Working in my art studio in 1981.

11. When working transparently, it is best to mix colors to create dark areas. Avoid using black.

12. For realism, vary brushstrokes to fit the texture. For something to look “painted,” show the brushstrokes.

13. Never leave the brush in the water soaking. It will certainly ruin it.

14. Plan on having lots and lots of Kleenex around.

15. Putting more and more time into a painting to “fix something” usually will lead to an overworked mess.

16. Start over when it becomes necessary. Learn from a mistake and start afresh. In a short time, the artwork will be so much better.

17. If starting over isn’t possible, experiment on another paper any technique that might correct the problem. Without starting over, the problem area can even be pasted on – manually or even digitally!

18. Sometimes when there’s a problem area and it’s hard to “move on,” just mask it out. That way, it’s less of a problem. Coming back to it later offers a fresh perspective!

19. Experimentation is key. If it is possible to solve something in an area as small as an inch, that solution can be applied to the total painting!

20. Always try new things in order to learn!

I’m going to share more illustration assignments. First I’m going to share one of my favorite, “portfolio pieces.” To show the process by how I worked my Dessert Medley, I’m sharing the photograph. When people say my paintings look like a photo, I certainly know that I’ve improved upon the photo I started with!

My photo reference for “Dessert Medley.”

Final painting for my portfolio piece named “Dessert Medley.”

I’ve mentioned how important preliminary work is to ensuring that the final painting is accepted.

I’m going to share one of my “challenging jobs” with you. When I did the marker comp for this Frupalletta assignment, I thought my comp was “on the mark.”

The color marker comp that never became a final painting.

This job never went to a final painting. I think it would have made a beautiful painting!

The art director sent me back a typed page of comments about my comp. After going over those comments with the art director, it became clear to me that I was not going to be able to please him. I followed my instincts and spoke up. He agreed and I was paid a kill fee for this job. That rarely ever happened over the course of my career.

A job layout for Giant Eagle Pizza, which was used as an advertisement.


My photo reference for the Giant Eagle Pizza Illustration assignment.


Comments made by the art director to my layout. I added steam indications on a separate overlay.

My final illustration for Giant Eagle Pizza.

An interesting usage of my artwork many years later – as a puzzle!

About Judy

I'm an illustrator by profession. At this juncture in my life, I am pursuing my dream of writing and composing music. Every day of my life is precious!
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