Illustrating My Favorite Foods

Posted on 22/2/08

Octopus, Tomato, and Peanut Butter by Matthew Inman

If I had to pick a few mundane topics to blog about, writing about my favorite foods would probably be near the top of that list. Although interesting to me, everyone else would be bored to tears. Who gives a crap what I eat, right?

If I draw my favorite foods, however - then it's totally cool to blog about them. If you draw the subject of your blog entry then it's like a free pass to write about anything. If I decide to blog about Guatemalan Spicy Crab Juice, I damn well better have an illustration to go with it.

With that in mind, I decided to draw a few foods I enjoy eating: Octopus, Peanut Butter, and Tomatoes. I enjoy octopus both raw and cooked, and especially in Takoyaki. Peanut butter is my kryptonite, most of the time I eat it straight out of the jar. I enjoy tomatoes in any way, shape, or form.

Octopus- by Matthew Inman

Octopus: Of the three foods, the octopus was the most fun to draw. I unintentionally made the eyes look a bit like StrongBad's, and I'm still not 100% sure I like the shadow on the left side of his head - but other than that I love how it turned out.

Tomato - by Matthew Inman

Tomato: Surprisingly, the tomato was relatively easy to draw, the tricky part was getting the surface to look right. I gave it a radial fill, and then added a series of blobs and ovals inside it to create the shadows and bruises. On the darker spots, I filled the paths with black and made the edges feathered. I then set the blending mode on those ovals to overlay, creating an effect that burns the red rather than just sitting on top of it transparently. I repeated this process with different fill colors to give the tomato depth.

Peanut Butter - by Matthew Inman

Peanut Butter: Drawing peanut butter is a pain in the ass. At first I tried to have a big blob of peanut butter just sitting there by itself, but no matter what I did it looked like feces. I even tried adding peanuts which, as you can imagine, only added to it's poop-like appearance. Next I tried drawing a jar of peanut butter, but I'm actually pretty burnt out on drawing jars and glassy surfaces, so I got bored and moved on. Finally I settled on having the peanut butter sitting on a knife. The knife looks good, but I'm not totally satisfied with how the peanut butter turned out.


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  • Rhea writes on 23/2/08
    The peanut butter looks like poop.
  • Mike Tekula writes on 25/2/08
    Poop on a knife = gross.
    Nice job on that tomato! I just tried to grab it and bent back my pointer.
  • Zak Nicola writes on 27/2/08
    Just put the PB on bread.
    On second thought, that may just look like poop on toast.
    Thanks for the peanuts in poop visual.
  • Matthew Inman writes on 27/2/08
    I'm so glad we're focusing on poop, that was the whole idea behind this post
  • Jeffrey writes on 28/2/08
    Freaking genius.
  • Brad Mahaffey writes on 29/2/08
    That is one sad looking octopus.
  • Webdesign Rotterdam writes on 4/3/08
    Damn, you are really rocking it man.. your designs are awsome!!
  • Rebecca Kelley writes on 5/3/08
    The octopus looks like the things that chase Pac Man.
  • Aleyda writes on 6/3/08
    Hello Matt. Great drawings!! I really like them -and your design style also-.. What tools do you use to draw? Congrats for your work!!
  • Matthew Inman writes on 6/3/08
    Hey Aleyda,
    I use macromedia fireworks for everything (I know, I'm weird). I've been meaning to learn illustrator but it's slow-going, I've been using fireworks since I was 15 so I'm very fast with it.
  • Aleyda writes on 7/3/08
    Oh! I am surprised.. because I use Fireworks also!! hehe :) since I started to design webs -back in '99-. The thing is I have always found that it gives all the important features (as Photoshop for example) but with a simpler UI ... Sometimes when I want to design a Logo or draw something "real".. not an abstract illustration it could be better to have a drawing tablet.. do you use one?
  • hates poop, likes pb writes on 1/4/08
    Blob on knife looks like poop.
  • Daniel writes on 23/5/08
    Your tomato is great. I draw like this too, but not as good as you. My stuff is more flat-like. =/
  • Eaglecrash writes on 21/6/08
    Great illustrations. The octopus is so cute! I'm allergic to tomatoes. Wow. Maybe I should try illustrating foods I'm allergic to. Tomatoes, eggplant, peppers ...
  • Flavio writes on 8/7/08
    Apparently your favorite food includes PACMAN Ghosts:
  • Alexandra writes on 18/8/08
    First, let me say the there is NO SUCH THING as "Guatemalan Spicy Crab Juice", we do have "Guatemalan Spicy Crapp Juice", however... It would be very difficult to draw it, without it looking like peanut butter :D
    That brings me to the second point... Peanut Butter is also the favorite food of the so called "Sock Monsters"... As part of the Sock Monster Rights Committee, I have to look at this in a suspicious manner. Sock Monsters from all over the globe are being abused and exploited. It is not fair to use their image to get Peanut Butter... It's just not right...
  • club penguin writes on 25/6/09
    I really like them -and your design style also-.. What tools do you use to draw? Congrats for your work!
  • watch movie writes on 22/7/09
    Great illustrations. The octopus is so cute! I'm allergic to tomatoes. Wow. Maybe I should try illustrating foods I'm allergic to.

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