20 Lines A Day

A Community of Writers and Photographers


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.

Berries Mixed Medley


BERRY WITH ME

 

Berries Mixed Medley

I have illustrated fruit for over thirty years. For this post, I’m sharing berries. Some of these illustrations were used to indicate berry flavor on labels for yogurt, juice, liqueur, sorbet and vitamins. I have so many illustrations of fruit that I’ve already had separate posts on strawberries and blueberries. These are some of the remaining illustrations that I wanted to share. Certainly within the raspberry family – there are many color variations of color.

Stylized Fruit

Although much of my work is realistic, there are many different ways to illustrate fruit. On the painting above, I was specifically asked to illustrate a medley of fruit in a “Renaissance” style. The leaves had to be painted with certain colors and the lighting did not have any reflected light on the edges of the fruit.

Stylized Fruit close-up

Stylized Fruit close-up 2

I enjoyed replicating different styles to please my clients. Below are more of my illustrations and I have included some close ups.

Yogurt carton Raspberry Raspberry Final Raspberry 2 Raspberry Raspberries Three Raspberries Large Group Raspberries Four Marion Berry Marion Berry Final Cranberry Branch Curved Cranberries with Twig & Leaves Blackberry pair Black Currents Berry Patch Berries CroppedWegmans labels Northland labels

Some of these paintings were rendered with markers and colored pencils. Others were created with watercolor dyes. 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.

 

CREME DE MENTHE - Liqueur Label


1 Comment

FLAVORS IN MY LIFE

CREME DE MENTHE - Liqueur Label

CREME DE MENTHE – Liqueur Label

For this post I am sharing a variety of illustrations.  I’m simply going to title them and list what product they were used for. At first, I wasn’t going to include any paintings of fruit because I’ve already shared so many on Twenty Lines. But with the title of flavors, I simply couldn’t omit cherry! When I illustrated sour flavors for a liqueur line, it was interesting to create splashes with sour candy balls erupting from fruit. It’s interesting now, but probably wasn’t that much fun when I painted them many years ago.

SOUR APPLE - Liqueur Label

SOUR APPLE – Liqueur Label

SOUR PEACH - Liqueur Label

SOUR PEACH – Liqueur Label

CHERRY - Yogurt Label

CHERRY – Yogurt Label

HOT CINNAMON - Liqueur Label

HOT CINNAMON – Liqueur Label

COCONUT - Yogurt Label

COCONUT – Yogurt Label

PEPPERMINT - Liqueur Label

PEPPERMINT – Liqueur Label

MINT PATTIES - Liqueur Label

MINT PATTIES – Liqueur Label

ROOT BEER - Liqueur Label

ROOT BEER – Liqueur Label

CACAO - Liqueur Label

CACAO – Liqueur Label

SPEARMINT - Liqueur Label

SPEARMINT – Liqueur Label

ROSEMARY - Potato Chip Label

ROSEMARY – Potato Chip Label

COOKIES & CREAM - Snack Crisp Label

COOKIES & CREAM – Snack Crisp Label

NACHO CHEESE - Snack Crisp Label

NACHO CHEESE – Snack Crisp Label

 

KEY LIME - Yogurt Label

KEY LIME – Yogurt Label

CINNAMON - Snack Crisp Label

CINNAMON – Snack Crisp Label

OREGANO - Bagel Packaging

OREGANO – Bagel Packaging

MINT - Tea Packaging

MINT – Tea Packaging

GINGER - Herbal Vitamin Label

GINGER – Herbal Vitamin Label

BASIL - Bagel Packaging

BASIL – Bagel Packaging

GARLIC - Bagel Packaging

GARLIC – Bagel Packaging

GARLIC - Snack Crisp Packaging

GARLIC – Snack Crisp Packaging

VANILLA - Soy Milk Packaging

VANILLA – Soy Milk Packaging

CINNAMON - Bagel Packaging

CINNAMON – Bagel Packaging

COFFEE - Yogurt Label

COFFEE – Yogurt Label

BUTTERSCOTCH - Liqueur Label

BUTTERSCOTCH – Liqueur Label

CHOCOLATE - Beverage Label

CHOCOLATE – Beverage Label

VANILLA - Yogurt Label

VANILLA – Yogurt Label

GREEN TEA - Herbal Vitamin Label

GREEN TEA – Herbal Vitamin Label

LEMON - Yogurt Label

LEMON – Yogurt Label

PASSION, ORANGE & GUAVA - Yogurt Label

PASSION, ORANGE & GUAVA – Yogurt Label

ORANGE CREAM - Yogurt Label

ORANGE CREAM – Yogurt Label

GUARANA - Beverage Label This was one of the strangest fruits I illustrated and it grows in Central America. Highly caffeinated.

GUARANA – Beverage Label
This was one of the strangest fruits I illustrated and it grows in Central America. It is highly caffeinated.

For over thirty years, I’ve illustrated food. 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.

 


4 Comments

APRICOTS

Apricots-Horizontal Group
I have been illustrating food since 1980. I especially enjoyed painting fruit, which I have been sharing on Twenty Lines. 
For this post, I am sharing my illustrations of apricots. These illustrations were used on packaging labels for yogurt, juice, jam and baby food.

Apricot Frame

Apricot Group & Half in CenterApricots with Branch Apricots Vertical Apricots Two Whole Apricots and Mango Apricot Half & Pit Apricot Group & Half on RIght Apricot & WedgeAll 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

© 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.


A SEASHELL MEDLEY – PART 2

When my art career began, I received an assignment to create eight paintings of seashells to be sold as prints. I am posting more images from that project. Below are my paintings and I have included some close-ups. Here is a link to: A SEASHELL MEDLEY – PART 1

Close up limpit

spider conch close up 3 Seashells in Sand Seashell 4 Seashell 3 Seashell 2 pink shell close up 1 Seashell 1

Driftwood 2 Driftwood 1 White Shell Large Helmet Shell Large

© 2013 by Judy Unger, http://foodartist.wordpress.com, http://www.myjourneysinsight.com & 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

A SEASHELL MEDLEY – PART 1

Abalone Shell

When my art career began, I received an assignment to create paintings of seashells that would be sold as prints. 

Seashell Medley in sand

I was given the assignment after sharing the above painting with a publisher. I needed to come up with 8 paintings that were unique. He only requested that there weren’t any shells cropped off.

Brown Shell Medley Pink Triton Medley

I made my paintings differ by the amount of seashells; there were a pair of single shells and two pairs of groups. Another pair of paintings even included driftwood with the seashells.

  Spider Conch

Pink Conch

I loved the beautiful colors, textures and shapes of the seashells that I illustrated. I also ended up having a wonderful shell collection when I was finished. I share four of the posters here with some close-ups. For the sand, I splattered the paint with a toothbrush. 

pink shell close up 2 pink shell close up 3 spider conch close up 2 spider conch close up 1 Sand and shell

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

http://foodartist.wordpress.com

 Art Image Ad

© 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.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,329 other followers

%d bloggers like this: