Step by Step Instructions for Drawing Food that Looks Good Enough to Eat

We have all seen the Fall cornucopia illustrations with delectable fruits spilling over, or the simple drawing of a glass of wine that makes your lips purse in thirst. How is it that an artist is able to make these portraits so appetizing with pencil, paper and water color? Drawing realistic food is not as easy as it seems, and requires months of practice before you can even begin to get it right.

In the real world, it is more than our eyes that look at food. All of the senses are affected, especially the sense of smell. In order to get your food painting right, you need to remember that and use is to your advantage.

As a subject for artwork, you really can’t beat food. It’s appealing universally and won’t move around when you are trying to capture its essence. Still it is can be a challenge. Just like with cooking it, sometimes you can create something that is recognizably mouthwatering, and other times you create nothing more than a hot mess.

There is a reason why there are no pictures of Brussels sprouts adorning the walls of fine art museums. Artists know that when drawing food, it is important to stick with what they know and like, and there are not too many of them extolling the virtues of that little green veggie. When choosing food for your subject, pick something you know and love and are intimately familiar with.

Southern American artists understandably have a knack for drawing fried foods that you just know are crispy if only you could touch it. That comes from their familiarity with anything that comes out of a deep fryer. These artists have brought genius to coming up with the varying shades of tan and brown that you see after dropping a battered chicken leg into a deep fryer.

pancakesWith some foods, like ice cream for example, you have to add some other elements to ensure that the viewer knows what it is they are looking at. A bowl of chocolate ice cream is not very appealing in print until you add some whipped cream and throw a cherry on top. Accessorizing your food drawings is often what will make them visually appealing.

Play with the colors and blend them to make the food more realistic looking. If you study a red apple, you are going to see that it is not entirely red all over. There are changes in the shades that you should emulate in your painting. Study your food subject carefully, with your eyes, hands and nose, to make it look as close to the real thing as possible when you put it down on paper.

Many artists view food drawing as simplistic and even amateurish, but that is far from the truth. Trying to capture the essence of something that we care so much about is a difficult feat to accomplish. Give yourself plenty of time to master this skill and you are going to more than pleased with your palate pleasing paintings.

Learn How to Draw Sensations Like Smell, Taste and Touch

Outside of what we can see are our sensations, which work at enhancing our physical world. These include smell, sound, touch and hearing. Excellent drawings are able to evoke these sensations, otherwise it would be a boring means of expression.

It may seem impossible to evoke the sound of a police siren, the feel of a hot bath, or the smell of fresh cut flowers, yet when we look at work from the masters, they are doing just that without us even realizing it. You can smell the green grass that lies in Mona Lisa’s background even as you are gazing on her relentless stare.

How Do You Draw Sensation?

This is a difficult question to answer, as the methodology will differ from artist to artist. But one of the most often used methods is to paint or draw as the sensation is being stimulated on you. Do you want to depict the sound of rain on a rooftop? Draw it during a summer storm. Are you trying to depict the soft feel of a bunny’s fur, pet one before you put pencil to paper.

Recently I wanted to paint an aromatic field of wildflowers as a gift for my mother. Being the middle of winter, I was not about to go out and sit in one, but I was able to evoke the smells using essential oils and a diffuser. Picking on a variety of floral essential oils like rose, lavender, and peony, I was able to close my eyes and imagine that I was dead center in the middle of this imaginary field. The second my eyes were opened, I was able to create that image on the canvas in such a way that the assumed aroma was intoxicating.

Drawing textures for the sense of touch can be difficult as well, and best achieved by physically handling a similar object. Beach painters for example do this all of the time, gripping sand and letting it trickle out of the fingers in order to evoke the way it feels between your toes.

As you practice in your drawing, you will get better at drawing sensations. Just keep at it, and try working on only one at a time. You are going to find that once you do master a sensation, the others will be easier as you have now developed a process.

Use your imagination and let it flow from your art medium, and you will find that over time, these skills become second nature. This may not be an easy feat to master, but once you do it will never leave you.

