How to Draw Popcorn

Written by alyssa ideboen
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How to Draw Popcorn
Use plain popcorn to make it easier to draw your sketch. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Crispy, crunchy and seemingly lighter-than-air, popcorn offers a satisfying way to curb afternoon cravings and fills stomachs during movie or game time. While sketching a cluster of popped kernels does not stimulate the taste buds, it does provide an interesting subject for a composition. Because of its organic and natural shape, drawing popcorn might prove to be difficult for some. Learn how to look at a composition the right way to make popcorn depiction realistic.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Vegetable oil
  • Measuring spoons
  • Saucepan with lid
  • Popcorn
  • Bowl
  • Paper towel
  • Butter
  • Salt
  • Easel
  • Drawing paper
  • HB, 2B, F pencils
  • Tracing paper

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  1. 1

    Set up your arrangement. Arrange several kernels of popcorn on the paper towel according to your taste. Move the shapes around to create an eye-catching arrangement. Place the composition in an area that has a strong source of light.

  2. 2

    Erect your easel close to your arrangement. Since popcorn is a small subject, position your easel or drawing pad only a couple of feet away from the composition. Secure a sheet of drawing paper to your work surface.

  3. 3

    Begin drawing the outline. Look carefully at the outline of each kernel shape. Use a medium-grade pencil, such as an HB, to lightly draw the outer edges of each shape. Note where the kernels overlap or touch each other.

  4. 4

    Fill in details. Make the popcorn look realistic by sketching in irregularities. Draw the broken pieces, the section of the hull and the patterns on the inner portions of each kernel. Mark the areas that are darker in colour and where the shadows fall on your arrangement.

  5. 5

    Complete the drawing with shading. Use a soft pencil, such as a 2B grade, to create the darkest parts of the shadows. Draw with a scumble motion loose, scribble-like marks to create a frenetic or active look in your still life. Use a hard pencil, like an F grade, to mark light shadows.

Tips and warnings

  • Step back occasionally to view your drawing to make sure you are getting the results you are looking for.
  • Place a sheet of tracing paper between your drawing hand and the paper to protect your sketch from the oils in your hand.

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