Paint an Apple in Acrylics

How to Paint an apple! Easy, beginner friendly painting lesson in acrylics.

Learn how to paint an apple! Apples are quite easy to paint and this method is so much fun for the beginner! I hope you enjoy painting apples as much as I enjoyed creating this lesson.

Paint an apple feature photo, hand painted apples on canvas

This lesson is part of a larger worshop I am working on that will be painted on the side of a rustic box.

Related: How to Build a Rustic Box

Once complete the workshop will take you through the painting of each fruit then how I put them all together to make a complete design across the box.

Note: the first video is a quick overview and the complete step by step video is at the end of this post.

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking a link I may make a small commission at no added cost to you.

Draw an Apple

Draw an an apple on your surface of choice. I am using a painted piece of scrap wood but this would be beautiful on a small canvas.

Related: How to Gesso a Canvas before Painting (yes, even pre-primed)

draw an apple to paint, or copy pattern

It is easy to draw an apple. They are basically a round shape. No need to be exact.

Apples come in different sizes and shapes. These are modeled after Gala apples.

Base Paint Apple

Since the background was a gray color I base painted the front apple with white using the 3/4″ flat brush. (this set is my go to brushes)

Due to the nature of yellow and red paint not being opaque this makes it easier to get the brightness desired.

This photo lesson is primarily focused on the front apple, the full length video shows how to paint both apples.

I did not base paint the back apple with white as it is not the focal point so I wanted it to recede and not be as bright.

Once the white has dried base paint with Plaid Folk Art Lemon Custard using the 3/4″ flat brush. (or size you find most comfortable)

Adding red streaking

Using the chisel edge of #12 flat brush and Engine Red create a line on the front apple in the shape of a smile under where the dimple will be for the stem.

Related: Basic Brush Strokes

Using the same #12 flat brush pull the red color down into the yellow with sweeping strokes.

Follow the curve of the apple to create roundness.

adding red to gala apple painting, follow curve of apple shape

Keep your touch light. You want it to be streaky not opaque.

Add the same Engine red to the rest of the apple using the same sweeping type strokes.

shading apple with red, pamela groppe art

Leave a bare yellow spot on the right side of your apple. This will be shaded later with a different color.

Leave the dimple area yellow too.

Shade the stem dimple

Using the corner of the #12 flat and Citrus green, stroke upward from the center of the dimple area and flair outward.

Then add Thicket right down into the dimple to shadow it further.

painting apple dimple

Let apple dry.

Deepen apple color

Using glazing medium (or water) in your #12 flat brush side load with red and with the red side against the outer edge of apple glaze down deepening the red color.

adding a glaze of color to fruit painting, pamela groppe art

Keep glazing on red until you are satisfied with the color.

You can leave it more yellow or make it redder. The choice is your, there are not hard and fast rules.

Also I left a bare yellow spot near the center. In the video I share how I added it back when I got too ambitious with the red glazing.

Adding a shadow

You will note that I left the right side more yellow.

This is the add a bit of a shading of color.

painting an apple in acrylics, pamela groppe art

Using glazing medium (or water) side load the #12 flat brush with Citrus Green and stroke it along the right edge.

Again, you want this to be a glaze of color and not opaque. The yellow still shows through.

paint shading on apple, pamela groppe art

Paint apple stem

Painting the apple stem is quite straight forward. Using the #2 Script liner and inky Burnt Umber paint, stroke on the stem. I curve it to one side or the other.

The top is a bit broader than the base.

Using Wicker white blended in with the Burnt Umber add highlights to the stem. Use a dabbing touch to create texture.

Along the top I make a u shape to create interest.

adding a stem to apple painting, pamela groppe art

Add highlights to apples

Using a touch of Wicker white on a damp brush, light add some highlights to the apples along the shoulders.

Adding highlights to apples, pamela groppe art

Remember, less is more. Go easy on the highlights.

I also used some inky paint and an old toothbrush to add the speckling.


How to Paint an Apple

Paint an apple feature photo, hand painted apples on canvas

Easy how to paint an apple tutorial. Simple painting lesson for everyone including beginners.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Active Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Difficulty Easy


  • Plaid Folk Art acrylics
  • Wicker White
  • Daffodil Yellow
  • Golden Rod
  • Citrus Green
  • Thicket
  • Engine Red
  • Burnt Umber
  • Glazing Medium
  • Surface of choice


  • Donna Dewberry One stroke Brushes (10 piece Multi Pack)
  • Brush basin
  • Paper towels


  1. Base Paint Apples
  2. Add red glazing in sweeping strokes
  3. Shadow stem dimple
  4. Add shading colors to right side
  5. Add stem
  6. Paint on highlights
  7. Fly speck

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Now for the full video you can follow along with

Please PIN and share!

Apple painting with text overlay, Learn to Paint Apples, w/video, beginner friendly, Pamela Groppe Art

Want more fruit painting lessons? These will come in handy when I do the rustic painting box workshop.
How to Paint Cherries
Paint Lemons
Learn to Paint Strawberries

Happy Painting!

For another apple painting tutorial visit here to see how Andy B. Jones paints them.

Please enjoy and share!

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