Two teams meet with one ball in the middle. This describes a lot of sports, but today our focus is on basketball. This basketball how to draw tutorial is all about the ball itself. Its current design is quickly and easily recognizable, with its view of four lines that join at each end of the ball.
First, I’ll go over a little bit of the ball’s evolution because a little history is always helpful to our process. Then I’ll show you how to draw a basketball by breaking down its design to demonstrate that those lines we see can also be viewed as two lines and one shape, or three shapes.
I’ll cover how to construct a sphere, which is the form of a basketball, and then take you one easy step at a time through drawing the shape, form, and curved lines to create your own basketball drawing.
Let’s learn about basketballs!
The game of basketball was invented in 1891 and started out more like a soccer ball, which wasn’t dribbled. Basketball didn’t get its own ball until 1894, getting a brown four leather-paneled ball with stitching similar to a football. Dribbling a basketball was introduced into the game in 1897, and by 1937 basketball was popular enough to have its own league, which began as the NBL–The National Basketball League.
With its growing popularity as a sport, basketball needed a redesign to its ball because fans had a hard time following a brown ball on a brown court. So, around 1950, the ball was redesigned to be the orange color we’re all familiar with today. In 1971, the NBA redesigned the basketball once again, evolving it from four leather panels to eight leather panels which improved players’ ability to grip and dribble the ball.
I’ve included a helpful video I found below in case you’d like to see how the design of the basketball has changed over the years, and if you’d like to learn more about basketball’s history click here. In this drawing tutorial, we’ll focus on how to draw a basketball in its current design.
Exploration and study: Basketball drawing sketching
Whenever I draw something new, I start with study sketches to help me understand the shapes, forms, lines, and other features of my subject. Since this is how to draw a basketball, I did a few sketches to learn what makes a basketball look the way it does.
As always, let’s start with a few reference boards to help us get familiar with basketballs.
Typical basketball features: Curved line and horizontal line
How to draw a basketball: form construction
A basketball is a hollow sphere made of eight leather panels. To learn how to draw a basketball, first, we must understand how to draw circles and spheres.
Happy drawing, everyone! I hope you’re all doing well and ready to learn how to draw a cube with me today 😊 .
Cubes are one of the five basic forms. Drawing cubes freehand and in perspective are important skills to build on your art journey. Every form you need, for anything you want to draw, can be carved out of or built from a cube.
I’ll be demonstrating a few different methods for cube drawing here with step-by-step images and videos. I’ll show you how to draw a cube freehand, as well as cube drawing in perspective.
Learning how to draw a cube is simple and straightforward. It gets challenging when you need to turn them in perspective, but that’s a bridge to cross later 😉. For now, let’s take a look at what cubes are.
Let’s learn about cubes!
The most helpful description I found of a cube comes from a website search on Kiddle:
“A cube is a block with all right angles and whose height, width and depth are all the same. A cube is one of the simplest mathematical shapes in space.”
The main thing to understand is that a cube is a three-dimensional shape, meaning it has Volume. While a square has width and height, it has no depth–no volume. A cube, and all other three-dimensional forms, have width, height, and depth.
The sides of a cube (also called faces) are squares. Each side is connected to the others by straight lines (called edges) and by corners (called vertices). Each of a cube’s corners is at a right angle. A cube has 6 faces, 12 edges, and 8 corners.
If you’re interested in a more mathematical explanation of what a cube is, you can find it here.
You might have heard people refer to all kinds of boxes as 3D cubes, especially when they’re talking about drawing in perspective. Technically, not all boxes are cubes, but for drawing purposes, it really doesn’t matter one way or the other 😉.
Exploration and study: Natural and man-made cubes
Interestingly, there aren’t a lot of examples of naturally occurring cubes. Since it’s such a basic visual building block, I thought that was a little surprising, but 🤷🏾♀️. Naturally occurring cubes are found primarily in rock, mineral, and crystal formations, and it’s super easy to find examples of man-made cubes in almost anything.
Here are a couple of reference boards I created to illustrate both natural and man-made cubes.
Shape breakouts and natural variations
Normally, I would make a bunch of exploration and study sketches of my subject and break out all the different shape and form variations. But…cubes are pretty simple, so that’s not really a thing for this drawing tutorial 😅.
