How to Watercolor Sprinkled Donuts


Hello lovely fellow watercolor artists!


Donuts are a way of life. Any new city I go to, I’ve already researched donut shops before I arrive. Wedding cake? No thanks, we had donuts. I’ve also taken two donut classes at Sur La Table. I’ve never met a donut I didn’t like. So when I started thinking about watercoloring some pieces from my favorite meal of the day, donuts were the first delicious object I went for.


In this little tutorial I will walk you through how to paint these cute little donuts.

Also, just as a disclaimer, the clickable links in this blog post are affiliate links, which means that if you make a purchase through these links I earn a few cents, which helps support creating future resources like this blog post.


First things first, we need to make some circles. I like to pick up household objects, like this jelly jar that I use as a pencil holder, to make my larger outside circle. And I used the cap on my water dropper for the inside circle. Don’t worry about erasing this away quite yet.


We are going to make four different color donuts today: vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, and that strange blue color that Dunkin Donuts always has in the spring. We are going to start out with the squiggly outlines for the icing. (Obviously the best part.)


To make the strawberry icing, I used a watered down Opera Rose. I did the squiggly outline for the interior and exterior icing pattern and then filled it in.


For the unknown blue mystery flavor I used one of my new favorite colors, Daniel Smith's Cobalt Teal Blue.


For the chocolate donut, I added a layer of sepia. You may be wondering how we add sprinkles on top of this since the brown is much more opaque. The answer is by using some white ink. Another technique that you could use to paint in the sprinkles on the chocolate donut is to use masking fluid. You would simply paint in masking fluid sprinkles, wipe away the masking fluid once the chocolate icing layer dried, and then paint in the colored sprinkles into the remaining speckles of white paper.


The white donut is actually a bit of a mind bender. You could just leave the paper without any watercolor and use that as the white. To make it a little more dynamic, I like to add shadows by adding a very subtle color. My go to is a very watered down Payne's Gray.


Once these layers dry, I like to add in the doughy surroundings. I think Yellow Ochre has the perfect balance of yellowy browns for the dough.


Now my favorite part, adding in the sprinkles! I like to use a super small round brush. Size 0 worked best for me! Feel free to begin to add different colored sprinkles to the white, pink, and blue donuts.


If you are having issues with adding sprinkles, make sure that your watercolor is opaque enough. I like to take it straight off of the paint in my palette without adding in any extra water other than what is on my brush.


If you painted the chocolate frosting straight on and you just simply added watercolor on top, the sprinkles will probably look a little dull. To make them pop a little more, I like to add Dr. Ph Martin’s Bleedproof White Ink as a base layer. This makes the sprinkles a little more vibrant.


Once the white ink is dry, paint in the color for the sprinkles!


And just like that, we’ve painted one of the most delicious foods. Next, learn how to watercolor ramen (JK lets stick to breakfast food.)

Feel free to comment below if you have any feedback/thoughts/ideas or if you have any suggestions for future tutorials! Happy creating!!

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