How to Paint an Apple with Watercolors

eHow Crafts Blog


Autumn is such a beautiful time of year and probably one of my favorite seasons. There is something about the crisp September air that inspires me to paint. And what better way to share my inspiration than to present another watercolor tutorial.


This time I want to share how I paint an apple, and how timely as the apple orchards are bursting with this delicious fruit.


As usual, we begin by getting our colors ready. To paint the apple I used the following: red winsor , scarlet lake (orange), yellow winsor, sap green, french ultra (blue).


Lightly draw the basic shape of an apple and decide where the source of light will be. This will decipher what colors you use at which sides of the apple. For this occasion, my source of light will be coming from the left, therefore the apple will be lighter on the left and darker on the right.


With a wet brush, cover half the apple, making sure you leave the ‘highlight’ areas dry. The highlight areas are the shiny parts of any reflective surface.


While paint is still wet, place first layer of very diluted yellow, again leaving the highlights white.


Wet the other side of the apple and paint in with diluted red paint.


While the paint is still wet, paint another layer of the red paint, this time not as diluted, and allow to dry.


Take some of the yellow and mix a little bit of the orange together (2:1 ratio). Make sure that you are following the contour of the apple as the arrows illustrate.


Take some of the red and repeat last step, again following the contours of the apple.


While you allow the paint to dry, you can start defining the stem. Here I have used some of the blue paint combined slightly with the red. Using cool colors with the warm colors will give you a perfect neutral.


Continue to enhance the details of the stem, leaving the edges a little lighter than the center as shown. You can also paint in the greens around the stem.


You can now define the shadows by using some more of the neutral color you made, using blue, red and some green.


Use some of the blue and red mixture and add some low lights or shadows.


I have mentioned before that watercolor is all about layers and the more layers you apply, the more the subject comes to life. With this type of realistic painting, it’s important to allow the paint to dry prior to proceeding to the next layer.


You can continue to add details such as little specs or bruises until you are satisfied with it. A good tip is to have a picture of your subject or a real life object, so you can observe its detail closely.


Here are the steps, side by side, so you can see the process.


Remember – the more you practice, the better you will become.


Admittedly, it takes a little patience and time, but I trust you’ll find the results are worth it.

I hope you found this tutorial helpful. If you have any questions or need clarification, please leave a message below or drop me a line at

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