The shapes on a cube are just squares, and the variation is limited: we’re either drawing a cube or a rectangular “cube” (box). When we learn how to draw a cube, those are our base options. But simple is good, right?
Okay, let’s dig into this how to draw a cube business. I’ll go over a few freehand methods I came up with, and I’ve included a few video demonstrations about drawing cubes/boxes in perspective and showing the drawing process for the methods.
How to draw a cube step-by-step tutorials
I made up names for the freehand cube drawing methods I came up with 😁:
The basic method
The Headless stick figure
Connect the squares method
The basic method
This way of drawing a cube is one that I learned early on in my art journey. It begins with a simple square shape and builds into a cube by adding depth with additional lines.
The basic method, Step One
For the basic method of how to draw a cube, step 1 is drawing a simple square of any size you’d like.
Next, start creating depth by drawing lines out from each corner. This begins to give you the edges of the cube.
(I missed the bottom left corner here, but I’m sure you’ll rock it 😉).
Begin connecting the edges of the cube you drew in the previous step. The goal here is to create each square face of the cube, so each complete connection should give you a square face.
Connect the last edges and vertices, and you will have completed your 3D cube.
This is just a spin on the basic method that allows us to shift our thinking a little bit. Instead of starting with a familiar shape, we begin with an upside-down letter ‘L’. This way we start out thinking in terms of edges and vertices rather than shapes and faces.
Upside-down L’s, Step One
As its name suggests, step 1 is drawing two upside-down capital L’s. Their size and how far you space them apart will determine how your cube looks.
Connect the two L’s to complete the first face of your cube.
From the two bottom vertices of the square face, draw edges back in space that each run parallel to the tops of the original upside-down L’s, as shown.
Begin connecting the ends of each of the edges you added in the previous step to create additional faces for your cube.
In this example, the bottom and left faces were created.
Finish connecting the last three vertices to create the last three faces of your cube and voila! You now have a completed freehand cube!
The Headless stick figure
This how to draw a cube method is straightforward like the others. We begin with the back corners of the cube and work our way forward in space until the cube is complete, and starting with a headless stick figure gives us that back corner start as you’ll see in this next demo.
Headless stick figure, Step One
We have five edges and two vertices. If we were to add a circle at the top, we’d have a stick figure. Without the head, we get the back corner of our cube.
Connect the “arms” and “legs” of our headless stick figure to get the first two planes of our cube, as seen here.
Connect the top two outside corners with straight edges to create the top plane of the cube.
Drop an edge down from the front-most corner of the top square plane. This sets us up to complete the last three planes of the cube.
Connect the two bottom outside corners to the end of the vertical edge you dropped earlier and boom! You have a completed cube 😉.
Connect the squares method
The focus of this how to draw a cube method is connecting corresponding points (vertices) of the squares. This way of drawing cubes is a lot of fun and opens up possibilities for more interesting cubes and boxes.
Connect the squares, Step One
Drawn any size square you’d like to begin.
Draw a second square with roughly the same dimensions as the first, and consider its position in relation to your first square since you’ll be connecting them.
Here I chose to overlap them slightly to make the connection a little more intuitive.
You’ll notice my second square is a little smaller than my first, and that’s okay. The point is to understand and practice the process.
Choose a square corner to start with and connect it to its matching corner on your second square with a straight line (edge).
Continue connecting the matching edges of both squares to each other.
After connecting the last corner, you’ll have a completed freehand cube drawing!
How to draw a cube medley!
To make this how to draw a cube tutorial more clear, I created a couple of videos to demonstrate the process for each method shown above. Establishing our processes in our work is extremely important, and my goal is to make the processes I use as clear as possible to help you decide on your own.
How to draw a cube in Perspective
Perspective can get a little hairy and confusing when you try to explain it with words and images alone, so I think the best approach for this particular art fundamental is a video demonstration.
To be clear, I didn’t make this video to explain drawing in perspective point by point, but the setup and process stay the same whenever you’re drawing basic forms in perspective.
You may have noticed from the video that I did the entire demo on a 3-point perspective grid–meaning a three vanishing point setup. For practice like this, it doesn’t matter which perspective you use so long as you have each vanishing point you need. I find it helpful to work from a 3-point perspective grid even when I’m not drawing in that perspective because it gives me the option of drawing in three different perspectives without having to change my paper format.
