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This is a recent shirt on instagram, who I love so much. How did they design this beautiful icon of a carrot skinner? I would love to learn how to make such a beautiful image of a simple object.

enter image description here

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  • This question is wayyy too broad for a Q&A format. With that being said, think deeply and long about why you like it. That will inform a lot Oct 10, 2023 at 21:57
  • It's a photo of a potato peeler. This one, but in red rather than blue.
    – Billy Kerr
    Oct 10, 2023 at 22:33
  • @BillyKerr Link's blocked for the US. Might be a Bing thing.. seems to work in if direct
    – Scott
    Oct 10, 2023 at 22:34
  • @Scott Yeah same one. I put the image on imgur - it's even closer, from the exact same angle.
    – Billy Kerr
    Oct 10, 2023 at 22:37
  • how did you find that so easily? @BillyKerr
    – imrobert
    Oct 11, 2023 at 21:20

2 Answers 2

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The peeling tool can well be a photo, one which has been shot with a good camera and well adjusted lights and the background is removed to make possible to place it as a new layer on another photo (the cloth). Shooting such product images and preparing them for online and printed ads is a common job for many of us. But you have never claimed anything else. I believe you actually asked how to draw it.

Drawing a realistic image even of a single 3D item is not easy. The basic problem is that one must at first have between his ears the ability to see which lines and color splashes are needed to present the item. A great part of it happens already in the birth. I mean no practicing could for.ex make me a person who should start to paint photorealistic images. I have seen how a talented youngster draws in a way which make my creations to look sketches - no matter how well I possibly know how geometric projections happen, which are the parts of a human body, what kind of lights and shadows exists and how to present materials, light and geometry. The talent is the ability to see them intuitively in the fly without slowing down the drawing process or drifting totally out of the road by breaking all to atoms by conscious reasoning.

Persuading a paintbrush, pencil or a computer program to obey one's will is another task which needs much practicing. But it can happen in parallel when one studies the needed knowledge behind proper drawings and trains his ability to see the essential things "what details to put on the paper".

The answer to your question is: Learn to draw - go to a school or work through tutorials and books and get private lessons. It can take years if you are a beginner and haven't got a superior amount of talent. No talent means no useful results.

In parallel with learning to draw learn to use computer programs. But start with a pencil and paper. Add colors gradually. It's no use to try to make it in Photoshop, Illustrator or other drawing program if you cannot make it happen on paper. The programs do not draw it, it's you who can put the program draw the right colors and forms. Proper tuition speeds up the learning process, but prepare to draw thousands of images by starting from simple and climbing up gradually in complexity and the richness of the details before it starts to look good.

There are some shortcuts which surely help to make good looking finished drawings faster and without so much training and talent:

  1. learn only how to make manually more or less simplified copies of photos
  2. make a 3D model and let the 3D program render the image in 2D (easy only for quite simple items like the peeling tool)
  3. process a photo to look like it's a drawing
  4. Ask an artificial intelligence system (Midjourney, Stable Diffusion etc...) make it for you. It probably brings to you the same or a modified version of the easy to find web image. It's surely copyrighted, so it cannot be distributed. But at least Adobe sells AI image generation as a service which makes distributable images.

You probably find an ad which says: Everyone can be an artist. Learn to draw only in 10 weeks with our revolutionary course. No need to sit years in a school. Only work through one exercise per a week and after ten weeks you draw like a master. You create as well landscapes, portraits, cars, flowers - anything you can imagine. Amaze your friends and be able to get a well paid job in a professional advertising agency. Order today, only $250 the whole 10 week package. And that's not all. You'll get also a high quality set of professional drawing tools, alone worth $100,- when purchased separately.

I'm afraid it's no use to shell out that $250,-

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There's already given a rather pointless sermon how difficult it will be to make this. The writer is right when he claims that building professional grade drawing skills needs some effort. But, as he says, there exists shorter ways than becoming at first an artist who can draw anything. It's not a big deal to practice some time with Illustrator, Inkscape etc... and then draw on an existing photo one's own version of the peeler. The drawing can be simple, because there's no point to make it have any fine details or glosses. They all would be invisible when the image is printed on a normal rough fabric.

As easily one could learn to generate a 3D model of the peeler. No complex surface forms, materials nor rendering finesses are needed, so even a basic 3D CAD program is good enough for the job. Having something finer (Rhinoceros, Blender etc...), of course, gives a possibility to create a photorealistic model, but placing it on a rough fabric makes the whole extra effort useless.

I cannot bring a printed shirt as an evidence, but I can make the simplest possible 3D model of it and render it without any realistic material models. Then I can put it on a clean image of the same shirt in the same way as we generally make mock-ups in Photoshop to present non-existent products. Here's the rendered 3D model:

enter image description here

It looks like it's made of matte rubber including the blade. But when it's inserted on a photo of a shirt the roughness of the fabric shifts the attention away from the rubberness and the image is not at all worse than the example in the question:

enter image description here

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