#33 MY CAREER BLOSSOMED

My theme for this post is obviously flowers. I have tremendous appreciation for botanical illustrations and study them at every opportunity.

Flowers have fabulous colors and textures, and lend themselves very well to my technique. The most challenging floral textures are “geometric patterns.” Examples of that would be the center of a sunflower, or cactus spines that radiate in a complicated pattern. Because I’ve painted a lot of fruit, leaves are something I can almost do with my eyes closed.

On a separate post, I will share herbal illustrations that I did for a vitamin manufacturer called Pharmavite. Those illustrations were for vitamin supplements, and are currently on display at Costco.

MY PORTFOLIO PIECE ENTITLED "FLOWER MEDLEY

One of my favorite paintings is entitled “Flower Medley.” I created this illustration as a portfolio piece. It really has all the elements of my style, which would be high contrast, intense color, and varied textures. I enjoyed rendering delicate moisture that was very photo-realistic, instead of formulaic droplets.

Hopefully, these close-ups give a sense of the dye colors, which I find so exciting. Within the petals on the daisy below, there are many colors besides yellow; there is pink, lavender, blue, and even green. This also displays my motto that dull colors allow for the brilliant colors to stand out. The dark brown center of this flower demonstrates that. A lot of transparent colors went into creating the dark areas on this painting.

FLOWER MEDLEY SKETCH - A MINIMUM OF LINES TO FOLLOW; JUST ENOUGH INFORMATION.

Although I’ve already shared my Supersoil illustrations, I decided to add a few close-ups of my potting soil illustration. These close-ups display the variation of colors and reflections that I love, as well.

NOT AN EASY PATTERN TO ILLUSTRATE. LIQUID FRISKIT AND A TOOTHPICK WAS USED TO CREATE THE NEGATIVE SPACE.

In 1992, I received an assignment for People Magazine to illustrate a floral display that included a graduation cap and tassel. It was to be used as part of an advertising supplement within the magazine. This was also one of the few, rare opportunities where I was able to sign my work!

ART DIRECTOR'S LAYOUT FOR THIS JOB.

 

THE PRINTED TEARSHEET.

THE PAINTING WITHOUT THE CAP & TASSEL. NOTICE HOW MUCH BRIGHTER THE PAINTING IS THAN THE PRINTED VERSION.

A SUPER CLOSE-UP: THE COLORED PENCIL ON THE STEM ACTUALLY CAPTURES THE "FUZZY" TEXTURE.

MY PHOTO REFERENCE.

I actually illustrated the graduation cap separately, which was helpful for me as far as having a floral painting, which could be used in other ways. This illustration was used later on for a poster, and was also purchased by Reader’s Digest.


I took a lot of photographs for reference on this illustration. Now I’m going to share something about this painting that has bothered me for years and years. I was so faithful to my reference, that I actually painted a “damaged” flower. I did not have to paint it with the missing petal, which obviously fell off somewhere in transport. Notice the pink, Astermeria below:

HOW COULD I HAVE NOT NOTICED NOT ONE, BUT TWO MISSING PETALS?

Years later, one of my agents sold both my floral medley painting and the one for People magazine as a poster. Having those posters gave me a lot of pleasure – I was able to frame them and enjoy them, and to share them as gifts. I received a very small, token amount of money for the usage.

POSTERS OF MY FLORAL PAINTINGS. THE BORDER AND TYPE WORKED VERY WELL.

I created a billboard for Del Monte of a flower-cart – this was specifically geared toward a Latino market. I was given photographs of carts to follow and was instructed to keep the illustration simple and not too realistic. It was still a colorful exercise.

I shared my Conroy’s Flowers billboard on Post #13; however, I am sharing some close-ups of the letters here. I am certain that none of the flower details were actually visible on this billboard! What was interesting to share about this project was that as it progressed, the flowers on the later letters improved considerably and were far more interesting for me.

THERE WAS NO WAY THOSE FLOWERS COULD BE SEEN IN THOSE LETTERS!

A CLOSE UP OF THE CONROY'S BILLBOARD.

BY NOW, I WAS GETTING TIRED OF FILLING IN ALL THOSE LETTERS!

I DID REPEAT SOME FLOWERS. BUT NOT MANY!

I ended up doing several illustrations for Conroy’s flowers that were in black in white. I always found it interesting how using a watercolor tube called “neutral tint” created many kinds of gray, none of which translated in the production. I liked the composition of my first black and white illustration so much, that I replicated it later on in color. I illustrated two, small cards for a floral company and used a marker technique on those subsequent illustrations.

ART DIRECTOR'S LAYOUT FOR THE BLACK & WHITE CONROY'S ILLUSTRATION.

MY "PHOTO-COMP" CREATED BY CUTTING AND PASTING MY PHOTO-REFERENCE.

ART DIRECTOR'S COMMENTS.

FINAL ILLUSTRATION. IT'S NOT REALLY "BLACK & WHITE;" KIND OF LAVENDER, ACTUALLY.

I DID GET NICE TEARSHEETS ON THIS JOB.

AN ILLUSTRATION USING THE SAME COMPOSITION SOMEWHAT. THIS WAS PAINTED MUCH SMALLER - ONLY ABOUT TWO INCHES HIGH.

THESE TWO ILLUSTRATIONS WERE CALLED "CAPRI CARDS" AND WERE THE TINY CARDS THAT COME WITH FLOWER ARRANGEMENTS.

THIS LINE SKETCH HAS ME WANTING TO PAINT THIS ALL OVER AGAIN!

I received three more black and white illustrations for Conroy’s. One was a wreath, one incorporated a typewriter (for secretary’s day), and another was an Easter theme. I utilized my photo-reference to create a pasted up comp to follow. Needless to say, I knew the best floral shops in my area.

ART DIRECTOR'S LAYOUT FOR THE EASTER, NEWSPAPER AD. I WAS ACTUALLY SENT THE BASKETS AND STUFFED BUNNIES FOR REFERENCE PURPOSES.

MY COMP CREATED BY PASTING UP MY PHOTO-REFERENCE. BET A COMPUTER WOULD HAVE BEEN FASTER!

BLACK & WHITE EASTER ILLUSTRATION FOR A CONROY'S FLOWERS NEWSPAPER AD.

ART DIRECTOR'S LAYOUT FOR AN AD FOR SECRETARY'S DAY. THANK GOD THOSE SECRETARIES AREN'T USING SELECTRIC TYPEWRITERS ANYMORE!

FINAL ART. I DID AIRBRUSH THE FOREGROUND TONE. PAINTING THE METAL, "TYPEWRITER ELEMENT" WAS INTERESTING!

ANOTHER ART DIRECTOR'S LAYOUT FOR A BLACK & WHITE FLORAL WREATH.

MY LINE SKETCH.

MY "PHOTO-COMP."

A CLOSE UP OF THE FINAL PAINTING.

These other illustrations below are examples of what I have on my stock site, and are taken from other paintings. The first one, however, is a marker illustration I did for a possible project.

A GROUP OF AZALEAS.

THIS IS A STOCK ILLUSTRATION EXTRACTED FROM ONE OF MY SUPERSOIL ILLUSTRATIONS.

SAME AS THE ABOVE ILLUSTRATION - EXTRACTION FOR STOCK USAGE.

A CLOSE UP OF A PANSY ON ONE OF MY SUPERSOIL ILLUSTRATIONS.

THIS WAS A CHALLENGE FOR ME - PAINTING A DELICATE, WATERCOLOR STYLE OF AN ORCHID SPRAY.

I have done two illustrations that were a medley of flowers that were printed on vinyl – the title for that was “color clings.” I still have some, which I’ve adhered to my sliding glass patio door. Unfortunately, they faded rather quickly!

THE PAGE OF COLOR CLINGS - GROUPED TOGETHER THEY NEEDED TO BE BALANCED.

MY CAMELIA STOCK ILLUSTRATION.

My challenge on the medley was to create small groups of flowers that worked well with the total composition. I kept in mind that the flower groups needed to be balanced and the negative space pleasant. I also wanted a variety of shapes and colors, without any of the elements being distracting. Due to time pressure, these illustrations were painted with a watercolor marker technique, and were not as detailed and delicate as my other technique. They were also quite small, as each floral group was about two inches large.

For the rose color clings, I used my dyes on watercolor paper. Later on, I modified the rose colors to create a variety of stock illustrations.

I have mentioned and shared my working process throughout this blog. I regard all my illustration assignments as a “puzzle for me to solve.” My photo reference is my “roadmap” to follow. When I was an art instructor, I gave very clear directions to my students about this process. I encouraged students to render flowers simply because of their organic beauty and ease in creating a nice painting.

IT'S HARD TO BELIEVE A TEN-YEAR-OLD ILLUSTRATED THIS!

The first example above was by a private art student whom I taught in my home two years ago. She was only ten years old.

Below are examples of my college students’ artwork.

STUDENT WORK.

STUDENT WORK.

STUDENT WORK.

STUDENT WORK.

STUDENT WORK.

STUDENT WORK.

STUDENT WORK.

STUDENT WORK.

STUDENT WORK

© Judy Unger and www.foodartist@wordpress.com 2010. 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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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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5 Responses to #33 MY CAREER BLOSSOMED

  1. wow Judy…Fabulous work, really enjoyed looking at it. I used to teach photo realistic airbrush work.
    Keep up the great art….Deb

    Like

  2. susurrus says:

    Hi Judy – many thanks for your kindness. Your illustrations are wonderful. I wanted to try to return the favour – did you realise that if you use more than 15 tags and categories combined, your post won’t appear in the Reader? My instincts are that simple, one word tags work best on WordPress.

    Like

    • Judy says:

      Hi Susan, Glad you liked it. I remember your giving me this advice earlier and now whenever I post I am careful to use less than 15 tags. Moving forward is one thing, but do you recommend that I revise tags on all my older posts (I have a lot!)? I’ve done it on this one so you can explain this to me – Cam you can share it in reader even though it’s an older post?
      I do get a lot of Internet search traffic and that is probably why I’ve used a lot of tags!

      Like

      • susurrus says:

        Sorry, I forgot! I searched for a couple of the most unusual tags, including Dr. Martin Dyes, without success – I only found four posts for the latter but the oldest one was Nov 2012. I was surprised they went that far back! The older the post, the more rare the tags need to be to appear – you’re never going to scroll back far enough to find old posts under the popular tags. You do have the option of reblogging – I’ve seen people do that. It might be an idea to delete or edit these comments if you do!

        Like

  3. Judy says:

    Susan, that’s an interesting idea, to reblog. This blog is more like a book and I hardly ever have new posts for it. But this blog has actually been very useful for my career. On Google, if someone types in “Food Illustration or Food Illustrator,” one of my images comes up on the first page. I’ve gotten quite a few jobs from it.
    Thank you again!

    Like

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