As long as you use the appropriate vanishing point, or points, for the perspective you intend to use on your object/form, then you’re good to go! 👍🏾
How to draw a cube: Form dissection
Normally, at this point, I would go over how to draw a cube with a dissection demonstration that dives into interior forms. However, with basic cubes and boxes, which aren’t representing anything specifically, there aren’t any interior forms to explore.
Still, a demonstration on cutting into/cutting away/dissecting the cube form is still helpful and useful, so that’s what this next video shows.
More cube drawing – building other forms
As I mentioned earlier, all manner of forms can be built from or carved out of cubes and boxes. Here are a few simple examples to demonstrate what I mean:
How to light a cube
Rather than get into an entire discussion on the fundamentals of light, I decided to show a few photographic examples of lighting on a cube. With a few simple art supplies and wooden 3D shapes, I photographed some images to use as a visual tutorial for how light falls on a cube.
This first set of images were taken in my make-shift still life box. It’s an old diaper box whose inside I’ve covered with black butcher paper. I cut out a couple of holes on each of the short sides and partially cut away the top so I can control the lighting. The cube in these images was lit with white light from a spotlight.
These next set of images demonstrate the light on a cube from my overhead studio light. It’s a small ceiling fan with a light kit, which essentially functions as a large diffused light source for these examples. Once again, you’ll notice that the shadow gets longer as the cube moves further away from the light–however, the shadows (shading) are different with a different light source. There are multiple shadows because the light source is composed of 3 light bulbs.
This gives us multiple shadows that are also brighter and quite soft.
In this last set of lighting/shading reference images for how to draw a cube, I used a candle–a much smaller, but quite bright, light source–to light the wooden cube. A candle would be a point light source, and it makes for much darker and more crisp shadows.
For some of these, the candle (point light) was low and closer to the cube, while at other times it was positioned above the cube. As usual, the closer the cube is to the light source, the sharper and darker the shadows are.
Here are a couple of examples of how to light a cube and place the cast shadows using a traditional medium, graphite pencils.
How to draw a cube from Imagination!
Let’s practice how to draw a cube from imagination 😊.
There isn’t really much to explain or guide you through here. Just grab a pencil and some paper, and let your imagination fly! I chose to draw some everyday objects to keep things simple and clear, but the sky is the limit with cubes. Go for it!
Happy cube drawing!
Well, that’s everything I have on how to draw a cube for now.
Thank you so much for hanging in there with me! It’s my goal to write for beginners, students, experienced artists, and hobbyists alike on this walk of art life, so I hope you found the content of my cube drawing tutorial helpful.
I truly appreciate the opportunity to be a guide and participant in your artistic journey, and I hope I’ve helped you make your cube drawing pop! I know you have a lot of options when you search the web, so thank you for spending some time on my little side line of the internet ❤. I hope you enjoy your cube drawing!
I’d love to hear from you, so if you have any feedback or questions for me, please leave them in the comments section below!
Welcome to another “How to draw…” adventure! Today we’ll explore how to draw a pumpkin! There is a lot of variety, and a pumpkin can be more than you’d think. So in this drawing tutorial, please explore and learn with me, step-by-step, how to draw pumpkins and other squash.
First, we’ll take a brief look into what a pumpkin is, so we know something about what we’re drawing, then we’ll dive into exploration and study sketch activities with reference images.
What is a pumpkin?
My interaction with pumpkins happens during the fall, the time of year when we see many a Halloween pumpkin decorating neighborhoods all over the country. But, interestingly, the word “pumpkin” covers much more than a kiddo’s Halloween pumpkin.
A pumpkin is one of many cultivated species of winter squash. Pumpkins are native to North America and are one of the oldest cultivated plants in the world. We tend to think of the pumpkins that are round, smooth, orange ones with a ribbed pattern on their skin and a thick shell housing seeds and pulp.
These familiar pumpkins are part of the Cucurbita pepo cultivar, just one of the five cultivar categories of squash:
Many squash varieties look wildly different from our traditional Halloween pumpkin and are still called “pumpkins,” which gives us artists so much more to work with. 👏🏽The word “pumpkin” is interchangeable with the terms “winter squash” and “squash,” including summer squash. Botanically speaking, all pumpkins (even the Halloween ones 😉) are winter squash, and all are fruits because they are seed-bearing structures from flowering plants.
