20 Lines A Day

A Community of Writers and Photographers


2 Comments

A BUNCH OF CHERRIES

Cherry Group with Leaf

I am a food illustrator and have illustrated a lot of fruit. For this post I am sharing cherries. Cherries had challenges with the long and thin stems, which needed to be delicate and smooth. The dimension of a cherry was created with a bottom shadow and simple highlight.Cherries and Leaf Cherries A

It was important that the highlight wasn’t too perfect or the cherry would look like plastic. The cherries I illustrated were either bright red or a dark magenta to indicate “black cherry” flavor. Cherry leaves were interesting to paint because they had very serrated edges.Cherries Four Cherry Group Red Cherry Bunch 1 Cherry and Vanilla Cherries-Horizontal Group Cherries Cropped

For fun, I share a large fruit illustration that includes cherries. It was large because it would wrap around a jar for a jam label. The art director requested that my painting be done in a certain style.  I had to follow a certain color and texture for the leaves. And, I was told to have harsh shadows. Normally, I use reflected light on the edges of fruit and never let the shadow reach the edge. The effect was definitely interesting for me!Stylized Fruit Medley Fruit style w. cherry 3 Fruit style w. cherry 2 Fruit style w. cherry 1

My cherry illustrations were used on labels for yogurt, juice, jam and liqueur. There is one painting that was very unusual because it was for train car rentals.Take your pick Northland cherry label Mountain Sun Cherry Label Wegmans Cherry

I never liked painting clear liquid, but this painting was my best effort that I was pleased with. Close up Splash Cherry SplashSome of these paintings were rendered with markers and colored pencils and others were created with watercolor dyes. All of these paintings were done before Photoshop existed. I have a blog where I describe my technique and have a lot more information. It is at: 

http://foodartist.wordpress.com

© 2014 by Judy Unger, http://www.myjourneysinsight.com and 20 Lines A Day. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Judy Unger with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


3 Comments

LAYERS IN MY LIFE

Perfume MedleyArt is my profession; music is my passion.

Art and music are two creative pursuits that define my life. I realize that I didn’t include writing. I’ll save that for another story, because writing is definitely my remedy! There are many similarities between art and music for me. The most obvious parallel would be “layers.”

Every illustration I create starts with layers. The order, selection and placement of those layers affect the outcome. Each layer befriends the layer beside it. When I painted with watercolors, colors were transparent veils that I gradually built upon.

Perfume Close up 2

I am now primarily a digital illustrator. I separate every item in the composition on my computer. Then I arrange those items to fit comfortably into the label area I’m illustrating. I use whatever reference I can find and often shoot my own photos with an inexpensive digital camera. 

Below is an example of my digital process. I was still teaching myself how to do this when I illustrated a label for the salad company, Ready Pac. My illustration was for a Caesar salad dressing label and the ingredients needed to be arranged in a specific way to fit the space.

My photo of the ingredients.

My photo of the ingredients.


My final illustration (the lemon was taken out).

My final illustration (the lemon was taken out).

ready-pac-labels 

With music, the ingredients are the lyrics, chords and my vocal – all of which are deeply defined by me. 

Music has layers, just as an illustration does. Clearly defined layers comprise my song’s arrangement. Arrangements are simply layers (or separate tracks) of instrumentation and include my vocal and guitar recordings. 

I love composing music and sometimes it begins with a melody. Other times, I’ll write chords or lyrics first. Putting those layers together is a beautiful process that I find completely inspiring.

Music layers are visible as colored stripes on the computer program Pro Tools. I have learned to read and edit waveforms.

Music layers are visible as colored stripes on the computer program Pro Tools. I have learned to read and edit waveforms.

With art, I strive relentlessly to please my clients and that can involve numerous revisions to an illustration. With music, I strive to please myself. There is even a similarity between those because it is a relentless task. I am very demanding of myself!

My final illustration of Marion Berries. The client was very particular about the color of this berry.

My final illustration of Marion Berries. The client was very particular about the color of this berry.

 

Marion Berry ideas

When I shared my illustrations with a few friends, I received a message back that left me in hysterics. It was: 

Close, but this is Marion Barry….

Marion Berry

I far prefer illustrating a pepper like this one.

I far prefer illustrating a pepper like this one.


These peppers are a lot prettier!

These peppers are a lot prettier!

“Hot Stuff”

Sometimes on illustration assignments I am required to sign confidentiality agreements. Even though I haven’t had to on my recent projects, in the interest of being discreet I won’t name the clients I’m working for.

I have learned a lot as an illustrator. I received a small assignment to create two illustrations to go on a pizza box. One was for garlic and the other chipotle. For the garlic flavor, I already had existing art that could be used.

