A single lighted orange candle in the darkness, the flame’s glow burning brightly. Colored pencil on black paper, this is a study for a more complex still life drawing idea I have in mind. The study turned out so nicely, I had to offer it up.
Technical drawing notes
Because I am asked by other artists wanting to try this technique, I thought I should share one very big tip and some smaller drawing tips I used to achieve this lighted candle effect. None of these are original – I found most in various YouTube videos on the subject – but here they are in one spot for reference.
- Use a reference photo – this is mine
- Outline where you want what on the drawing
- On the brightest parts, use white pencil first for a base layer, fading to the black of the paper
- For that pale yellow glow, lay down an underlayer of pale yellow before going over it with the intended color
- for a visual example of the white underlayer, see my post on my Christmas Candle still life drawing
Lighted candle drawings
I’ll likely be doing even more drawings of lighted candles, because not only are they a fun challenge to draw or paint properly, but I just love watching a candle’s flame dance as the air moves around it. Also, I love trying to capture that warm glow of candlelight, not only in the flame itself but the way it lights all the objects around it. I especially intend to do some still life drawings featuring lighted candles, as those tend to be my favorite compositions.