Donut Art for the Fanatic

You may have noticed I have quite a few directions in my creative endeavours… I can’t just choose one. That would be like eating the same food all the time! So here is one project that was just ‘because’. AND because my loved one just LOVES donuts; Donut Art for the Fanatic.

It all started when I needed to have Christmas gifts and silly me; I tend to make them. It’s my small way of leaving my creative mark. Donuts, how hard are those to use as subject matter?! I have spent most of my life as an illustrator so it should easy-peasy… However I like to have great reference to make sure I get realism.

Call me the Donut Designer;

So Donut shopping I went and realized that the ones I wanted were a bit hard to come by. I wanted the pink-with-sprinkles kind and ‘cool’ icing. I’d go into the donut shop and look at the assortment and then leave. Yup, as usual I get the odd looks. Then it donned on me to just take matters in my own hands and ‘make’ them the way I want.

‘Back to shop for icing and sprinkles and plain donuts. I just did not want to have to bake them too! It’s all about the ‘look’ and arrangment in my mind.

Getting my Reference:

So I set up a makeshift ‘styling’ and played with composition. (Maybe I’ve secretly wanted to be a food stylist…) Yes! Composition is important and you probably have some idea of what looks good and what doesn’t; use your intuition unless you’d like to come to Art College.

I created a few options and had to add some ‘life’ with the yum-factor. I know it’s not the best practice to work from photos (shhhh, don’t tell my students) but I’m pretty used to being able to see beyond the photo nowadays. Plus time and lighting are easier.

‘Can’t have too many brushes;

I dug out a selection of paint and some canvas boards. To get a quick start here’s a tip; don’t start on white. A big board of white to fill is daunting. So I gave the whole panels a somewhat mid-tone of the background reddish colour and purposely kept it very ‘brush-strokey’. You can skip down to see the video…

Donut Art in Acrylic Media;

Getting Started:

I sketched my choice composition with some white pencil. If you are not comfortable with that you can use the ‘grid’ way to copy the picture. These are just donuts so they are quite forgiving.

The Secret:

Look at the photo and see the shapes of various colours and tones. Mix up colours as you see and fill in areas. Try NOT to use black to darken as that will make the colours very dull in your Donut Art. Use the theory of colour mixing to achieve cooler tones in the dark areas and warm tones in the light.

Squint your eyes:

To assess how it’s looking stand back from a distance or ‘squint’ your eyes as that takes away the details and lets you just see values. It’s my biggest artist trick!

If you think about it, a picture is just a lot of shapes of different colours; so starting with the larger areas before the details works great. Most beginners are too focused on the perfectionism of detail at the start. That comes at the end. Do you remember the forest of trees for the blue room?

Well, they paintings were well received! She loves them. What do you think? I believe there is some creativity in most people if they can get past that vice in their head saying that the don’t. I have believed that each day of my last 20 years of teaching… Let me inspire you!

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  1. Wow! As usual your log is a surprise and an inspiration! Beautiful work, I love to see all the directions your talent and enthusiasm take you. Thanks for taking the time to share it.

    1. That’s just because I have quite a lifetime of making stuff and I had a very amazing Mom who never let anyone say ‘you can’t do that’! I learnt my determination & stubbornness from her. I hope to inspire…