I continue to take stock of my life and my art. In the summer of 2020, I began to prolifically create art for my own purposes. Since then, I have added 120 new images to my stock site: Judy Unger iStock. I explain more about this new direction on these posts:
For this post, I am sharing my latest illustrations. I have included examples of my photo reference, as well as shots of my paintings in progress. More information about my working process can be found on Part 1 and Part 2.
CHICKEN SOUP WITH MATZO BALL
It might be interesting to know that I originally planned to illustration this bowl of soup as a down shot. I made two pots of soup and took over a hundred photos that way. Even though I found the composition below interesting, it just didn’t seem appetizing enough. Finally, I realized my illustration would be more appealing by adding a spoon and having only one matzo ball in the soup.
The most difficult thing for me to illustrate is anything non-organic. I wanted to be sure my bowl had a perfect ellipse and the spoon was technically accurate. It had been years since I used my plastic ellipse guides and I pulled them out to help me cut the frisket more perfectly.
My favorite part of this painting was the lovely transparency of the soup puddled on the spoon. (The carrot on the spoon and its reflection was also very cool).
Illustrating blossoms was in the forefront of my mind this past spring. I photographed blossoms from many fruits and started painting apples and blossoms first. Currently, I am working on a painting of pomegranates and blossoms.
Constructing my composition involved considerable Photoshop editing. I even created a digital clipboard of blossoms taken from different photos.
After painting my apples, I moved on to illustrating peach blossoms. I was so captivated by one of the photos on a branch, that I decided the blossoms could stand alone without any fruit in the picture.
As usual, a lot of Photoshop was required to improve my original photo. I decided water puddles would detract from the flowers, so I didn’t include them.
The most difficult part for this painting was using liquid masking fluid and a toothpick to keep the stamens light. Once the area around them was finished, I removed the rubbery mask and refined them. I was very pleased with the luminous water droplets on this painting.
I’ve wondered if it’s valuable for me to do repeat versions of fruit. But for my latest white peach, clearly this variety was quite different from one I had done the year before.
I was very pleased to have my own photo reference for this beautiful moth. My photo was taken at a butterfly reserve in Victoria, Canada while on a vacation 4 years ago. The only changes/improvements I made were more feathery antennae and rounding the bottom wing contours slightly. My original painting was against white, however, later on I painted a green and purple background to use behind it.
I was so entranced by Rainier Cherries this past summer that I painted them twice. I enjoy sharing my photo reference, which really depicts “flaw removal.” Even with bruises, those cherries were very tasty.
It was definitely interesting to capture globules of oil versus water droplets – even though they were similar in many ways. To capture the charred areas, I was careful painting black spots. I didn’t want those areas to bleed and using a dark colored pencil underlay was helpful to prevent that.
The preliminary digital work for my painting was challenging. Although I was initially tempted to paint the kebob against the grill, I went with a white background. Composing the best kebob took considerable time. My favorite photo had interesting bluish reflections on the meat and was packed with kebobs. I roughly isolated a bunch of kebobs on a digital clipboard, and my final photo layout is at the bottom.
Last, but not least, I found figs to be an attractive painting subject again this past summer. I had painted the same variety of black figs the year before and didn’t look at that painting until I finished my newer one. I did like the shiny quality of the cut section on my older painting. But it was still fun to capture the bluish powdery skin on the whole fruit.