How to Draw 3D Fruit

Updated February 21, 2017

One of every artist's goals is to develop the skill required to make a two-dimensional drawing appear three-dimensional. Fruit is an excellent subject to practice this technique, as a piece of fruit is colourful, still and varied. Common objects such as apples, bananas, pomegranates, grapes and pears provide an array of shapes to replicate. With patience, observation, attention to detail, and the right amount of shading, you can draw a piece of fruit that looks good enough to eat.

Select a common, simple piece of fruit such as a pear on a well-lit, flat surface in front of you. Set up a lamp three to four feet away from the fruit so that it shines directly on it. Turn off all other lights in the room to create natural contrast. Draw the outline of the fruit on the paper with a hard lead art pencil on a piece of art paper from a sketching pad or notebook.

Add lines down the fruit horizontally and vertically to show its contours and to begin to give it definition and depth.

Use your art pencils to shade the fruit, starting with the darkest area of the scene. Look for shadows cast on the fruit and the surface around the piece of fruit - start shading those areas first. Apply more pressure with the pencils to darker areas and less pressure and shading to lighter areas. Leave unshadowed areas completely white.

Shade the inside of the fruit with short, curved lines following the pattern you established with the hard lead pencil at the beginning of the process. Smudge the lead with your finger, pulling it in the direction of the natural curves of the fruit to add more depth and nuance to the picture. Use an eraser to add highlights to drawing in the spots you observe on the fruit.

Finish by adding visible imperfections or markings that you see on the fruit.


For more practice, repeat this process with coloured pencils after performing it in black and white. Hone your skill of adding realistic tones to still life drawings with coloured pencils.

Things You'll Need

  • Drawing paper or sketching notebook
  • Art pencils (coloured, soft and hard lead)
  • Fruit
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