- Donut reference boards help us sketch!
- How to draw a donut – My exploration and study sketches
- Shape breakouts and variations
- How to draw a donut: basic form construction
- How to draw a donut – more form construction!
Welcome to my how to draw a donut tutorial!
Hello and welcome to how to draw a donut on cecelyv.com! In this how-to-draw tutorial, we’ll discuss and demonstrate how to make a tasty donut drawing and learn about the shapes, forms, and variations of a donut.
If you’re familiar with any of my other how-to-draw articles–like how to draw a snake or how to draw a mushroom–then you know I like to emphasize form and structure. I’ll cover the basic shapes and forms that help us create a donut drawing, and I’ll explain the distinction between the donut itself and its delicious topping details.
First things first, let’s make sure we understand what we’re drawing a bit more.
Let’s learn about donuts!
A donut (also spelled “doughnut”) is a sweet treat food made from leavened fried dough. Donuts are popular, yummy to taste, and have a world full of variety, with just about every country and culture, from A to Z, having its version.
Donuts are most often deep-fried from a flour dough, with the two most common types of donuts being the ring donut and the filled donut. The ring donut has a circle shape with a hole cut out of the center, and filled donuts are injected with fruit jelly, cream, custard, or other delectable fillings.
Donut toppings vary wildly, from icing and glaze to sprinkles, frosting, chocolate, powdered sugar, cinnamon, and fruit. The hole from the center of a ring donut is often cooked as a donut hole.
Other shapes include twists, balls, buns, and thick and flattened small loaves. Donuts are also divided into cake and yeast-risen types and can be purchased everywhere, from grocery stores to cafes to donut shops and gas station convenience stores.
The History of Donuts
A cookbook published in 1485 gives us the first mention of fried dough cakes (as far as we know), so donuts have been around for quite some time. If you’d like to learn more about the history of the donut, here are a few sources to check out:
- The Spuce Eats: The History of the Doughnut (2020)
- Tori Avey.com: The History of Doughnuts (2018)
- The Smithsonian Magazine: The History of the Doughnut (1998! Super old, but a reliable source)
How Donuts are made
We like to eat them, and we’re making donut drawings, so we might as well look at how donuts are made, right? It’ll give us another good visual and insight for our drawings, and that’s always a good thing ??.
Time to make some donut drawings!
Okay! You’re probably like, “Finally, she gets to the point!” ??
I know it can seem like a lot of extra stuff, but how can we draw what we don’t understand?
Now, let’s learn how to draw a donut and have some fun!
Exploration and study: Donut drawing shapes and forms
We know enough about donuts and their variations to make some drawings, so let’s start with reference boards and sketches!
If you need help making your reference board, I have an article and a video to help.
Donut reference boards help us sketch!
By studying references, we can develop a good idea of the basic shapes and forms as we begin making sketches and drawings. I like to do this for each of my drawing tutorials. Shapes and forms give us structure, and structure is vital.
How to draw a donut – My exploration and study sketches
It’s essential to do all the study sketches you feel necessary to be comfortable with your subject.
Donuts have relatively simple structures, so most of the drawing work is in the details of toppings like coloring, glaze, icing, sprinkles, shadows, and light, whether you put it on a drawing of a plate or with fruit in the middle, etc.
Here are my study sketches from my how to draw a donut explorations:
Compared with study sketches in my other tutorials, this one is pretty light on drawings–and that’s okay. If the subject is simple, it is easier to understand and draw.
Shape breakouts and variations
By studying my reference boards, I delivered the outlines and edges of an entire list of common donut varieties for us to draw. These outlines and shapes give us the basis for the forms we need as we learn how to draw a donut, and the form provides us with the structure we need so the delicious icing, glaze, and coloring have something to live on top of in our donut drawing.
Next, let’s have some fun with forms by tackling the form construction for each of these shape outlines.
How to draw a donut: basic form construction
To learn how to draw a donut, I started with the most common and recognizable type–the ring donut.
For beginners, I recommend starting with the most basic shapes and forms. Starting from simple shapes will help you grasp each edge, oval, circle, and line as you make your sketch.
This approach works for everyone from kids to hobbyists and professionals and can be applied to any medium from pencil and paper to crayons, colored pencils, or a digital format. Of course, if you need to trace at first to get started, that’s okay too!
Let’s have fun with donut forms!
How to draw a donut – more form construction!
I mentioned earlier that I identified more than one example of common donut shapes. Whether there’s a wavy line, curved lines, or straight lines, each shape gives us an example of how to start building our donut drawing forms.
