How To Draw Semi-Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop

In this Photoshop tutorial, you will learn how to draw a sweet donut (or doughnut if you prefer it that way).


We are going to draw manually and combine it with layer styles. In the end, we are going to draw its plate too. Let’s begin.


Final Image

Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop

Tutorial Details

  • Program : Photoshop CS+
  • Estimated Completion Time : 60 minutes
  • Difficulty : Intermediate

Step 1: Drawing the Donut

This is the basic donut we are going to draw. Start by creating a new file (Ctrl + N).

Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop

Step 2

Let’s draw the donut’s topping. Activate the Pen Tool with Shape mode selected in the Option Bar. Click and drag to draw a circle. Make it as unperfect as possible to make it realistic.

Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop

Step 3

Add another path inside the donut topping shape. Set its mode to Subtract Front Shape in The Option Bar.

Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop

Step 4

Double click the donut topping and then add the following Layer Styles.

Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop
Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop

So far, here’s the result. Really unattractive, but we’ll fix that in a moment.

Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop

Step 5

Create a new layer. Activate the Brush Tool and then paint a white line on the center of the topping.

Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop

Step 6

Click Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur to soften the white line and add some highlight on the center of the topping.

Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop

Step 7

Use the Eraser Tool to erase some of the highlight. We want the highlight to be irregular since the topping surface is never perfect.


Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop

Step 8

Keep adding highlight onto the topping surface. Use the same method, paint with white and then soften it using the Gaussian Blur filter.

Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop

Step 9

Add a white stroke, this time using a smaller brush. We are going to add some stronger highlights onto the topping surface.

Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop

Step 10

As in the previous step, apply the Gaussian Blur filter to soften the lines.

Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop

Step 11

Now, add another layer and then draw short white strokes coming from the center of the donut. Use a small brush for this.

Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop

Step 12

From The Layers Panel, reduce the layer opacity.

Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop

Step 13

Earlier, we added lots of highlights. Next, we do the opposite, add shadow to the topping. You just simply paint soft lines with black. Apply the Gaussian Blur filter and reduce the layer’s opacity if needed.

Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop

Step 14

We’re almost done. Next is drawing the dough. Draw this shape with color#f2b959 and place it underneath the topping. The dough should be a litle bit bigger than its topping.

Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop
Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop

Step 15

Add new layer between the dough and its topping. With a soft black brush, draw some shadows on the dough surface.

Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop

Step 16

Let’s add a shadow underneath the donut. Ctrl – click the dough layer to make new selection based on its shape. Click Edit > Fill and fill the selection with black.

Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop

Step 17

Hit Ctrl + D to remove the selection and then apply a Gaussian Blur to soften the black pixels underneath the donut. This is going to be the donut’s shadow.

Activate the Move Tool and then hit the Left and Down Arrow a few times to move the shadow.

Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop
Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop

Step 18

Repeat the previous step to create another shadow, this time make it softer by applying a bigger Gaussian Blur and lowering the layer’s Opacity.

Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop

Step 19

We’re done with the donut, but not tasty enough if we don’t put chocolate sprinkles onto the topping. Use the Line Tool with Weight: 2 px to draw a short rectangular shape. You can use any color. Shift + Click – drag to add another sprinkle onto the topping. Put all the chocolate sprinkles layer inside a group for easier editing by selecting them and hitting Ctrl + G.

Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop

Step 20

Double click the chocolate sprinkles layer and then apply Layer Style Color Overlay to change its color.

Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop

Step 21

Keep adding other layer styles to turn the sprinkles into three dimensional shapes.

Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop
Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop
Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop
Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop

Step 22

While the layer group is selected, hit Ctrl + J to duplicate the chocolate sprinkles. Hit Ctrl + T and click and drag outside the transformation bounding box to modify its position and keep them unique.

Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop

Step 23

We want them to be different. Double click their Color Overlay layer style and then change the color.

Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop
Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop

Step 24

Keep on adding more sprinkles onto the donut. You will need to spread the sprinkles and probably place them laying next to the donut.

Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop
Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop

Step 25: Bake More Donuts

And now we’ve just had a donut. Let’s bake some more. We will use the same donut that we drew earlier. It’s going to be easier if we put all its layers into a group layer.

Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop

Step 26

To add another donut, simply Alt – click and drag the donut using the Move Tool.

Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop

Step 27

Select the chocolate sprinkles and then rotate to make them unique.

Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop

Step 28

Add an Adjustment Layer Hue/Saturation on top of the donut’s topping. Hit Ctrl + Alt + G to convert it into a Clipping Mask. In the Properties Panel, slide the Hue slider to change the topping color.

Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop

Step 29

Do this to all the remaining donuts. And now, we have lots of donuts. Unique donuts. You see? We don’t clone them, we really bake them.

Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop

Step 30: Change The Topping

So, you don’t like sprinkles on your donut? Want less fat and a healthier donut? Okay. Let’s try cream topping! Remove all the sprinkles and topping layers. Make a new layer on top and then paint with the Brush Tool. You can use any color. Make sure to set Hardness for The Brush Tool to at least 80%.

Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop

Step 31

Ctrl – click the dough layer to make new selection based on its shape. Click the Add Layer Mask icon to add a mask to the new topping and make it appear placed on top of the dough.

Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop

Step 32

Turn it into a realistic three dimensional shape by adding the following layer styles.

Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop
Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop
Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop
Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop

Step 33

Add a new layer underneath the dough and then paint some shadow.

Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop

Step 34

To make the topping appear realistic, we need to add some highlights to it. Add a new layer. Use the Brush Tool to paint white on the toppping’s edges.

Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop
Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop

Step 35: Add Paper Plate

Let’s continue by adding a paper plate for the donut. Start by drawing a circle shape using the Ellipse Tool. Hold Ctrl while dragging to get a circle shape. For its color, use light grey.

Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop

Step 36

Apply the following layer styles to the shape.

Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop
Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop
Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop

Step 37

Draw a rounded rectangle using the Rounded Rectangle Tool. Place it at 12 o’clock position on the circle shape.

Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop

Step 38

Make sure the rounded rectangle path is still selected. Hit Ctrl + Alt + T to duplicate the path. Drag its transformation pivot to the center of the circle shape. Outside the transformation bounding box, Click and drag to rotate the new path 6°.

Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop

Step 39

Repeat the process by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Alt + T. Keep doing this until we have the shape covering all the outer edge of the plate.

Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop
Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop

Step 40

Set its color to be slightly lighter than the plate.

Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop

Step 41

Add the following layer styles to the shape.

Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop
Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop
Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop
Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop
Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop

Step 42

Add a layer mask and then paint the upper right corner of the shapes with black until they fade.

Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop

Step 43

Now, place the donut on the paper plate.

Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop

Step 44

Paint a shadow underneath the donut. Make sure to paint it on a separate layer.

Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop

Step 45

You can lower the layer’s Opacity or add the Gaussian Blur filter to soften the shadow.

Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop

Step 46: Add Plate

Now, we want to add a ceramic plate. Start by drawing a circle shape.

Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop

Step 47

Add the following layer styles.

Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop
Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop
Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop
Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop
Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop
Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop

Step 48

Add another circle shape, this time smaller.

Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop

Step 49

Add following layer style.

Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop
Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop
Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop
Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop
Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop

Step 50

Add a new layer and then paint white with the Brush Tool to add a highlight on the plate’s surface.

Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop

Step 51

Time to add some shadow. Add a new layer and place it underneath the plate layer.Ctrl – click the plate layer thumbnail. Click Edit > Fill and then fill the selection with black.

Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop

Step 52

Hit the Up and Down Arrow keys a few times.

Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop

Step 53

Soften the shadow by applying the Gaussian Blur filter and reduce the layer’s Opacity.

Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop
Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop

Step 54

And finally, put the donut on the plate.

Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop

Conclusion

We are done. If you look closely, you will find that we are basically using simple techniques. What’s important is to try keeping all the details by adding manual highlights and shadows. I hope you have learned one or a few tricks from this tutorial.

Draw Semi Realistic Donuts using Adobe Photoshop

Source files

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