ILLUSTRATING MY LIFE

#38 IT WAS FRUITFUL BEING AN ILLUSTRATOR – PART 1

AN ILLUSTRATION OF STRAWBERRIES FOR DARIGOLD YOGURT.

From the beginning of my art career I specialized in still life imagery. Soon, I was illustrating a lot of fruit. Therefore, I not only considered my niche to be one of being a food illustrator, sometimes I’ve referred to myself as a fruit-label illustrator!

On this post, I will share a lot of images. There is less for me to write about in a technical sense, since I’ve already covered a lot of concepts that are applied to illustrating fruit. Water droplets certainly have enhanced many of my fruit illustrations.

THIS PAINTING IS PURELY TRANSPARENT. THE COOLNESS OF THE GRAPE “BLOOMS” WAS THROUGH THE USE OF PURPLE.

TO CREATE A MORE PHOTOREALISTIC EFFECT, I PAINTED THE DARK CREASES BETWEEN THE SEGMENTS.

THIS CANTALOUPE TEXTURE WAS INTERESTING “TO SOLVE.”

A MORE RECENT, FRUIT ILLUSTRATION. THE FRUITS WERE RENDERED SEPARATELY AND DIGITALLY COMBINED. 

USING DIGITAL IMAGES SEPARATELY HAS MANY ADVANTAGES. I EVEN PUT THE SHADOWS ON SEPARATE LAYERS.

BLUEBERRY CHOICES. DROPLETS CAN ALWAYS BE ADDED! 

A CLOSE UP OF THE BLUEBERRIES.

Here is a summary of things I’ve already discussed:

1. I always tend to incorporate reflected light, especially on spherical shapes.

2. I utilize complementary colors to enhance the more brilliant colors.

3. I utilize contrast to create depth and dimension. Highlights and shadows are important. Colors and shadows reflect between fruits if they are in a group.

4. I have solved many fruit textures using the “whatever works” method.

Regarding textures, here are a few tips of what I’ve done to solve some of my favorite, fruit textures.

a. Citrus peels are created using a transparent, acrylic glazing technique. See Post #12.

b. Dots that are light on an apple are either masked with liquid friskit, or applied with a toothpick and opaque white (Pen White or Acrylic), `or picked out with an exacto knife.

c. The texture on a pear can be created by spattering paint with a toothbrush.

d. The fuzz on a peach and the “bloom” on grapes are often enhanced through the use of light, colored pencils over the water based dye. The pencil can be “dissolved” by using a blender marker for additional effects.

Any time opaque white is added to dye colors; there is a bluish, “cool” quality that results. I have used that to my advantage in order to create the “fuzz” on a peach, or the cloudy, powdery coating on plums and grapes.

PAINTING PRUNES WAS FASCINATING – VERY ABSTRACT! 

IT WAS INTERESTING TO FOLLOW MY PHOTO REFERENCE CLOSELY.

BLACK CURRENTS, A STRANGE LOOKING FRUIT AND NEVER EASY TO RENDER ANYTHING THAT IS BLACK.

I CREATED THIS ILLUSTRATION FOR A WORKBOOK AD.

A CLOSE UP OF ONE OF MY PORTFOLIO PAINTINGS.

THIS IS A GOOD EXAMPLE OF USING COLORED PENCIL FOR THE “PEACH FUZZ.”

AN ILLUSTRATION FOR WEGMAN’S JUICE.

THE RASPBERRY FLAVOR FOR WEGMAN’S JUICE.

I USUALLY HAVE PAINTED RASPBERRIES WITH STEMS ATTACHED.

RASPBERRIES WITH “CROWNS” ON THEM. IT IS DIFFERENT AND MORE COLORFUL THAN PAINTING THE “HOLE.”

Strawberries and raspberries have specific patterns to their “globules” and “hives.” Pineapples are challenging to illustrate and have a similar pattern. The spiky leaves on a pineapple are significantly purple and those leaves have a powdery coating similar to plums and grapes.

