A lemon is just so refreshing! So we thought that a lemon chalk art tutorial would be a wonderful thing to enjoy here at the start of a new year.
Now a lemon is a fairly simple shape. You can sketch a whole lemon or a lemon slice. We did both. This tutorial is wide open to possibilities. Of course the lemon is yellow. But you might want to place yours on a lemon tree, surrounded by green. Or in a beautiful blue bowl surrounded by other lemons (like we did!)
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You could even paint your lemons and add a purple painterly effect behind the lemons. Yellow and purple are complementary colors and when placed together are pleasing to the eye. (More on What is painterly effect?)
Let’s gather our pastel colors: you will need: bright yellow (of course, this is a lemon, after all!), orange, medium brown, dark brown, and a favorite blue/aqua for your bowl. That’s it. Now if you want to paint the lemons by themselves and not in the bowl, pick out a bright purple for the background, to make your painting “pop!”
This tutorial is going to be suggestions as to how you can paint the lemons in the bowl. Start with the bowl; it holds the lemons and we can’t have them rolling around all over the table. Pick up your aqua or blue pastel and make a curve, sort of like a smile, a little bit more than halfway down your paper. Then, at the corners of the smile, still using the blue pastel, make the bowl under the smile…it will have a straight bottom so it can sit on the table. Brush on the color that you prefer for the bowl, BUT…leave a line of white at the top of the bowl to show light! Smooth this with your fingers to make an even coat of pastel.
Hodgepodgemom and I love to have a spot of lemon essential oil in our Trim Healthy Mama Good Girl Moonshine (apple cider vinegar) to promote overall health and boost immunity.
Now we will fill the bowl with lemons! You cannot see the bottoms of the lemons, because they are in the bowl, and the viewer knows this also. Using your yellow pastel, draw a HALF an egg-shaped lemon with a little rounded cap on each top. Don’t fret that they are all mashing up to each other, you can use your medium brown to show that there is space between the lemons and define the round shapes.
You can use a bit of orange mixed with your yellow to outline the lemons if you like; not much, just a touch. Lemons have dimples; yes, little dimples that look a bit like freckles. Take your medium brown and lightly (lightly!!!) put some spots or dimples on your lemons….not a bunch of them, these lemons don’t have chicken pox!
There you have a beautiful bowl of lemons…oh, no! They are floating in the air and don’t have a table under them to hold them down! Take your medium brown and smooth a straight line across the painting, just a bit behind the bowl. Turn your pastel on the side and carefully smooth some brown to finish the table, and the dark brown to show shadow on the right side of the bowl.
I know that some of you are very good detectives, and spied a round container of pastels in one of our photos. Yes, those are Pan Pastels! They are an extra tool that you might like to have with your regular pastel sticks…they can be a bit difficult for some artists to use, but I like them for smooth, even coverage of areas in a painting like a sky, a prairie, a marsh, or even an ocean or lake. Use them for coverage of large areas. We got them out and tried them and Pan Pastels are lots of fun! They even come with little felt-tipped tools to help you smooth on color! More about Pan Pastels later!
Ah! What a beautiful painting of lemons you have done! You have the colors just right, and I know that you want to show your work to your family and friends…be sure to sign your name in the corner, flip the painting over and name it and date it. Wow! Great job! And always remember: you ARE an artist!
You ARE An Artist!
- Get your FREE ebook! Getting Started in Chalk Pastel Art.
- See how you can get started in just three steps! Watch the one minute You ARE an Artist video at Southern Hodgepodge.
- A note on chalk pastels: Pastels are an easy, forgiving medium. Fun for children and adults alike! Details on the pastels and paper we use, how and where to purchase, and links to all of Nana’s other pastel lessons (100+ free lessons now) are all contained in the post 100+ Free Art Lessons for All Ages plus the video The Very Few Must Have Supplies for Chalk Pastel Art. A simple set is very affordable. Nana also teaches acrylic lessons.
- The practical aspects of a mess: Pastels are blessedly messy. We always have baby wipes close by to wipe hands. We wear something we don’t mind getting stained or don a smock.
- Encouragement: You Can Be an Artist! 10 Day series and Art for All Ages 10 Day series
- Be sure to subscribe to our Hodgepodge YouTube channel for free video art tutorials!
“If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.” ~Vincent Van Gogh