After transferring the sketch, I began rendering the flesh of the lemon using various yellows. I made sure to fill in the flesh using strokes that radiate from the center of the lemon. I rendered the pith using white. I also used white for the seed, as well as light umber for the dark skin around the seed.
Next, I continued giving more accurate colors to the lemon by adding the darker shades to the flesh. I also added the shadows on the far sides of the lemon as well as where the slices overlap.
Lastly, I used white to burnish some of the flesh. I did this to mimic the thin white membrane found covering the flesh. I used dark brown to draw in the tiny dots that detail the outer skin of the peel. This is found along the outer edge of the cut pieces. It may seem like an insignificant detail, but these small touches are what helps create realism in a drawing.
I also made sure to add shadows anywhere that they are present in the photo reference to aid in 3-dimensionality. I then used black to create a shadow under the fruit. This is very subtle, since the paper is already black, but it adds depth to the final product.
Finally, I used white gouache to paint in the tiny highlights all around the lemon to represent the shine and wetness of the fruit. I would ordinarily just use white colored pencil, but the black paper along with many layers of colored pencil weren’t taking any more white pencil very well, so to get the impact I wanted with the highlights, I chose gouache.
And here is the finished product:
Do you have any questions or tips of your own on drawing citrus fruit? Please let me know, below.