20 Lines A Day

A Community of Writers and Photographers


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CANDYLAND – PART 1

Brach Candy Medley

I have already shared my illustration of Brach candies on 20 Lines. This painting was one I did for my own purposes – I call it a “portfolio piece.” Illustrating candy was enjoyable for me. I appreciated how colorful, reflective and tempting those items were that I was painting. I share below my illustration process with a painting I abandoned, photo reference and some close-ups.

Candy Medley in progress Candy Medley close up 2 Candy Medley close up 1 Candy closeup 2 

My own photo that I chose to work from.

My own photo that I chose to work from.

Creating portfolio paintings to showcase my ability led to paying jobs. My Brach candy portfolio painting brought me many other illustration assignments involving candy. For Part 1 of this post, I share some of those other candy jobs.

This is my photo reference pinned to a board.

This is my photo reference pinned to a board.

This is a marker sketch.

This is a marker sketch.

Taking my photo reference was also a creative process. When I illustrated a chocolate drop called “Dittos” I set up the candy on a board and pinned each one in a different perspective. Above is my photo reference for that assignment and the marker layout I created from it. I don’t have a scan of the final art or printed label for this job.

Looks like they picked "B."

Looks like they picked “B.” (Less drippy, though)

Creme de Menthe

Looks like "B" is the winner again!

Looks like “B” is the winner again! (This time it was drippy)

Creme de Menthe

Not as delicious, for sure!

I’m glad I could improve upon my photo!

I became adept at illustrating mint leaves and could do them from memory. Mint and chocolate were definitely an interesting contrast of dark and light. I am sharing many different mint-related illustrations and I’m even including a few line sketches.

That leaf needed a lot of improvement!

That leaf needed a lot of improvement!

Mint - Dubouchett Peppermint

A printed version of the mint.

A printed version of the mint.

Below are some miscellaneous jobs. Colorful candies like my cinnamon and butterscotch illustrations were far more exciting to illustrate than those brown root beer barrels. But I was proud of how realistic they were.

Butterscotch Hot Cinnamon Fruit Dinosaurs Root Beer Candies

And my broken chocolate egg for Dove was extremely difficult because of the embossed lettering on top. I only have the marker sketch below from that particular job.

Comp DoveOne day, I actually did receive an illustration assignment for Brach Candies. Thankfully by then, I had learned how to create rub-down letters through a photographic process to use on the wrappers. It was a relief that I didn’t have to paint those tiny letters with a brush!

 

This black and white photo-copy was the used to create a negative. Then rub-down letters could be made from it. With computers now it's far easier than it used to be!

This black and white photo-copy was the used to create a negative. Then rub-down letters could be made from it. With computers now it’s far easier than it used to be!

 

This is a color photo-copy of the final art showing the lettering on it.

This is a color photo-copy of the final art showing the lettering on it.

 

This is a color copy of a preliminary marker sketch.

This is a color copy of a preliminary marker sketch.

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

http://foodartist.wordpress.com

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© 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.


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ANYONE FOR ITALIAN FOOD?

Vegetable Medley

For over thirty years, I’ve illustrated food. When I first began my career, I had only a portfolio of paintings I created while in college. Let’s pretend the watercolor above is for an Italian soup! I was 18 years old when I painted it and copied a photo that I saw in a magazine. Later on, I used my own photographs.Pizza Billboard

I’ve enjoyed sharing jobs from my career. For this post, my subject is Italian food. And the billboard above happens to be one of the very first jobs I received after I graduated college in 1981.

Pizza Pan

The painting was fairly large and a lot more work went into before it was cropped off! I did prepare a custom pizza and sadly did not satisfy the art director with enough drips of cheese. Somehow, he found a way to add them. Years later, I illustrated another slice of pizza with cheese dripping and this time I made sure the drips were emphasized.
Pizza & Slice

My job always started with the art director’s layout. Then I took a photograph for my reference (notice how I burned the pizza crust?). Good thing that I saved the spatula from my first pizza job years earlier.

Griffith Labs Layout Griffith Labs Photo Ref

 I traced my photo and sent line drawings to the art director. After that, I created a marker sketch that was usually very realistic. I’ve actually made some of my marker renderings into final illustrations.Pizza Pan 1

When I had to illustrate a pizza inside of a stopwatch, I dreaded illustrating the watch. It was far easier to illustrate something organic instead of perfectly round and shiny metal.

pizza layoutEagle Pizza ref

I always found comments made by the art director to be interesting.

