For the past several years, October has been a month for illustrators to flex their skills, or just get some analog practice, thanks to a community event called Inktober. However, this year, a large part of the community is boycotting Jake Parker’s official Inktober hashtag and prompts; here’s why. But that’s only meant that more and more artists and organizations have put up their own prompt list for everyone to share and enjoy.

This year I chanced upon @theydrawandcook’s food-based prompt list and decided to take a stab at using some of the prompts to experiment with different styles and sharpen my skills.

I am not sticking to the challenge of doing a drawing every day because I’d rather be realistic about this. For me it’s enough if I do some of them, well, and carefully thought out, rather than forcing myself to draw something that I don’t entirely identify with – I’d prefer to just use the prompts that I relate to and identify with and maybe even do multiple versions to compare my improvement and the different ways I can reimagine them.

Day 2 – coffee. Coffee is my lifeblood. This quick brushpen sketch features my beloved French press and a favourite cup.

Day 3: pasta. I used fine lines to bring out the structures and flow of this tangle of spaghetti.

Day 5 – Garlic. For this one I tried colour blending with a couple of old Koi brushpens which, surprisingly, still work!

Day 6 – whisk. This time I tried to focus on bringing out the soft textures of whipped cream with shading.

Day 9 – Citrus. I tried an overlay of two patterns – one in vibrant watercolour, one in ink – to bring out both the colour and the details of citrus fruits. 

Day 10 – Salad Toss. Nothing to see here, just some happy dancing salad ingredients

Day 11 – Spices. I wanted to capture my (and most Indian kitchens’) version of spices – kadipatta, mustard, haldi, chillis and hing (asefoetida), quickly heated in oil or ghee in a tempering kadhai. Unfortunately my experiment in colour pencils didn’t turn out like I’d hoped, so I redrew the composition as a digital version and used it to test out some lovely halftone Photoshop brushes.

Day 18 – Kitchen Gear. In which I elevate my trusty pressure cooker to some form of sainthood. The pressure cooker is the most “gear” I’d need in my kitchen, honestly. In my opinion, a kitchen really isn’t complete without one. 

Day 24 – Onions. What would I do without onions? Eat flavourless meals, that’s what. My favourite aromatic in two varieties, rendered here in coloured ink brushpens.

Day 26 – Utensils. Just a quick ink and brushpen pattern made up of the contents of my cutlery drawer.