Library Roulette, Class 700: How to Draw Kawaii Vegetables

For the fifth (and final) craft in my Library Roulette Class 700 project, I drew vegetables. Cute vegetables, that is. 

This time, my random number was 745, the category for Decorative Arts. I chose the book Crafting Cute: Polymer Clay the Kawaii Way by Dani Banani. (Affiliate link here and throughout the post.) The book begins with an introduction and an explanation of kawaii ("cute" in Japanese) and chibi (an exaggerated, minimalist drawing style). Next is an excellent explanation about working with polymer clay. The rest of the book has detailed instructions to make 50 adorable anthropomorphized projects using polymer clay. The writing is excellent and the many step-out photos make this a great book for beginners. 

Rather than work with polymer clay, I opted to take inspiration from the Pickle Charm project to draw kawaii vegetables. 

Looking at this project and the others in the book (the finished clay pieces, not the illustrations), I identified characteristics of Banani's work that I wanted to include. 
  • projects are done in a solid color, in a lighter shade than the real item would be
  • the proportions are shorter and squatter than in reality
  • all edges are rounded
  • details are minimal or non-existent
  • the faces consist of a tiny smile and two dots, done in black, and lined up with each other

This project gave me the perfect opportunity to test out the Marker Sketchbook I received from Ohuhu. The smooth, heavyweight paper is designed specifically to use with Ohuhu markers and they colored like a dream in this sketchbook. 

I started by putting vegetable-shaped blobs of color onto my paper, trying to keep them short, squat, and rounded. I started with the carrot and eggplant (since I'm left-handed). I didn't plan ahead with overall placement; the next vegetable I drew was whatever fit nicely into the remaining space I had, both in terms of space and not repeating a color. The mushroom and the bean were last, since I hadn't left myself much room in the left-hand side!

Then I used a Black Honolulu to add faces. I outlined each vegetable, then added tiny lines to imply dimension to the carrot, eggplant, radish, tomato, mushroom, and bean. I made full lines on the bell pepper - in retrospect, I wish I hadn't. I added small lines to both the top of the onion and the root end. Finally, I added a few small spots on the potato. 

I've really enjoyed trying to mimic different artists' styles in the past and this was no exception. I've never drawn anything with a kawaii and/or chibi style, so it was fun to try something new. The happy vegetables make a great first page in my new marker sketchbook. Every time I work in it, I'll have these smiling faces greeting me!

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