I always found comments made by the art director to be interesting.

But I closely followed my reference and relied on an old-fashioned airbrush to achieve perfect gradations.Pizza Stopwatch

One of my larger packaging assignments was for the food manufacturer, Ragu. I created approximately 25 labels for their Italian sauces. I share some marker sketches; printed labels and even an original painting taken from a scan of an old slide. I was definitely tired of mushrooms and onions when I finished that painting!

This is taken from a color photocopy.

This is taken from a color photocopy.

Ragu- 8 w. slides  

This was a marker layout.

This was a marker layout.

Mushroom and Onions Horizontal

Below is another assignment for Chef Boyardee. I did not illustrate the ravioli and my paintings needed to be very photorealistic since the photo would be in front of them. My painting images were scanned from color photocopies and not the best representation of my work.Chef Boyardi Tearsheet Chef - parm. yellow Chef - meat in back Chef - meat front Chef - black top cheese

And my last illustration was taken from a series of labels for flavored non-stick sprays. The flavor was olive oil spray, which doesn’t sound very appealing to me.Pasta with Salt and Pepper

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/ 

© 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.

 

 


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I AM A SANDWICH

This is my favorite painting of a sandwich, which I created in order to add to my portfolio. Below my illustration is the actual photo of a sandwich that I assembled. How in the world would anyone bite into it?Sandwich Sandwich photo ref

For over thirty years, I’ve illustrated food. I’ve enjoyed sharing jobs from my career. Because I’ve illustrated so many fruits, it was easy to sort them by name. For this post, I am sharing sandwiches and even fit a s’more illustration for Honey Maid into this category.

On an advertisement for Pro Write software, I was instructed to place a package in the foreground. Later on, I painted a mouse pad to replace that part of my illustration. It made it handy so that I could market the painting in my stock library.

Pro Write softwareEach element of my painting required a lot of research and good reference. Even the pink message needed to look as if had writing on it in perspective. I enjoyed the luminescence of the soda, and hated painting the watch dial. I was proud of the rye bread and the realism of it with the seeds.

Sandwich, Soda, & Mouse Pad revisedSandwich, Soda, & Mouse Pad revisedWhen I was given the assignment to create a s’more – it was lucrative based on the fact that I only had 4 days to complete it. I have scanned the art director’s layout as well as the printed version. I was surprise how a box was inserted behind the plate on the left side, which certainly was not correct perspective by any means. But the background also had a weird look.

This was the art director's layout.

This was the art director’s layout.

As a result of this job, I learned how to microwave a perfect s’more. My own children screamed watching marshmallows blow up in the microwave after 10 seconds.Honeymaid S'more Final art

The printed version with a strange perspective.

The printed version with a strange perspective.

I share another illustration for Honey Maid, which also had an intensely difficult deadline. I searched far and wide to find a specific style of lunch box that the client wanted. It was interesting to illustrate another illustration on the box. I used a toothbrush to splatter watercolor paint in order to achieve the graham cracker texture.Honeymaid fihal art

The printed advertisement.

The printed advertisement.

This roast beef sandwich was one of my first paintings that I did when I first started my career. I certainly improved painting water droplets after many years of practice.Roast Beef SandwichBelow is a marker comp for a job that was never finalized. That often happened with many jobs, especially when a product was still being formulated.Sandwich-Salad MedleyThis illustration was very complex. It was an assignment to create a cover for a bread machine recipe book. For some reason, I never received a copy of the printed book, which I probably pursued relentlessly.Bread & Carbs close up breads even closer breadsEarly in my career, I created many illustrations that were used on a menu. I never received copies so one day I ate at the restaurant and swiped a few menus. Although I felt guilty, it was vindication because the art director tricked me. I gave up rights to my original art when I cashed the check because he wrote something on the back with those words. Unfortunately, I didn’t pay close enough attention because I was in such a hurry to deposit the check.

This job was done a long time ago and I feel old seeing those prices.

This job was done a long time ago and I feel old seeing those prices.

Spires Menu 2

I included this, even though I plan to have another post of just my burger paintings!

I included this, even though I plan to have another post of just my burger paintings!

Later in my career, a fabric company bought existing art to design a deli fabric. It was eventually used on aprons, pot holders and towels. I did not make much money and even paid for a bunch of samples because I thought they would make terrific gifts. I even use them!Deli Fabric My deli assortment

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/

© 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.


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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.


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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


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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.

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