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Use Donuts to Teach Kids Drawing from Observation

by Catalina Gutierrez
October 8, 2018

Drawing donuts is a fun (& delicious) way for kids to practice drawing from observation.

Drawing from Observation with Kids - Using Donuts for a simple beginner project

Pink frosting, rainbow sprinkles, dulce de leche filling, chocolate ganache…yum! Did I make you hungry? I mean who doesn’t love donuts, right?  

Imagine how excited the children from my afterschool art class were when I walked into the classroom with a box of fresh donuts. They were like “what??? Do we get to eat these?” And I said, “Even better! You get to draw them!”

This is such a fun activity and I bet you will love setting it up for your kids. To get them in the food drawing mojo you can first show them some of Wayne Thiebaud’s colorful paintings of pastries and cakes.  These are so vivid and rich in color and texture, they will serve as a great inspiration.

Obviously, I told the children from my class they could eat the donuts once they were done. This made it even more motivating! And they did so great!

Drawing from observation with kids - drawing the details on donuts

Drawing from Observation with Donuts

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1. Group donuts on plates

Start by setting up the donuts on a plate right in the middle of the table. You can mix it up a little and place a few together in different colors and flavors to make it even more fun. They can choose to draw just one or all of them.

Drawing from Observation - Girl Drawing Donuts

2. Begin drawing donuts

Give each kid a piece of paper and a black sharpie. Ask them to look closely at the donuts– at every detail, every little sprinkle and  to draw it.

Encourage them to take their time to really observe every shape, the texture of the frosting and the swirls. The more details they include the better.

Drawing from Observation - Boy painting donuts

3. Painting the donuts

Once they are done with this part, bring in the palettes with the acrylics you have previously mixed to match the colors of the donuts.

You will also need the brushes, jars with water and a piece of paper towel or a sponge to dry/clean up brushes in between colors.  

Girl painting donuts - observational drawing for kids

Invite them to slowly start painting over all of the details they drew before.

Drawing from Observation - Finished drawing donuts art project for kids

Some of the kids might enjoy being as true and accurate to the original donut(s) as possible but others might prefer a little improvisation or variation in shapes and colors. That’s ok too.

The most important thing is for the kids to enjoy the process of drawing from observation rather than the result.  And of course, close up with the cherry on the pie…let them choose a donut to enjoy!

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Drawing Donuts to Teach Kids Drawing from Observation Skills

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