In 2003, I received another large project from the same design firm in San Francisco that had awarded me the Spice Island’s “Quick Meals” and Beechnut baby food projects.
By the time this project was completed, I had illustrated fifteen flavors of bagels for Lender’s, as well as a few additional illustrations of ingredients that would indicate the flavors on the label. I also illustrated a bagel with filling for a new product concept. Each illustration paid approximately $1,000.
Although it would seem like all bagels would have the same shape, they did not. The client was adamant that each bagel display its unique quirks; from the variances of the oval shape to how the ingredients were stippled or “swirled” within the dough. In some cases, the texture and ingredients affected the contours.
I wasn’t sure what technique would “lend” itself best for this project. I did two versions of a plain bagel, the first one was with watercolor and the second one was with a marker technique that incorporated colored pencil and acrylic. The art director preferred the second version.
It was hard to visualize the illustration with only line drawings, although those were important for the contours. Since the job was in markers, it seemed repetitive to do marker comps. I simply shared my photo reference instead. Once the project was underway, everyone knew what to expect – there were very few revisions.
I received hundreds of bagels to pick from and took many photographs. I sent copies of the best shots to the art director once I “cut them out” to indicate the shape better. Photoshop would have been easier then!
It was helpful when the contours were indicated with lines drawn over the photographs by the art director. When photographing the bagels, even the best ones were very “imperfect.” I always photographed them against darker backgrounds because it allowed for brighter images.
A “hero” is an artistic term for an item in a painting that “stands out.”
Berries that were “heros” were important, as far as placement went. Below, the art director indicated some revisions to the final paintings by drawing onto a color copy.
Technically, I used solvent-based Admarkers and mounted the paper on a thicker, flexible paper. Texture was created with Prismacolor pencils over the initial, marker drawing. After that, I utilized acrylic washes to brighten up the colors and add detail.
The sesame seeds and detail for the “Everything” bagel worked splendidly with the acrylic. Once again, my “whatever works” motto came into play. I used a toothpick for poppy seeds. I made sure that every, single seed had a shadow!
Colored pencils were very useful for textural elements. When needed, I was able to melt and blend pencil areas using an Admarker blender marker. I could easily erase areas with that, as well.
When using acrylic, I pumped up the entire illustration by washing transparent glazes of color over everything in order to “unify” or bring all the colors together. I had learned that when the Badger acrylics dried there was a shininess I found distracting. Therefore, I used a matt medium, also sold by Badger, on the illustration when it was completed. This allowed everything to look smooth again.
Below are line drawings and illustrations for the flavor indications on some of the labels. I was instructed to paint these items realistically, and to stylize them also. I think the stylization is noticeable on the onion stem and cinnamon stick shape.
This was one of those projects that left me wondering. I never received any printed packages or copies of the final labels. I’ve never seen any of my bagel illustrations in the stores. What happened?
It’s a mystery!
Here were my alternative post titles:
THIS PROJECT MADE A LOT OF DOUGH FOR ME!
I WENT IN CIRCLES ON THIS PROJECT!