How to Draw an Onion

Written by deborah walden
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How to Draw an Onion
Onions come in a variety of colours. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Drawings of vegetables, like onions, fall into the category of still life art. This popular genre forms an important part of the history of art. Onions range in hue from deep purples to bright yellows to soft pinks and browns. If you wish to colour your drawing with coloured pencil or pastel, preserve all highlights to capture the silky, wet shine of this vegetable. As you execute your drawing, keep your lines balanced and fluid. The graceful curves of the onion result in a delicate yet strong form.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Straight edge

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  1. 1

    Use a straight edge to draw a short, vertical line.

  2. 2

    Draw an elongated oval, oriented horizontally. Draw this oval so that it is bisected evenly by the vertical line. This forms the outline of the onion.

  3. 3

    In the right half of the onion, lightly draw three arching, evenly spaced lines from the top to the bottom of the onion. Repeat this process on the left side of the vertical line.

  4. 4

    Erase the vertical line. Turn your pencil on its side, and add a soft shadow to the bottom and top of the onion. Darken this shadow as it nears the base of the onion.

  5. 5

    Add a small, rough triangular shape to the top of the onion. Shade this shape lightly to create the tip of the onion skin.

  6. 6

    Turn your pencil on its side and lightly shade over each of your arching lines on the inside of the onion.

Tips and warnings

  • Study an onion as a model for your drawing, taking note of its shape and surface qualities.

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