This step by step tutorial shows how to draw a pepper. It includes simple instructions along with pencil drawing examples for each step.
Step 1 – Make a Construction Drawing
Start the drawing by making a quick sketch to “frame” the pepper. The goal is to estimate the proportions of its major parts as well as the general flow of its shape. In this case it will be narrower towards the tip and wider towards the back. The tip itself will be fairly pointy.
The main shape of a pepper is usually split into several curves which can also proportion those in this step. It can be with just a few lines inside the main shape as shown in the example.
In this case the petiole (part that attaches the pepper to the plant) will get slightly narrower as it moves away from the pepper and will have a bit of a twist at the end. Again you can make just a few quick lines to indicate this as well.
Step 2 – Make a Line Drawing
Inside the construction line sketch make a line drawing of the pepper. You can also outline the shape of its drop shadow.
In this case the light is coming from the upper left of the drawing and slightly in front of the pepper. This means the shadow will be to the right and slightly behind it.
You can also add a few lines that outline the drops shadows and highlights on the pepper itself. In this case the there will be a large highlight on the middle curve section of the pepper. There will also be a drop shadow on the petiole.
Clean up the construction lines after you’re done with the line drawing.
Step 3 – Apply Basic Shading
Based on the lighting conditions described earlier (light form top left and slightly to the front) the darker areas will be on the bottom and on the right.
The curved sections of the pepper can be viewed as individual shapes where each one will have its own transition from light to dark. The same goes for the petiole.
To start the shading apply fairly short sets of either straight or lightly curved strokes. Try and make the strokes in a way that loosely wraps around the various curves of the pepper. Try and leave a tiny bit of space between each stroke to keep them visible. Afterwards apply more sets of strokes over the previous sets to create a crosshatch.
For different types of shading strokes see:
Leave the brighter highlight areas such as the one in the middle section of the pepper white. Making bright and fairly shape highlights will convey that the pepper has a smooth and reflective surface.
When shading the shadow make it darker at the base of the pepper and lighter as it moves away from it. As mentioned part of the shadow also falls on the petiole. This is caused by the main shape of the pepper blocking some light from reaching it. You will want to darken this area as well.
Step 4 – Finish the Drawing
After you have the majority of the pepper filled in as in the previous step you can then refine the shading by darkening the “in shadow” areas and smoothing out the gradients.
As mentioned each section of the pepper will have its own transition from light to dark but when viewed as a whole the top curve section of the pepper should be the lightest. The bottom curve section should be the darkest.
When shading the shadow you can pretty much completely blend the strokes to the point of invisible and give it progressively softer/fuzzier edges as it moves away from the pepper.
The linear drawing of a pepper is fairly simple to make. The main challenge in this tutorial comes from the shading.
Proper shading can make an otherwise flat looking object appear three dimensional. It can also convey the type of texture that object has as well as the lighting conditions.
For more similar tutorials see:
- How to Draw a Realistic Pumpkin Step by Step Tutorial
- How to Draw an Eggplant Step by Step
- How to Draw a Tomato Step by Step