How To Learn To Draw

Being able to draw is a talent a lot of us would like to have. Many of us think that being able to draw is just a talent you are born with, when it fact most of us can learn to draw with just a little bit of time and effort. If you would like to learn how to draw, I have come up with some simple steps that I think will help you to get started. By following the steps below you should be well on your way to mastering the craft of drawing.

1. Take A Class – When it comes to learning to draw, nothing beats getting personal instructions. If you can find a class in your area, I highly suggest taking it. The instructors will be able to give you advice on how to improve your technique, and others around you will be able to assist you as well. If you don’t have the money, or can’t find, a class near you, there are online classes that you can take that will assist you. Most of these can be found for free, and can offer a wide range of helpful instructions.

2. Practice – Once you start drawing, keep going! You are not going to master this craft over night, so you have to keep up with it. When you go out, take a sketchpad and a pencil with you so that you can draw right away if you see something interesting. Or bring a camera along, and draw the pictures when you get back home. The more time you can put into learning to draw, the better you will get at it.

3. Experiment – You don’t have to be an amazing drawer the first time out. Don’t worry if what you draw looks awful. Experiment with new tools and techniques and see which you prefer. As you experiment more, you’ll gain more practice, which will help you even further.

4. Read Books – There are many books out there that can help you to learn to draw. Check out a local bookstore or the library and see if any there interest you. Books can help you to learn about techniques such as shading, texture, and reflecting. Mastering all the different areas of drawing will help you to combine them all into one great picture.

5. Show Your Work – Once you complete a drawing, show it to others. Even if you don’t think that it is that good, others may disagree. Their positive feedback will encourage you to keep going and continue drawing. And if they have any criticisms, you will know which areas of your skills that you need to work on. Don’t be afraid of feedback, as it can be one of your best tools as a new artist.

And there you have it! 5 simple tips that will help you to learn to draw. It may seem like a daunting task, but if you just start out small and keep with it, you will have developed the skill before you know it. Good luck and happy drawing!

Best Illustration Software

For any illustrator out there, having the right software can make a big difference. Without the proper tools to get the job done, your work will become harder and the quality might not be as good. To help you out, I have come up with a list of some of the best software options out there when it comes to illustrating. By using one of the programs mentioned below, you will have the right program to make your work look great.

1. Xara – This program may not be that well known, but it offers some great perks. It is fast, easy to use, and it comes at a reasonable price. Xara is available for both Windows systems and Linux systems, but those of you on a Mac will have to look elsewhere. Another bonus of this program is that it comes with a ton of different tutorials so you can easily figure out how to do amazing things with the program.

"Adobe Illustrator CS5 icon" by Metalindustrien - Metalindustrien. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Adobe Illustrator CS5 icon” by Metalindustrien – Metalindustrien. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

2. Adobe Illustrator – Illustrator, much like its sister-program Photoshop, is one of the most used programs in the area. This is not without reason. Illustrator provides its users with a wide range of features and tools so that you can do just about anything. This biggest drawback with this program is that it can be a little expensive and hard to learn. However, since most industry professionals are using this program, it may benefit you to learn how to use it.

3. Serif Draw Plus – This program, only available on Windows, is one of the better vector-drawing programs out there. It is also one of the more popular programs, as it is usually seen on the top of a lot of lists like this one. Best of all is that you can now get a version of it for free, so you can try it out and see if you like it.

4. Inkscape – If you need a program that can be run on any operating system, Inkscape is a good one to look at. One of the major benefits of this program is that it is entirely free since it is the open-source alternative to Adobe’s Illustrator. It comes packed with a ton of features, especially when you consider the cost. I can’t recommend trying out Inkscape enough, as I am sure you will love it.

5. Microsoft Expression – Lastly, we have Microsoft Expression. It is a little different than the programs mentioned above, so it may not be able to replace your other vector-based programs. If you are looking for a way to add a unique touch to some of your designs, this program may be able to help you do that.

As you can see, there are many options when it comes to choosing an illustrating software. Your best bet is to read the reviews for several of the programs mentioned above, and then decide which one that you like the best. Each program has its own features and drawbacks, and not all of them will be right for you.