How to Draw a Basket of Fruit


A still life is a common setup for beginners to get started drawing. A still life can vary in difficulty depending on the complexity of items placed in the still life. A basket of fruit is a popular still life for both beginners and experts. The complexity of the basket adds challenge to the arrangement, while the smooth surface of fruit such as apples allows for contrasting drawing textures and styles.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper
  • Basket
  • Fruit
  • Pencil
  • Eraser
  • Drawing board

Drawing a basket of fruit

  • Set up a drawing environment, providing a table for the basket of fruit in the front of the room. Place a drawing board in fixed location with a good view of the table for the basket of fruit.

  • Create the still life. Add a variety of fruit such as apples, oranges and bananas to a basket and set the basket on the table. Think about the weave of the basket and the complexity of the drawing when selecting a basket for the fruit. Make sure the basket of fruit is well-lit.

  • Sit at the drawing board and determine a viewpoint from which you will draw the basket of fruit.

  • Begin to sketch the overall shape of the entire basket with the fruit, blocking out the main shapes with a light pencil mark. Once you block this out proportionate to the basket of fruit, begin to further detail the basket of fruit, defining the shape of each piece of fruit and the weave structure of the basket.

  • Begin to shade the drawing once you've established the basics. Squinting your eyes, look at light and dark areas of the composition. Rather than drawing what you know, draw what you see.

  • Mark the darker areas of the drawing with the side of the pencil to shade the areas. Use your eraser to create highlights within the shaded areas. Be sure the light source is apparent from the shading of the drawing. One side of the drawing should be lighter than the other side, depending on which side the light source is hitting.

  • Define the perimeters of the fruit and basket using the tip of your pencil. Define the outer edges of the fruit and the weave structure of the basket. Continue this process until the drawing is complete.

  • Add any shading, highlights or defining lines necessary to finalize the drawing.

Tips & Warnings

  • Be careful not to smudge the drawing with the side of your hand
  • Draw what you see, not what you think is there. For example, don't draw an apple -- draw the shadows and highlights that form the apple.

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  • Photo Credit fruit table setting image by Paul Hill from
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