PINEAPPLES ARE CHALLENGING TO PAINT.

PINEAPPLE TEXTURE IS CHALLENGING, AND INCORPORATES A LOT OF COMPLEMENTARY COLORS.

A COMMON FLAVOR IS PINA COLADA. COCONUTS HAVE AN INTERESTING OUTSIDE TEXTURE SIMILAR TO KIWI FRUIT.

I have particularly enjoyed illustrating kiwi fruit. The hairy exterior, which is similar to coconut, is easily done using a crowquill pen and acrylic. I find the interior of a kiwi to be very beautiful, as I love the contrast of the iridescent, light green.

LEMONS ARE ONE OF THE HARDEST FRUITS TO ILLUSTRATE, SINCE THERE IS LITTLE CONTRAST BECAUSE THEY ARE SO LIGHT.

THIS ORANGE JUICE LABEL WAS USED AGAIN FOR STOCK ILLUSTRATION.

I LOVE THE PINK COLOR OF GRAPEFRUIT.

When illustrating citrus fruits that were cut open, I truly studied the patterns. I always attempted to maintain clean, segment separations and varied, “sparkling” highlights. Most of those highlights were masked out in order to keep them as white as possible.

A GRAPEFRUIT JUICE LABEL FOR WEGMAN’S

When I created my stock library, I was able to create new compositions from many of my paintings. I have many “clipboards” or groups of fruit. It has been interesting for me to see some of my fruit illustrations that were purchased as stock and utilized in different ways.

AN ILLUSTRATION THAT IS COMPLETELY DIGITAL. 

A CLOSE UP OF THE ORANGE.

A BANANA “CLIPBOARD” FOR MY STOCK USAGE.

A MANGO “CLIPBOARD” FOR DIGITAL USAGE.

MY DIGITAL CLIPBOARD FOR PURPLE GRAPES – I HAVE ONE FOR GREEN GRAPES ALSO!

I ILLUSTRATED LABELS FOR SEVERAL SERIES OF FRUIT-FLAVORED LIQUEURS

My specialty of being a “package design illustrator” involved many lines of labels for yogurt, juices, and fruit flavored items.

I have so many illustrations of fruit to share, that I plan to do a separate post with many of my labels that were done for yogurt companies.

Over the course of my career, I think I preferred illustrating fruit to anything else, even vegetables! I am so comfortable illustrating any kind of fruit, that I can actually paint fruit without any reference at all!

THIS IS A SERIES OF LABELS THAT WERE FOR “SPARKLING FRUITS” FLAVORED, SODA WATER AT KMART.

THESE FRUIT ILLUSTRATIONS WERE NOT ALLOWED TO HAVE COMPLEMENTARY COLORS.

THE INVOICE FOR MY PROJECT ON SPARKLING FRUITS.

I HAVE DONE A LOT OF ILLUSTRATIONS FOR WEGMAN’S.

A SERIES OF VERTICAL JAM LABELS.

THESE LABELS HAD TO FOLLOW A PARTICULAR STYLE.

GUAVAS ARE BEAUTIFUL AND THE TEXTURE OF THE OUTER PEEL WORKED WELL FOR ME. I LIKED ACHIEVING A “WAXY, BUMPY” EFFECT. 

THIS FRUIT IS ONE OF THE STRANGEST THAT I’VE ILLUSTRATED – PASSION FRUIT.

KEEPING SHARP HIGHLIGHTS HELPS TO MAKE THE INTERIOR OF THE PASSION FRUIT LOOK GEL-LIKE.

FOR STOCK PURPOSES, I WAS ABLE TO UTILIZE ALL OF THE FRUIT HERE SEPARATELY. THE CRANBERRIES ARE ABOVE. 

THIS ILLUSTRATION WAS A VERSION THAT ENDED UP BEING CHANGED COMPLETELY.

A LOT OF MOISTURE ON THIS APPLE!

With the last illustration on this post below, I finally came up with something that allows for me to be a true illustrator. I created something that could not be photographed! YAY!