Sketching Vegetables

Squash Drawing

Squash Drawing

Even if the vegetable I’m scrutinizing is going to end up in the oven, I usually consider its sketching potential before buying it! One time, I emptied an entire bin of tiny squash as I picked each one up, balanced it in my palm at the end of my outstretched arm, and then sat it to the side when it didn’t pass my “model” test. LOL … yes, that did draw a small crowd. (I heard one person whisper to another, “What’s she looking for?”)

To pass my model test, a vegetable has to meet a couple criteria. I consider the overall shape first, by squinting my eyes and seeing if the outline minus all the details is pleasing. After that, I take a look at how a directed light might model its form. This is kind of hard to do in a supermarket because of the awful overhead lighting they have … so I use my imagination. For instance, I liked the way the squash in this post had almost human looking curves.

Here are a few hints to help you find good sketching vegetables … and a shopping list, too!

Here are the hints …

  • There is a lot to be said for perfection, but vegetables with flaws can make interesting drawing subjects, also.
  • Beginners might have better success with smoothly textured, one color vegetables.
  • Deep reds, purples, and some greens can be awfully dark. A dark
    vegetable might make a good sketching model if you have some experience
    but, if you’re just beginning, lighter colors are easier to draw.

… and a few of my favorite sketching vegetables.

  • Peppers (white, yellow, and orange)
  • Squash (excellent!)
  • Apples (not to dark)
  • Pears (beautiful!)
  • Broccoli (challenging!)
  • Bananas (interesting!)
  • Kale (lovely but time consuming!)
  • Oranges, Grapefruit and Tangerines (exciting textures)

Happy drawing and bon appetit!

Carol Rosinski

Toad Hollow Studio – Drawing inspiration for everyone

About Carol

I'm an artist, author, and teaching artist. I've been writing about drawing on this website since 1999 and drawing since I was old enough to hold a pencil. I love teaching others how to draw too.
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