Garlic

But for the chipotle flavor I had to create new art. Rarely is that required of me, since I have such an extensive library of existing food images. So now, I am intimately acquainted with Chipotle peppers. They were a lot harder to illustrate than I thought. It was because they were incredibly ugly and no actual reference existed!

Every job of mine begins with finding reference. I contacted the art director after going to a local Latino market looking for an example of chipotle peppers. I told her that I couldn’t find any actual peppers to work from. It seemed that they only existed as a picture on a can. And inside the can, those peppers were soaked in Adobo sauce. I needed something better than that to work from.

So she emailed me a picture that I will name “Pepper Corpses.”

Pepper Corpses

I couldn’t believe it – how in world would I illustrate peppers looking like that? 

It was time for me to be truly creative. I remembered seeing dried peppers at the Latino market. I would just go back and find something “similar.” I must mention that I was also searching for reference on another assignment. I needed items of caramel, chocolate and ice cream. For a few weeks I became a supermarket sleuth! My dining room table was covered with illustration reference. 

Unfortunately, the peppers I found did not really match the shape or color. Some were very tiny, long and a bright red color. Others were longer, wider and brown in color. I altered my photos and tried to match the photo of pepper corpses above. I then shot them off to the Art Director, whom I will call AD.

First Pepper reference

AD sent me back more photo reference.

Art direction

Aha! Now I was on the right track! Once again, I went back to the Latino Market and went through all the bins of dried peppers while holding a color copy of those images above. The penny was helpful for size, but there was still nothing that matched. But I knew with Photoshop I could do wonders. 

As I was walking toward the checkout line, there was another bin. Wallah! There were peppers that really seemed close to what AD wanted. Hint: They were not Chipotle.

Chipotle reference

I began my digital work and delicately erased the background and arranged the peppers into different compositions. I sent my layout choices off to the AD.

Chipotle Comps

The AD picked B. But now, the color had changed. Brown or eggplant color was out and I was instructed to create something with a deep red. I created another layout on my computer.

Final Layout

My layout was approved! I felt like I saw peppers in my sleep by now. My eyes burned because I rubbed them by mistake while I was photographing the dried peppers. I forgot how potent those peppers were! 

The process of creating my illustration was usually simple at this point. I printed out my image onto watercolor paper and worked over it. I used a lot of colored pencil, especially on the highlight areas that were numerous and too busy.

Sometimes my illustrations feel very abstract when viewed as a close-up.

Sometimes my illustrations feel very abstract when viewed as a close-up.

I sent off the final art and it was a relief. I always looked forward to the message telling me my artwork was approved and that I could send an invoice. I held my breath. 

The AD sent me a message with a tiny revision. It wasn’t difficult with my computer to alter the artwork. But of course, I thought, “Why didn’t she see that sooner?”

Fix

I made the small change and then I received her message below: 

Judy! Client loves the work and is so thankful we talked them into illustration vs. photography. All approved!! : ) 

THANK YOU SO MUCH again for jumping on this! Shoot over your invoice and I’ll get it into accounting right away. Yippeee! 

I wrote back: 

Wow! You just made my day. :) :) :) 

After illustrating peppers, I feel like I’m hot stuff.

Judy

Chipotle Pepper Final Art

I have a lot more information about my illustration career on my blog “Illustrating My Life,” which can be found at this link: http://foodartist.wordpress.com

© 2013 by Judy Unger, http://www.myjourneysinsight.com and 20 Lines A Day. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Judy Unger with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


VEGETABLES-PART 2

Vegetable Group

For over thirty years, I’ve illustrated food. This is my second post of illustrations with veggies.

Most of these paintings were created before the digital age. But one of the best tools that taught me how to utilize the computer, were scans of my existing images. I was able to digitally select and separate images in order to create samples of my work. (The Italian subject was not strictly veggies, but I included it for fun.

Salsa top Salsa bottom Italian

The only painting that is a result of working digitally is the nacho cheese and jalapenos. I created my painting first on the computer. I painted with watercolors over a light print of that illustration.

Nacho Cheese & Chips

This illustration of tomatoes below is actually a digital reconfiguration of tomatoes from several different paintings. When I “reconfigure” a painting, I try to be sure that the color, lighting and shadows are consistent.

Tomato Group

Another one of my "reconfigured" paintings.

Another one of my “reconfigured” paintings.

Some of my illustrations (Salsa Verde, corn and avocados) were actually created as marker layouts.