It’s essential to my mission to emphasize form and structure in all of my drawing tutorials, so I created visual form construction examples for several of the common donut types to help you learn how to draw a donut of any style you choose.
To practice these form construction steps and learn how to draw a donut in different ways, follow the visual form construction steps below!
When in doubt, remember to lead by drawing an entire shape, like an ellipse, circle, oval, etc. It serves us better than individual lines or edges when we have a whole shape.
The twist type is less round than a basic/traditional donut, so I start with a box shape to capture its overall soft boxy form.
The churro is very tubular in its construction, essentially made of one long cylinder.
Learning how to draw a donut that is a cake type is a little more complex, but we can handle it! The cake types tend to be the ones with more complex top forms and toppings, so it makes sense that their form construction is a little more involved.
How to draw a donut step-by-step tutorial (from my sketches & Imagination!)
Next up in how to draw a donut, I will go through the “official” step-by-step tutorial for drawing a basic ring-type donut.
What you saw earlier with all the form construction was essentially a collection of visual step-by-step tutorials. I wanted to make sure I shared multiple ways of how to draw a donut with you so you can choose for yourself which type of donut you want to create.
Follow along with me, and you’ll have a realistic donut picture, complete with a slight indication of shadows. I won’t delve too deeply into the shadows and light or details in this tutorial because that crosses into the realm of painting and rendering, and we need a solid drawing to paint on top of first ?.
This step-by-step should work for kids, too. So let’s get to it!
How to draw a donut, Step 1
Start with a horizontal oval, also called an ellipse. Extend two lines straight down from each end of your oval.
Connect the straight lines you extended with another oval/ellipse.
You’ve created the form for your donut hole!
Now that we have the empty middle of the donut, it’s time to construct the ring donut itself.
Add two large circles on the horizontal ends of the donut hole form you finished in step 2. Make the circles as large and as round as you’d like.
Connect the outside bottom edges of the circles with a large ellipse as shown.
This creates the bottom plane of your donut.
Draw another ellipse to connect the outside top edges of the circles. This creates the top plane of your donut where all the toppings will live.
Now, it’s time to erase some of your construction lines to prepare for the next stage of drawing some tasty toppings.
It helps to emphasize the inside edge closest to you in your drawing. When drawn next to your donut hole, it adds a sense of depth and three-dimensionality.
Sketch in some ellipses around the ring of your donut to help you visualize how the form turns.
This will give you a guide to help make your toppings look more realistic.
Sketch in the basic shape, size, and directionality of your toppings.
I chose a simple icing with light sprinkles, so here I blocked that in here with a different colored pencil.
To make room for the detail shapes and forms, I took some time to erase my construction lines more carefully.
I continued the detail phase’s block-in step here by adding the shapes and forms of each sprinkle.
I made the sprinkles out of tiny circles, 3D curls, and itty bitty cylinders. They may be small, but they still have form and mass!
I also added a little bit of color to the bottom of the donut. Using brown, I decided to make this a chocolate donut with icing and sprinkles on top!
To make the drawing clear, and to keep from accidentally erasing my work during clean-up of my construction lines, I went ahead and did a trace of everything in black marker.
The last step is color, shadow, and light!
I didn’t want this how to draw a donut tutorial to turn into a painting tutorial, so I didn’t do much with the light or shadows.
Still a slight indication of shadows under the icing is enough for our purposes here.
Congratulations! You’ve completed my how to draw a donut step-by-step tutorial!
The Details and coloring of donuts
Now you know all about how to draw a donut!
I want to offer a little more clarity on what constitutes “details,” so I created a short video to explain (COMING SOON!)
A warm farewell with encouragement
Thank you for visiting my site!
I hope you enjoyed my how to draw a donut tutorial, and I hope you had fun making donut drawings with me!
Remember, it doesn’t matter how many times you need to erase, or whether you need to trace or start again on a new piece of paper several times. It doesn’t matter if your donut drawing is round or if the donut hole you drew is a little wobbly. Learn the process, find your way of drawing. Keep at it! Art isn’t about being “good”, it’s about how making art makes you feel.
Try this with crayons and other media, try it with kids–or other kids if you are a kid!
Have fun and keep drawing! The rest will come.
If you enjoyed my how to draw a donut tutorial, please share it! I’d love to hear your feedback, so if you have a comment or question for me please leave it in the comments section below! If you didn’t like my how to draw a donut tutorial, please tell me that, too! Part of my site mission is to help as many other artists as I can with my content, so I’m open to feedback that helps my content improve.