Simple still life drawings of food

These are pen and ink studies produced with the immediacy of actually drawing from what is in front of me – in this instance food.

What interests me about these kind of exercises is looking at and analysing the beauty of the everyday – especially inanimate objects such as: food, flowers, dead insects, plants and things found in the kitchen cupboards – a project I’m working on at the moment.

Whenever Design is talked about the focus is usually placed upon ‘Utility’ and ‘Problem solving’ but what role does Beauty serve in Design?

Is Beauty important in Design?

What inspires designers to make beautiful things?

Beauty in Design brings: emotion; sensuality; texture; warmth; change; movement – qualities that don’t simply serve a function or fulfill some utalitrian purpose they intensify a persons experience. These qualities add to the richness of life – things that are tied to the senses which provokes our curiousity and makes us ask: Why? How did that come to be? Why does it look like that?

Why Beauty Matters

In 2016 I saw Stefan Sagmeister give a talk at the Reasons to: Conference in Brighton about Why Beauty Matters.

Throughout the most of the 20th and the 21st century beauty has gotten a bad reputation: Most respectable designers claim not be interested in it, the contemporary art world has almost completely abandoned it and you can sit through hours of lectures on architecture without hearing the term uttered once.

Here is a shorter more condensed version of the talk.


Projects developed in typecast

On a different note – I used these drawings as inspiration to produce a few little typesetting projects within typecast.

Let me know what you think.

  • mushrooms
    Mushrooms by Sylvia Plath
  • Thou shall have a fishy on a little dishy
    Thou shall have a fishy on a little dishy
  • The Red Pepper Food Company
    The Red Pepper Food Company
  • Onion

Colin Brewer


  1. I am inspired by your drawings and the Stefan Sagmeister talk very informative. Thank you.

  2. How do you make the tonal grounds are they washes and how do you make them . Lovely drawings thanks for all this .

    • Thanks for the kind words David. These were quick pen and ink observational studies. Faint washes of ink first for the light and dark values then the line drawing – followed by more detailed tonal/colour work. Handmade ‘cola pen’, cheap paint brushes and lining paper. Are you an artist yourself?

  3. I’m studying you at school and this really helped me hope you help my GCSE’s

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