The fifth cultivar category, Cucurbita ficifolia, is biochemically different from other cultivars and more closely resembles a melon. While it looks and grows similarly to pumpkins, it is visually more melon-like, so I didn’t include it in this drawing tutorial. However, the process for drawing melons isn’t much different from pumpkins and other squash, so you can still learn how to draw the more melon-like squash with this tutorial if you’d like.
The uses for pumpkins and squash are quite broad, ranging from cooking and eating every part of the pumpkin to pressing its seeds for pumpkin seed oil, decorative and medicinal uses, competitive growing, and other competitive sports such as Pumpkin chunking.
We now have a decent idea of what a pumpkin is and what family, friends, kids, and all kinds of people do with them. With our background research done, it’s time to study the shapes and forms of a pumpkin and other squash.
Exploration and study
Our first step in studying a pumpkin is to gather some references and create a reference board. Some search time on Google is the simplest approach, but feel free to use mine if you’d like. The first image on the right here is of the Cucurbita pepo cultivar group. We can see quite a variety of shapes, proportions, surface textures, tones, and colors. For example, we can see spheres, ovoids, smooth textures, bumpy textures, pear-shaped, deeply ribbed, shallow ribs, ridges, and more.
The next group, Cucurbita maxima, includes the same wide variety of features and the unique Turban squash.
In the Cucurbita moschata group, we see squash varieties having more cylindrical, long goose-necked, and super bumpy surface texture qualities. In contrast, the Cucurbita argyrosperma group includes some very tear-drop shaped varieties.
This last reference I created focuses on the stem portion of a pumpkin. When your subject has multiple “parts,” so to speak, it’s helpful to have references for your study of each.
If you have live pumpkins and squash to practice from life, use those! Drawing from life is an essential skill and one of the Art Fundamentals.
Once you’re all set with references, start drawing what you see to get familiar with the natural variety of shapes. It doesn’t matter which reference you start with, and none of your sketches need to be rendered or “finished” in this step. The exploration and study of how to draw a pumpkin are all about seeing the common natural shapes and forms, their variations, and understanding how all the different forms are put together. The best way to train your eye to see these things is to draw what you see.
It’s beneficial and encouraged to begin with the most simple shape you can see for each sketch. We build forms from shapes and lines, after all. If you’re unfamiliar with forms, my Form in Art article goes in-depth on just that.
Time to put pencil to paper! Speaking of paper, I do most of my sketches by hand with a pencil and a sketchbook to keep things simple and clear.
Here are my exploration and study sketches for how to draw a pumpkin:
Normally, I’m not this neat in my sketchbook 😜. I clean things up, so it’s nice and clear for you guys, but I rather enjoy making an unholy mess in my sketchbook 😁.
You’ll notice that I drew the flat basic shape first to get an idea of the forms I’d need to construct, and then I went about constructing them–but even during construction, I still start with a 2-D shape and build from there. Then, once I have the basic shape, I begin to understand how the form construction needs to go.
For example, with the “traditional” pumpkin I started with at the top left of the first page of my sketches, it was initially challenging to learn to draw the ribbed forms we all recognize pumpkins for. It took some practice to get a feel for that particular how to draw a pumpkin step. Still, after a few sketches, it became clear that I had to 1) understand the shape and form of the “rib” first, and 2) understand how the “ribs” are positioned relative to the overall shape and proportions of the pumpkin.
The “rib” forms are essentially curving upside-down triangles–kind of like a puffy pizza slice wrapped around a sphere. During construction, that translates into wedge or talon-like forms of varying thickness and length wrapped around a sphere or bowl form. Here’s an example of what I mean:
It helps to line up the top and bottom of the “ribs” using ellipses, which is why you see plenty of ellipses, bowls, and circles in my sketches. The exploration and study process is intended to help you see the “bones” of the subject. When we know the primary shapes and variations, we can begin to design and construct with less reliance on our references.
Shape breakouts and natural variations
As I studied how to draw a pumpkin, I found common shapes for drawing any pumpkin or squash are:
a rectangle with rounded corners
a rounded crescent
We can start constructing and combining forms now that we have a shape profile to work from. I like to create a quick reference guide to the primary profiles and variations that I hope you find helpful as you learn to draw a pumpkin.
