How to Draw a Thanksgiving Day Turkey

Table of Contents:

Use These Steps to Draw a Thanksgiving Turkey

Recipes are fun to share and collect and even more fun when you illustrate them, especially if the recipe is one for Thanksgiving Day turkey. If you’re thinking about sharing your turkey recipe and would like to add a hand-drawn illustration to accompany it, you’ll want to know how to draw a turkey that looks good enough to eat. Or, you may just want to draw a cute turkey in your sketchbook as a reminder of a wonderful holiday meal. Whatever the reason, you can draw a turkey step by step with this guide and video. Once you’ve read through the guide and watched the video, you’ll be prepared to draw a mouth-watering Thanksgiving turkey!

List of Supplies

Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe


To show all the ingredients that were used to create this realistic, cooked Thanksgiving turkey, the artist in the video drew it on a platter, garnished with oranges and greenery, and then surrounded it with the ingredients needed to cook a classic roast turkey — butter, bay leaf, celery, caraway seed, carrot, onion, and white wine.


1. Prepare the drawing

Draw a turkey easy by searching online for images of a small turkey and the ingredients to use as a reference. It can be either a real turkey or a cartoon. For kids or beginners, it’s best to choose a simple image. Experiment with the arrangement of the elements around the turkey. You can also find banners and alphabets to use.

Trace your drawing onto the pages of the sketchbook.

By placing the turkey in the center of the page, across both pages, the artist draws the viewer’s eye to it as the main attraction.

Take out the TwiMarkers in the colors indicated.

TIP: For a bold composition, expand your drawing to the edges of the paper.

2. Mix in some color

When learning how to draw a turkey, it is a good idea to work from light to dark, beginning with the lightest tones, then continuing with the darker ones, and ending with the darkest spots, as the artist does in the video. She also follows the general-to-specific rule of working on the largest areas first before going on to the smaller areas, down to the smallest details.

Begin at the top of the page and fill in the Thanksgiving banner. The artist used red A114 and blue A155, leaving the white of the page showing for the letters, stripes, and stars.

Next, complete a hand-lettered title in black A101.

3. Make the turkey

Start with the lightest shade of orange A229 and fill in the turkey starting with the drumstick. To add volume and depth, use a darker shade of the same color over the first while the first marker layer is still wet. This will blend the two colors together and eliminate any hard lines. Then, work with the darker orange A306, brown A247, and burgundy A857 markers to give it the look of a perfectly roasted bird. The artist continues this process on the opposite leg, the back, and the breast.

4. Place the garnish

Next, draw the orange sections with A113 and A133 and greenery for garnish with A131 before adding the blue platter using markers in A552, A612, and A219. Notice how the artist uses the darker shades to add drop shadows to the garnish and the platter. These shadows make things look grounded to a surface and add realism to the drawing.

5. Add the other ingredients

The artist starts with the butter and, staying on the left side of the page, proceeds to use the TwiMarkers to draw some of the other ingredients — the bay leaves, stalks of celery, orange slices, and a spoonful of caraway seeds.

As you draw a turkey with a marker, it can be easy to smear your work if the marker hasn’t dried. To prevent this the artist starts on the left since she is right-handed so as not to smudge any of the colors as they dry.

She follows the same light-to-dark rule with each ingredient.

Once she’s finished adding those ingredients, she draws the carrots, onions, and a glass of white wine on the right side.

6. Finishing the main course

By drawing the ingredients sliced and floating as if ready to go into the turkey, the artist adds interest and fun to the subject. She adds little lines with the black A101 marker underneath them to create more movement. Finally, she labels each ingredient so the viewer knows exactly what went into making this traditional Thanksgiving turkey.

There you go! Your turkey is drawn and ready to serve! We hope you’ve enjoyed this guide and it inspires you to draw more recipes to share with family and friends.

Recommendations for Beginners

  • Use the wider tip of the Arteza Sketch TwiMarkers for filling in large and medium areas and use the finer tip to add texture and details.
  • You can control the thickness or thinness of your lines by the amount of pressure you apply with your hand to the marker.
  • If you find drawing food and recipes fun, use the Sketch TwiMarkers for drawing on gift tags for food items, greeting cards, place cards, and recipe cards.

Watch the video to see how our artist created the drawing and get inspired!

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