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How to Color Realistic Cherries with Copic Markers

Anat Ronen | May 8, 2017

This week’s guest tutorial is by Anat Ronen, a talented illustrator who works on large murals as well as a much smaller, 3″x3″ format. Enjoy, and be sure to leave your comments for Anat below!

Copic Markers

For this piece, I used:

Copic Colors Used:

  • R14 (for the base color of the fruit)
  • E09, E18 and R32 (for the highlight and shading)
  • C3 and C1 (for shading of the strawberry and underneath it)
  • YG63 and YG03 (for the stems and leaf)


Step 1: Identify the reference photo.

Try to choose a picture that is well contrasted, that shade and light are very visible in. It will help you later with shading your piece, giving it depth and a realistic look. Since I limit myself to a 3”x3” square, I crop the picture so I have the same exact image I am drawing in front of me while I am at it.

Step 2: Sketch general lines of the composition.

For this one, I used the Copics to sketch the general lines of the composition with the main colors I designated for the fruit and stems. The small, restricting size allows me to refer to the borders as guides, like a grid. Of course, you can do any shape you want.

How to draw a cherry

Step 3: Fill in the colors.

I fill in the colors, leaving white space where the color should be lighter.

cherry sketch

Step 4: Apply shading.

I start to apply the shading, using both the base color and the darker shade and mixing them so the transition is smooth. If I had more shades in between, I’d probably be using more colors to get it right.

cherry sketch

Step 5: Lay down the lighter shade and blend.

I lay down the lighter shade, blending it with the base color of the cherry.

cherry sketch

Step 6: Add shade and apply the darker color.

From here on I add more shade, apply the darker color to the stems and leaf, and see if I need to add more detail. I also grab a Multiliner and add small detail to the stems. I add a bit of reflected light using the white gel pen. If I don’t want it too dominant, I smear it as soon as I lay it on the paper, while it’s still wet. I also add the shadows.

cherry sketch

Step 7: Add further details.

I check to see if further details are needed to complete the picture. I determined that a little more detail is needed to the stem, and added the shadow beneath the stem of the left cherry.

coloring cherries with copics 

Topics: Illustration, Copic

Anat Ronen
Anat Ronen on May 8, 2017

Anat Ronen is a talented illustrator who works on large murals as well as a much smaller, 3″x3″ format.