It’s straightforward when you compare it to the reference images. By studying my ref boards, I’ve paid close attention to what the distinct shapes and shape variations are and then draw each one. Next, it’s time to understand the common forms and construct them.
Form construction is about beginning to put the pieces of what we studied together. The slideshows below will walk you through a few how to draw a pumpkin construction demos.
How to draw a pumpkin – Step-by-step form construction demo 1
This example features more of an elongated shape, but that’s okay. We can use whichever shapes we want 😉👍🏽. I always try to begin with a gesture line to add a sense of movement and character. Next, drawing from my reference guide, I add the basic shapes on top of the gesture.
The next step (second slide) is to connect them and then add contour lines (third slide) to add a sense of depth and volume. Lastly, I erase my construction lines and darken my drawing.
How to draw a pumpkin – Form construction demo 2
The process for the next demo is the same, and only the shapes are different. Once you understand your subject and the process, you can begin playing with the profile, silhouette, lines, angles, sizes, and proportions until you land on something you’re happy with.
I took this last form construction demo a little further to help segue into form dissection and interior forms in the next section. Like the other slideshow tutorials, the steps are the same, but I have added a couple.
You’ll find that as you add more complexity to your forms, the steps are repeated, and the only thing that changes is the size and nature of the information you’re adding.
We begin with the largest shapes to build the primary and largest forms first, and from there, we repeat the process with the next largest (or medium-sized) ones on top.
How to draw a pumpkin – Form construction demo 3
This final how-to draw a pumpkin construction demo gives you a brief look into how the process repeats. After step 3, a simple form has been built, and it’s ready to be added onto.
In steps 4 and 5, I repeat the same steps, adding simple lines and shapes on top of my initial form to add another layer of complexity and interest that gives a better visual description of the pumpkin’s form.
In step 6, I add the contour lines that give me divisions in the form that I can then cut away for step 7, drawing a rough indication of the interior.
Form dissection and interior forms
At this point, we know how to draw a pumpkin! But do we know how to draw a pumpkin on the inside? 🤔
Not to worry! We still have our trusty ref boards with images that give us an idea about what’s going on with a pumpkin’s interior. I didn’t do a super in-depth rundown of the interior, but the process is still the same as above using the seed interior body information we find in the references.
Here are my examples of form dissection and a little bit of fun with the interiors.
A word about details
All the most fun and interesting things to draw have plenty of details that give them their character and make them look really cool. But, for all that they add, details only make up about twenty percent of your drawing–and they take up about eighty percent of your time.
That’s one of the reasons they should be left for the end.
Plus, no matter whether you’re learning how to draw a pumpkin, a mushroom, or anything else, all details (smaller forms & patterns) sit on top of larger forms that must be worked out first.
I don’t count light and shadow or color as details, and they are each their own thing and deserve dedicated articles to explain and demonstrate what they entail.
For clarification, I’ve included some sketches as an illustration of the difference between primary forms and detail forms.
Pumpkin drawing tutorial: How to draw a pumpkin step-by-step
Step 1: Thumbnails & Gesture lines.
Start with some small thumbnails, and then, just as before, add a gesture line and shapes.
Thumbnails of the simple shape combinations you want to use offer a helpful roadmap for your form construction. After that, a gesture line (also called a “line of action”) will help add a sense of movement and life.
Remember, you’ve studied pumpkins and squash, so play around and enjoy!
Feel free to follow along and copy my sketches to get started, but I encourage you to take these examples and apply them to any design you want! You’ve got this!
Step 2: Another Gesture line!
It felt necessary to add a second gesture line for the top area.
There are times it feels more dynamic to have an additional gesture armature to build on.
Step 3: Add the basic shapes.
These will be the basis for our largest form, the pumpkin’s body.
Compare what we have now to our little thumbnail in the upper lefthand corner, and you’ll see we’re quite close to the idea there.
Step 4: Shape adjustments.
Here I added another circle and ellipse to adjust the overall contour in the front and back of the form.
The green ellipse will add a “rib” bump in the rear that we can see from the front, and the orange circle in front will add more depth.
Step 5: More shape adjustments.