Corn Avocados Salsa Verde-Ingredients

Since my career spanned over thirty years, I clearly see a lot of development with my style. Some clients demanded extreme realism, whereas other clients preferred a specific style.Vegetable Juice Group Salsa ingredients Salsa Horiz. 2 Salsa Horiz. 1 Beet Medley

Below are examples of some of my vegetable illustrations on printed labels:

Vegetable-Cooking Group Ragu Soybeans Hanging Soy Label Tostitos-horiz Spice Islands Chef Boyardi Carrots Orange Carrot

I have a lot more information about my illustration career on my blog “Illustrating My Life,” which can be found at this link: http://foodartist.wordpress.com

© 2013 by Judy Unger, http://www.myjourneysinsight.com and 20 Lines A Day. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Judy Unger with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


1 Comment

VEGETABLES – PART 1

Taco SceneFor over thirty years, I’ve illustrated food.Because I have a lot of illustrations with veggies, I am breaking them into several posts. All of these paintings were created before the digital age.Taco Scene Close up 1Taco Scene Close up 2Some of these illustrations are actually marker layouts, while others are watercolor paintings. I am including some close-ups. Since my career spanned over thirty years, I clearly see a lot of development with my style. Some clients demanded extreme realism, whereas other clients preferred a specific style. SandwichIt is definitely cool to go into the market and purchase pickles with my illustration on the label. Sometimes, I can’t resist telling the checker in the supermarket that I painted that pickle on the label. There’s never a “dill moment” for me.Ragu Labels

This was a marker sketch and not a finished illustration.

Vegetable Medley

Salsa ingredients-aerial view

Produce Medley Produce Medley close up 2 Produce Medley close up 1

I did relish doing this job.

I did relish doing this job.

Chicken Plate & Fork

Whoever thought turkey drumsticks were cute?

Whoever thought turkey drumsticks were cute?

For this lucrative assignment, I illustrated over one hundred labels.

For this lucrative assignment, I illustrated over one hundred labels.

I have a lot more information about my illustration career on my blog “Illustrating My Life,” which can be found at this link: http://foodartist.wordpress.com 

 

© 2013 by Judy Unger, http://www.myjourneysinsight.com and 20 Lines A Day. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Judy Unger with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Ponderosa Lemon


3 Comments

CITRUS FRUIT

Ponderosa Lemon

I have been a food artist for over 30 years.

Yellow Grapefruit ClusterLemon Final Tangerine Group

I have many illustrations of citrus fruit, and have already shared a post of just oranges. So now I’m sharing lemons, limes, tangerines and grapefruits. (I threw in one orange and a few strawberries).

Lime Peel 1 Peel Yellow

I enjoy rendering citrus fruit. I start by creating a pattern of circles and “half moons” that radiate from the highlight area to replicate the citrus peel texture.

Orange Group 1 Key Lime Final Strawberry-Lemon FinalLimes Lemon  Lemon groupGrapefruit Pink    Lemon Group of 7Grapefruit & Tangerine

The illustrations for this post were used on labels for beverages, popsicles and jam.

Some of them were rendered with markers and colored pencils while others were created with watercolor dyes. The peel texture was created using acrylics and a glazing technique, which I describe on my other blog at this link:

http://foodartist.wordpress.com/2010/05/31/317/

 Grapefruit YellowGrapefruit Pink with BlossomsLemon D

© 2013 by Judy Unger, http://www.myjourneysinsight.com  http://foodartist.wordpress.com and 20 Lines A Day. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Judy Unger with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


NESTLE CRUNCH

Nestle CrunchMy painting of a Nestle Crunch Bar became my first promotional piece as an illustrator. It was printed on a postcard, which I handed out to art directors at agencies all over Los Angeles. I hand painted the lettering, but later in my career I learned methods to create more perfect lettering by using rubdown type. As an artist, I enjoyed rendering textures and discovering the many shades of brown in chocolate. This painting was created with watercolor dyes, before there was Photoshop. Some close-ups are below.Nestle Crunch close up Nestle Crunch close up 3 Nestle Crunch close up 2

I have a blog where I describe my technique and have a lot more information. It is at: 

http://foodartist.wordpress.com

© 2013 by Judy Unger, http://www.myjourneysinsight.com and 20 Lines A Day. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Judy Unger with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


SNICKER’S BAR

Snickers

One of my favorite paintings from my career as an illustrator was of a Snicker’s Bar. I admit that I nibbled on my samples after photographing them.

I had my painting printed on thousands of postcards, which I mailed all over the country. It was an excellent promotional piece because Art Directors always told me that it made them hungry.                    

My painting was created with watercolor dyes, before there was Photoshop. Some close-ups are below.

Snickers Closeup 2 Snickers Closeup 1 Snicker's Bar close up 3

Below is my reference photo and tracing that were part of my working process as an artist.Snicker's Ref 10 Snicker's Sketch

I have a blog where I describe my technique and have a lot more information. It is at: 

http://foodartist.wordpress.com

© 2103 by Judy Unger, http://www.myjourneysinsight.com and 20 Lines A Day. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Judy Unger with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,334 other followers

%d bloggers like this: