Tag Archives: drawing exercise

Your first drawing – an apple

This is a a test page to show the first video demonstration for my up-coming book

“Get Drawing”.  You will be able to link to this page from the book by using a QR code small_qr  or by clicking a link in the e-book.

If You’d like to be invited to the book launch (early 2019) or be told when the book is published, or very any other info, I’d be delighted to have you on-board for the ride.

Please email me on karen@karenfrankel.com



Quick Tip # 4 – Warm and cool colours

Warm and Cool colours

Put very simply

  • Cool colours have a bit of blue in them.
  • Warm colours have a bit of red in them.
  • A cool red has a bit of blue – a purply red
  • If red doesn’t have blue in it then it’s a warm orangy red.
  • A warm blue has a bit of red in it – a purply blue.
  • If blue doesn’t have any red in then it’s cool – a greeny blue.
  • So then orangy yellow is warm and greeny yellow is cool.
  • 🙂

Why do we need to know?

The use of cool and warm colours helps in aerial perspective.  Warm colours tend to come forward and cool colours  recede into the distance.

Get Drawing

Get your creative juices flowing

Try this short exercise


  • Take a random set of coloured pencils – your children’s school ones will do. Watercolour pencils can also be used.
  • On a piece of drawing paper (or any paper if you don’t have cartridge) – about A5 is good – colour in small patches in random directions next to and over each other. Make sure that you have two or more patches of the same colour. Don’t worry about whether colours match. It’s best to choose them at random so that you don’t have any preconceived ideas.


  • You need to have at least three layers of colour everywhere. Don’t press too hard because we don’t want to fill in all the tooth of the paper.  (Tooth is the texture of the paper, eg. a little rough, bumpy or smooth. If all the valleys are filled then there is nowhere else for more colour to go.) If you are drawing on cartridge paper you should be able to put quite a few layers on before the tooth is filled. Make sure that you still have some white spaces showing between colours.  This means that you still have place to layer more colour on.
  •  Once your first three layers of colour are down you should have a fairly uniform layer of mid-tone. You are now going to apply the dark and light tones to create your picture.
  • Use a simple piece of fruit either in reality or from you head. You are not going to depict exact colours and it really doesn’t matter what shape you end up with. Just enjoy the colouring. Imagine a light source from the top right of your piece of fruit. This will mean that there is a shadow on the bottom left and a cast shadow on the imaginary table surface. (it’s not necessary to set one up unless you really want pear3to).
  •  Choose a colour that is close to the one you imagine for your fruit. You can use completely unreal colours as takes your fancy. Draw the fruit by layering on colours in the shape of the fruit.  You can draw a soft line if you need to.  Press a bit harder to develop the subject.
  • Add shadows with darker colours so that you develop a darker tone on the shadowed side. Layer in the shape of the cast shadow as well. (This is the shadow on the ‘table’ .) Remember that you cannot darken the tone simply by pressing hard. You need to have a darker colour to begin with. No amount of pressure will change yellow to a dark tone.
  • Try to make sure that your coloured layers make a block of tone. If you have drawn your fruit with a line then make sure that it blends in with the blocks of coloured tone so that you can no longer see it as a line.
  • It is not a good idea to use black or dark brown as this will deaden the work. You can mix darker colours if you don’t have a single one that works. For example use a graphite pencil to add dark or use your black sparingly with another colour layered over it. Mixing complementary colours will give you lovely and unexpected greys. Red and green, orange and blue, yellow and purple – These make fantastic shadow tones.
  • Now that you have your darks you need to put some light back in. Use a plastic white eraser pear5to rub out some of the colour. The purpose is to lighten it, not to get back to the white paper. You still want to see some of the original colour although you may need to press quite hard to remove the colour you want. If you wish the contrast between tones to be greater it is a good idea to lift off some of the colour from the background behind the dark side. You can also add a darker tone behind the light side of you fruit. This will enhance the tonal contrast again. This colour doesn’t need to be as dark as the dark shadows .
  • To finish off, put a table edge in behind the fruit. Colour a final layer over the background, on the table, or both. The purpose is not to obliterate the random colours underneath but just to bring everything together. If you put a layer of colour on the table surface then make sure that it covers the shadow as well. The shadow is not separate from the table.final pear

I’d love to see your finished result and hear how you enjoyed this small project. Please feel free to share.

Get Drawing!