and the shadow side. Notice how when you shade with the paper stump, it slightly darkens the tone.

Using a putty eraser or regular eraser I take back any of the shape that has gone slightly out.

Soften out the tail of the cast shadow.


The finished drawing.

Whether you download and use the reference image or set up your own study, just take it a step at a time, look out for the soft transitions and I hope you get some fantastic results!

Thank you for participating, I hope you’ve picked up a useful tip, & please feel free to share your results!

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me! Thenucanvas@gmail.com

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Join the Nu Canvas next week as I go over form, shading, and art vocabulary! Take care and HAPPY DRAWING!

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