Learn to draw
The exercise that is presented here is a straightforward still life
comprising three simple elements orange, banana and a pear. A fruit is
much easier to paint than symmetrical elements such as a plate or
bottle, for no margin of error is allowed with these. The colour, the
brightness, the highlight or the texture can all be varied but essential
to the process of valuation and modelling of the shapes are always the
First start with a plain sketch of the shapes that you want to
present with a soft HB pencil, as can be seen in Fig 1. It is not
complicated but this drawing has to be done neatly.
The shape is outlined. Next the colours have to be applied
progressively, always from light to dark.
First the background should be painted with a light wash. After it
has dried the shadows are done in a dark colour. A pale tone of green
sienna and ochore is used to paint the background.
Once the background is dry you can start to paint the orange. Pay
attention to the highlight.
The colouring of the orange is done with progressive tones of the
same colour, always conserving the same high lights as a reference for
To do the valuation around the shadow, green, orange and some sienna
are mixed and applied. Where the highlight meets the shadow, brush
strokes tinted with red are made.
When the orange is dry, the painting of the banana is done with long
Fig 2 shows the simple colour wash as the first coating before the
first brush strokes are applied, the banana skin is started with a
A complete painting of the fruits are shown on Fig 3.
The painting of the orange is rounded off by merging the dark colours
that have been painted into the background with successive brush
On the pear the shadow is painted with burnt amber and soft brush
strokes are made on the areas of green until the tones are mixed up.
Lastly to darken the banana the lower part is slightly dampened so that
the shadow colour expands gently. Kent paper 150 gsm is used as drawing
paper with sable hair brushes Nos 1, 6 and 8 for colouring.