Welcome to my how to draw a banana drawing tutorial!
Hi everyone! 🖐🏾
Hopefully, you’re all well and ready to learn about bananas and how to draw them. This drawing tutorial is a little different from my others. We’ll still go banana banana for bananas, but I decided to try going heavier on the visuals since they’re such simple forms–until you start peeling them.
First, we’ll learn about what bananas are because it’s important to know something about what you’re drawing. Then, we’ll start getting into the process of how to draw a banana from exploration and study to how to draw a banana step by step, as well as banana drawing with light and shadow and in perspective. There will be quite a few videos in this drawing tutorial to better demonstrate the drawing process.
Most of them are only a few short minutes long and do not have sound–I didn’t think you guys needed to hear my pencil scratching or my kiddos playing in the background 😉.
Alright, let’s get started! As usual, there’s more to them than you can tell from a trip to your local market.
Banana banana! Let’s learn about bananas!
Did you know that a banana is, botanically speaking, a berry? Me either! In some countries, bananas used for cooking might be called “plantains,” which distinguishes them from the dessert variety most common here in the West from the Cavendish group.
A banana is a fruit that varies in size, color, and firmness while usually appearing elongated and curved. It has soft flesh that is abundant in starch and covered with a rind that also varies in color–green, yellow, red, purple, or brown–when ripe.
The banana is grown in 135 countries primarily for its fruit and make banana wine and beer, fiber, and for use as ornamental plants. A raw banana without its peel is 75% water, 23% carbohydrates and contains a very small amount of protein with almost no fat. They offer a modest amount of potassium, vitamin C, manganese, and dietary fiber, but they are most often used as a staple starch for many populations around the world.
There are as many ways to cook and eat a banana as there are people, and its plant’s flower, leaves, and trunk are used as well. The flower of a banana plant, called a banana heart, is eaten as a vegetable in South Asian and Southeast Asian cultures, and its leaves are regularly used as Earth-friendly disposable plates and food containers. Foods are also cooked inside banana plant leaves during steaming or grilling.
Exploration and study: Banana drawing focused on shape and form
Here are a few reference photos I took, along with reference boards I created. You’re welcome to use these in your study if you like.
Shape breakouts and natural variations
The banana is a super simple form, making studying it fairly easy–until you start peeling it 😉. Most of its variation comes in proportion, color, and surface texture.
From here on out, there will be several videos and a few images demonstrating each stage of how to draw a banana.
How to draw a banana: form construction
How to draw a banana: Form dissection and interior studies
How to draw a banana step-by-step tutorial
In case my video wasn’t clear enough for how to draw a banana step by step, I’ve broken out the steps here with another step by step drawing tutorial of a partially peeled banana.
How to draw a banana Step 1
Lay down your gesture line (or line of action). You’ll build your shapes on top of this.
Banana drawing Step 2
Begin building each shape you need on top of your gesture line. Lines and shapes build form, so we start there.
Banana drawing Step 3
Once you have all the shapes you need blocked in, use lines to connect them, as shown here.
Banana drawing Step 4
Start with an ellipse shape around the middle and more gesture lines to begin constructing the peel forms.
Banana drawing Step 5
The peel forms are plane shapes, so once you have laid down your gesture lines, it’s a matter of building the plane shapes on top. Next, you choose the length, width, and direction of each peel shape.
With all your forms constructed, now is a good time to clean up your sketch and darken it for clarity and finishing.
How to draw a banana peel step-by-step tutorial
Banana drawing in Perspective
For setting scenes, you need Perspective drawing practice. Here are a couple of videos that demonstrate how to set up your boxes in 1 and 2-point perspectives and how to use them to build in your forms. The process is the same; we’re just adding perspective into the mix.
How to draw a banana with Light and Shadow
Next, in this how to draw a banana drawing tutorial, I’ll cover how to approach basic lighting for the banana bunch I drew earlier. Additionally, I’ve started a series on The Fundamentals of Light if you’d like more in-depth information.
How to draw a banana with Light & Shadow, Step 1.
The first step is always a solid drawing–no one wants to waste time polishing a turd 😉.
Step 2 – Local tone.
Next, we need to add the local tones. Local tones are your subject’s areas of native lightness or darkness–where each part of the subject lives on the value scale.
Step 3 – Light source.
Now, decide on your light source’s direction and intensity (exposure). I’ve kept it simple here, having the light come from the upper right-hand corner with intensity similar to sunlight. If we were tackling color, this would be the time to decide on the light source’s color and temperature.
Step 4 – First shadow pass.
Using your light direction and form construction as guides, do a rough pass with a darker tone to block in the basic shadows.
Step 5 – First light pass.
Here is the same idea as the previous step, only now you’re blocking in where the light lands on the bananas.
Step 6 – Deepen & refine shadows.
With the basic scheme in place, it’s time to deepen the shadows and refine them through blending. There are nearly always places where the light won’t reach, so we need to include occlusion shadows to demonstrate that.
Step 7 – More light & finish.
Now the lighting for our how to draw a banana light and shadow demo is nearly complete.
All we need to do now is refine the lights through blending, adding highlights, and adding any necessary bounce or reflected light. Then we’re done!
I didn’t go full-tilt high render here, but it’s enough to illustrate the basics of how to light your own banana drawings.
The fruits of your labor: A bit about details and colors
If you’ve spent any time with me in previous how-to-draw articles, like for mushrooms or pumpkins, you know that I prefer to keep color and surface details separate from the drawing stage. Drawing tutorials are about drawing. When drawing tutorials start trying to cover color and surface textures, things can start to get confusing. Don’t get me wrong, they’re all connected, and everything needs to be addressed and explained. I will do that; I promise–just not here.
My goal here is to give you a solid foundation for drawing a banana without a reference. From a solid drawing foundation, you can build whatever other mood or story elements you want.
Fun with fruit: Let’s draw a banana from Imagination!
I’m not gonna lie; I had a hard time with this. Bananas are so simple that I found it difficult to come up with more than a few funky ideas for imaginative drawings. I’m sure you’ll do better than I did 😉.
It has been my pleasure to create this how to draw a banana drawing lesson 😊. I hope you’ve enjoyed it and found it helpful.
If you have any questions or feedback for me, please leave them in the comments section below. I’d love to hear from you and learn a lesson myself in what you found helpful and what you think could be improved. If any of you have kids, please let me know how well you’re able to go through this with them in the comments! I don’t usually write with kids in mind because of the advanced nature of the drawing process, but I’d love to make my process work for kids, too. Happy drawing, everyone, and take care!