Add the Cast Shadow
Outline the bottom edge of the pumpkin with a 4B pencil. Then sketch two lines coming from the pumpkin’s base on both sides. Make the line on the right longer. This is because the stronger light source is from the upper left, so it leaves a longer shadow on the lower right. Next, start shading under the pumpkin with a sideways motion parallel to the line on the left. Keep your pencil marks very close together. End your pencil marks as you approach the line on the right. Also, the shadow under the pumpkin should gradually fade away as you get farther away from the base. Next, create a crosshatch pattern by repeating this with another layer, this time with your strokes parallel to the line on the right.
Now, you see me sketching a horizontal line here that resembles a table and does not exactly resemble the stump in the reference photo. That is because I originally planned on drawing a table rather than a stump, but I changed my mind. So, disregard this horizontal line that I will erase shortly, unless you would just rather draw a table. Directly under the pumpkin, put another layer of shading. This is where we draw a cast shadow. This cast shadow where the pumpkin meets the table should be where you place your darkest tones. If you maintained some reflected light during the pumpkin drawing, then you should see a nice separation between the pumpkin and the cast shadow. Gradually make the tones of the shadow less intense as you get farther from the pumpkin. Now I will erase those lines so we can start drawing the stump in the next step.
Draw the Stump
To draw the stump, I will mostly be sticking with the 4B pencil. Begin by sketching a curved line on the left side. Make sure you allow enough room for the pumpkin to sit on the stump. With your pencil slightly lifted off the paper, draw an imaginary line from the left side to where the right side of the stump should emerge from behind the pumpkin. Then curve this line downward. Allow enough room for your shadow to be on the top of the stump. If you made your shadow too big for this, you can always make adjustments or just make your stump bigger.
Bring some of the pumpkin’s shadow out a little more toward the edges of the stump. As for the sides of the stump, there’s not a whole lot we can see. Just shade the small part that is visible. Then shade the slanted bridge between the vertical side and the flat top.
Add Details to the Stump
Begin drawing cracks in the surface of the woody stump. Start by drawing up the side and then across the surface of the top toward the center. Use a series of lines that are mostly straight but still wiggly and imperfect.
As you continue to draw cracks, have them branch apart in some places. Run some of the cracks down the side of the stump with thick marks that add depth. Draw some other cracks nearby. Pay attention to the angle of the plane bridging the side and top together.
Draw some cracks with light, dotted lines and thicker cracks with heavier lines. The lines don’t need to be spaced evenly apart. Remember, this is another instance where imperfections can add to the realism. Keep drawing lines that radiate generally toward the center of the stump under the pumpkin.
Start sketching circular rings around the top surface of the stump. Draw them in a way similar to how you drew the straight cracks. Use a loose touch with your pencil and follow the general curvature of the stump’s edges. As you get closer to the cast shadow of the pumpkin, make some of these marks darker to stand out.
To finish up, sketch a few more straight lines pointing toward the center. Loosely and lightly sketch a few more circular rings as well. Put a little more shading on each side of the stump. Leave the bridge here lighter than the side but darker than the top. Make final value adjustments and finishing touches. Erase any stray marks.
And that is an easy way to draw a realistic pumpkin!