Vicious Vegetables

Turn your daily vegetable requirement into a vicious creature with this easy tutorial.

After browsing the galleries of, I was inspired to come up with something of my own… and so, I created Vicious Vegetables.

This whole process is actually really easy to do, and requires little complicated manipulation. The tools we’ll mainly be using are the Lasso tools and the Eraser, and everything we do will be on a new layer.

We’ll start by selecting our main picture. It always helps when you start with a good strong image to begin with.

Now, we want all of the vegetables here to have mouths except the potatoes who are going to have multiple eyes.

Find several images of people/animal faces screaming, baring teeth, squinting, and bugging their eyes out. The more diverse all of the veggies are, the more interesting it will look. Also, when finding pictures of mouths and things, having them at many different angles will make this a lot easier as well.

Humanizing an Apple

Take a picture of a mouth and paste it in a new layer.

Erase around the outside of the mouth using the Eraser with a Soft Round brush. Leave a little edge so you have something to blend.

Take your Eraser’s opacity down from 100% to 20%. Scale your eraser down a little bit and start erasing around the edges, just inside the lips. With a lower opacity on the eraser, it will take longer to remove the edges, but this makes for a more subtle transition between the apple and the mouth. We don’t want harsh lines, we want them to look realistic.

Now that we have the mouth looking like we want, use a Lasso tool and trace around all of the teeth. If you release in the middle of selecting them, hold shift down to continue the selection in a different area.

Copy and paste the teeth on a new layer, immediately above the mouth we have been editing. This is going to help preserve the teeth in the next step, so they continue to stand out against the red apple.

In this next part, we are going adjust the Hue/Saturation CTRL+U and make the mouth look like it matches! To do this, we’re going to click the Colorize box in the Hue/Saturation window, and adjust all the sliders to match the red apple. You may have to up the Saturation a little – whatever it takes to get the once fleshy mouth of the human to appear as though it is now the peel of the apple.

Animalizing an Onion

I thought I’d give the onions a more angry look to them, since onions have a bit of bite to them. With these, we’re going with big cat teeth. Cheetahs, Lions, close-ups of domesticated cats…

Cut the mouth out of the original picture and paste it on a new layer.

Erase around the outside of the mouth in the same fashion we did the apple’s mouth (Soft Round brush and 20% opacity).

Select the teeth and paste them on a layer above the cat mouth.

Adjust the Hue/Saturation of the mouth so it compliments the color of the onion. Check the Colorize box and adjust the sliders accordingly.

Now, the onion is a little more complicated, but fun to make. Think about the dry skin on an onion, which is apparent in this picture. We’re going to go find pieces of these onions from elsewhere in the image, copy them from the background, and paste them in layers above our teeth layer. You can use each piece of onion skin at least a couple times if not more on each onion if you need to (pasting it twice or more, into different layers). Simply rotate it and keep different edges visible.

When you position the pieces of skin, you want them to overlap a great deal of the onion itself, and hang a little over the open mouth area. Once you place a piece of onion skin, use your Eraser again with the 20% opacity and start removing the edges of the skin, making it look like it is attached to the onion still, and breaking open because of the mouth. You’re using the exact same method we used to blend the lips into the apple.

You may find that with some of the pieces you put down, there’s just not quite the right lighting, and it blends into its background a little too much. If you want to make an edge stand out more, add a layer below the piece you want to stand out. Use the eyedropper and select a darker color from the onion, use a Soft Round Brush tool and paint a little of the color under and around the edges of where you want a little shadow. Then, take the Eraser tool, same settings as before, and erase your new shadow until it blends just right.

After several pieces go down, you have one angry onion!

A Carnivorous Cucumber

Yes, we are going to make the cucumber into a carnivorous crocodile.

Find a nice high quality image of a crocodile or an alligator, something with long rows of visible teeth. Paste it above the cucumber and position it.

Like we did with all of the other things we have been doing, use the Eraser and eliminate the excess image of the reptile. You might want to use a selection tool of some sort to get rid of the largest areas you know you’re not going to need.

Be sure to get right up next to the teeth, but to be careful and leave the bulbous areas where the teeth are coming out of the crocodile’s mouth.

If you need to when you’ve erased all you want, you can adjust the Levels CTRL+L or the Hue/Saturation CTRL+U a little so it matches better.

All-Seeing Spuds

How convenient that the little imperfections on a potato are called “eyes”… made this idea much easier to come by! This step actually started creeping me out a little bit while I was making this, but that’s probably just me.

Use a Lasso tool and trace around an eye you want to use for one of the potatoes. Copy and paste it above a potato. Rotate it so it looks like it belongs on the section of the potato you place it on, with perspective and all.

Use your eraser and go around the outside of the eye until you get rid of almost all of the eyelid and creases. You may at this point need to adjust the Levels a little bit, darkening and lightening areas, but I think you’ll find for the most part that the eyes you use will work well without any major adjustment

Add a couple more eyes. Try to place these where either the eye slits already exist on the potato, or where you think they look good.

Well, that was easy!

It will take you some time to make all of the vegetables vicious, depending of course on how many you are altering… but it’s well worth the effect! Looks awfully eerie when you’re finished.

Have fun with it! And I’d love to see some of your works! Post links in here.

Here is the finished piece (I added some blood smears using the same techniques as we used throughout the entire tutorial. Getting the color right was the hardest part.):

Click to View Larger Version 310kb

By Kirin Knapp

Kirin Knapp is a graphic designer for the iEntry Network, publishing company of FlashNewz. A flash animator and illustrator, she is the creator of her home site,

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