I jumped the gun a little bit here and started filling out the stem form😅 , but we can roll with it!
The orange ellipses show where I added the top and bottom planes, and the green lines in the middle show how I connected them to create the stem.
Step 6: Contour tweaking.
No matter how you start, you can always tweak and adjust things to suit what you want them to look like.
I decided my overall form looked a little too round and soft for my taste, so I decided to use a few divots and curves to create more interesting plane shifts.
Step 7: Clean up & darken.
At this point, my sketch felt finished, so I cleaned it up a bit and darkened the lines I wanted to keep in the design.
I didn’t erase all of the construction lines this time. Sometimes, when you’re not adding light and shadow, contour lines, or a lot of detail, leaving light indications of the construction lines can increase the sense of depth.
I decided to make this how to draw a pumpkin article a little more robust since there are so many varieties out there. More variety means more practice! So here is another how to draw a pumpkin step-by-step tutorial!
Step 1: Gesture line!
Don’t worry; I practice what I preach! The thumbnail sketch for this how to draw a pumpkin example is at the top right in the 1st one above. Take a peek; you’ll see 😉.
Step 2: You know the drill! Add those shapes!
This is still how to draw a pumpkin, and the process goes on like a good beat.
I added the ellipses for the top and bottom planes of the stem and a narrow trapezoid shape to act as an envelope for the shape I’m after.
Step 3: Motto, motto!
Next, I put in circles to continue building the form.
Step 4: Building out other forms.
We know there’s a stem, so let’s get it in there!
Step 5: Connect!
Step 6: Build more on top.
I added the “ribs” for more form complexity and interest and to bring home the “pumpkin” feel.
Step 7: Contour tweaking.
I wanted to change the overall contour, so I did that here.
Step 8: Clean up and darken.
At the risk of OD’ing you on step-by-steps, I created a few that go through the same process with the stem forms.
Don’t worry; I know you’ve got this how to draw a pumpkin stuff down by now. I’ll put the rest in as simple visuals so you can peruse them at your leisure 😉.
Another how to draw a pumpkin stem demo–this one is more fun!
One more, and then I promise I’ll be done with the how to draw a pumpkin stem stuff.
How to draw a pumpkin from Imagination
Guess what? Except for the exploration and study sketches, most of the pumpkins from my demos have been drawn from imagination!
I used my references for inspiration, but the rest came from my brain 😎. It’s an awesome feeling, and I bet you’re experiencing it, too! You’ve seen the process many times by now, so keep drawing and experimenting!
How to draw a pumpkin in Perspective
I know I’ve drilled this process into you ad nauseam at this point, so I won’t pile on with the more technical practice of Perspective. Instead, I’ve included a visual walkthrough.
Here are some 1-point perspective examples:
Here are some 2-point perspective examples:
How to draw a pumpkin from imagination: Sketching in Perspective.
I drew all these perspective sketches from my imagination. Now, for my 3-point perspective example, I decided to push things a little more fun.
Light and shadow: How to light your pumpkin
Light & shadow, like Perspective, is a whole other conversation on its own. So in my Fundamentals of Light series, I’m covering all the stuff and gubbins of light and shadow (slowly though, cuz it’s huge!)
In the meantime, here’s a lighting demo for the sketch I did above in 3-point perspective.
A word about color
I did say, “A word.” 😂
In all seriousness, I prioritize solid drawing skills before painting and using color because those things must live on a solid drawing with solid forms.
Playing with pumpkin drawings: Exploring shape language and style variations.
Drawing is fun! So have fun and draw some funky pumpkins!
Here are a few of mine. I gave some of them a body, a face, a mouth, a nose–oh, my! I made pumpkin characters and even a cartoon pumpkin or two 😊. See? Fun!
Now, you try! 👍🏽👊🏽
How to draw a pumpkin teacher, signing off!
Thank you so much for having the patience and intestinal fortitude to stick with me to the end! I appreciate you spending some of your time with me and my how to draw a pumpkin drawing tutorial. I know it was long, and I hope you’ve found it helpful.
If you have any questions or feedback for me, please feel free to leave them in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you guys, and I hope you’ll join me for another “how to draw” adventure!
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
As with any form we draw, the first step is to explore and study the major shapes and forms. That begins with gathering references and drawing from them and from life.
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!