Colored Pencil Drawing (Level 2)

Goals and Objectives

  1. To gain a deeper understanding of color theory and how colors affect one another
  2. To become more adept at color layering
  3. To gain more experience drawing from observation while focusing on color and textures

Step by Step

  1. first some scaffolding: using either fake or real fruit, lightly sketch an apple or pear onto a page in your sketchbook or other piece of paper
  2. demo use of layering with colored pencil for an understanding of building up layers to achieve dark values and depth of visual interest in colors
  3. bisect this piece of fruit and begin drawing one half of it with as much realism of color and value as possible
  4. after about 15-20 minutes, ask students to begin working on second half of fruit while using all complementary colors (still duplicate values and color layering, but a green apple would now be red, for example)
  5. have students bring in (and/or provide for them) a minimum of three high-quality color printouts of cupcakes for students to pick from (experience tells me that too much detail and/or too much chocolate on chocolate tends to be most difficult)
  6. check pics and have students begin lightly drawing cupcake in pencil on final drawing paper - including all necessary shapes for light and dark areas
  7. you may also choose to show some close up images of other artists such as Wayne Thiebaud
  8. provide tootsie and/or blow pops for students to draw in their sketchbooks in colored pencil (this allows for drawing a "white" area in addition to a fairly monochromatic area while still asking them to use plenty of color within each of those areas) - this should take around 30 minutes to complete
  9. students begin lightly layering their colors for their cupcake and drawing their image


  • fake (or real) apples and pears
  • rulers
  • sketchbooks and/or practice drawing paper
  • final drawing paper
  • pencils and colored pencils
  • tootsie and/or blow pops
  • color photos of cupcakes


  • This project typically takes four to five 90 minute class sessions to complete



If you would like digital copies of examples of this project to download please email with your request.


This project is the perfect set up for the Acrylic Painting that typically follows because of the nature of its color exploration.

Some select supplies can be found with the below links