How to Draw a Cupcake

Recently I found myself in an “in-between spot” with an art tutorial. I’d completed the first part of the assignment — this is another Craftsy class with actual homework — but I couldn’t finish until my canvas was dry. That would take a few days, of course, so what other art practices could I do while waiting?

I browsed a bit through Craftsy’s drawing classes, and I came upon a very simple one: 10 Easy Pictures to Draw for Beginners. Now, after five years I’m not a complete beginner, but sometimes I feel as though I am. Drawing is such an important foundational skill for so much of the art I do that I’m always willing to go back to basics, start all over at the beginning again, and do some very simple drawings.

What I found in this Craftsy class wasn’t quite what I expected. No real instructions… just a list of ideas and suggestions. “With these 10 easy pictures, a beginning artist will have a chance to EXPLORE basic techniques.” I took that directly from the class introduction, and yep — EXPLORE — that’s what 2021 is all about for me and my art.

Immediately I set about with the first item on the list. Food. I haven’t done a lot of food art in the past. Oh, I’ve drawn and painted various food items — apples, pears, bananas, and oranges — and I did try one dessert image, but mostly I take the attitude that food is for (a) cooking and (b) eating, and I’ve been content to leave it at that.

The image shown in this little Craftsy class was a very, very simple cupcake. Now, this I could do. Without a doubt, I could draw a cupcake. I could actually draw an even better cupcake than this.

I did recognize that this practice is helpful for recognizing and using shapes as the basis for a drawing. Cupcakes can be drawn using very simple, familiar shapes.

So, off I went in search of reference photos. I was astounded by what I found.

“How to Draw a Cupcake” seems to be a very popular topic for online searches. I came across dozens of different pictures, some with step-by-step guidelines. You can take a look for yourself. Just go to Google — or whatever search engine you use — and type in cupcake drawing.

Most results were simple line drawings, the sort a child would have fun drawing. Also the sort an old great-grandmother can have fun drawing. And I did have fun! I sketched my different cupcakes on a drawing pad using a 2B pencil, then even though I’d used regular paper I went ahead and added touches of watercolor — just for the fun of it.

Here are my three simple, beginner’s drawings of cupcakes:

While these are very, very basic drawings, and while I might think of myself as a bit more advanced than a beginner, I nevertheless learned a lot from these simple little cupcakes.

  • Drawing can definitely be fun with simple illustrations and playful subjects. It’s easy to take ourselves too seriously — easy for me, at least. Drawing something as simple as cupcakes with frosting and cherries and sprinkles was about as much fun as it can get!
  • Drawing really is all about simple shapes. Identifying those shapes is a great way to start any drawing.
  • There’s more than one way to draw a cupcake — or anything else. Again, I was surprised when I did a quick search and found so many, many different versions of a “basic cupcake”.
  • Simple drawings seem to have their own unique charm. Realism is fine, but I prefer the simple illustrations.

Adding touches of watercolor was fun, too. I used my gansai set, mostly because it was close at hand. Using a brush to add all those little lines and dots was also good practice for me, so I not only had fun with drawing, but I also had a chance to improve my painting skills a bit.

For me, the biggest take-away in all of this is that it’s fine to make simple drawings and feel good about them. Yes, these cupcakes look a bit childish, but that’s what I love about them. I need this loose, casual approach to art. I need the fun of sitting on the floor, drawing and painting almost as if I were a child again. I think we all need that from time to time.

Cupcakes, anybody?





  1. Trying a loose and casual approach is my aim while drawing. For too long, I worried about my drawings looking “right” and reflecting the real object. I’ve come to learn that I’d rather have fun and see what comes up. And now I’m hungry for a cupcake 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. LOL… I’m glad you’re hungry. That makes me feel that maybe my simple little cupcake did what it was supposed to do. 🙂 As a beginning artist, I’ve definitely worried about “getting things right”, fearful that people would laugh if I made simple, childish drawings. But sometimes that’s exactly what we need most, and I’m learning to see that sometimes those simple drawings are the ones we love best. So I’m happy now to make simple flowers, and cupcakes, too. There’s still a place for careful, detailed graphite drawings and for paintings too, but I always want to make time for “fun art”, and like I said in the post, it doesn’t get much more fun than cupcakes! Thanks so much for visiting and sharing your thoughts. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Drawing these cupcakes was really fun. I had so much fun and liked the results so much that I clipped them out and I have them pinned up on my bulletin board by my easel. It’s a good reminder that art can be a lot of fun if we don’t take ourselves too seriously. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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