#42 ILLUSTRATING YOGURT MADE ME CULTURED, PART 1

I have illustrated many flavors of yogurt for different companies over the course of my art career. I had so many images that I decided to break this up into two posts.

What was fascinating for me about illustrating yogurt, were the “trends” I encountered. I illustrated some unusual flavors and often more than once! I even illustrated packages for companies that were competitors.

It always seemed to me that associating a yogurt flavor with a dessert or something fattening was certainly a TRICK! I have yet to taste that “pie crust” or anything remotely as delicious as the “deceptive illustrations” I put on those labels!

However, it didn’t stop me from doing those jobs and was quite educational. I actually learned how “Key Lime Pie” wasn’t supposed to be green the way I had illustrated it prior to illustrating it for Publix Supermarkets. That was because Key Limes grew in Florida close to where Publix was located. They wanted their pie more accurately portrayed!

I am going to share some yogurt lines from three companies, although I illustrated many others. It was very hard to share the illustrations for which I only had color photocopies. On those lines of illustrations (Crowley’s and Publix), I grouped them smaller. I figured the gist of the concept and design was still conveyed.

There was no way that the yogurt tasted like this!

A close up of the cinnamon roll texture.
A close up of the cinnamon roll texture.

I did have a transparency of an illustration of a cinnamon roll (deceptive yogurt flavor!) I share it as a larger version with a close-up to show the texture. I used a toothbrush to add the stipple effect indicating cinnamon. I used liquid friskit to create “white” highlights, and tried to create many varieties of brown.

When I illustrated yogurt for Crowley’s Foods, it was part of an extensive assignment that also included many varieties of cottage cheese, sour cream, and even orange juice. I became very close with the art director and enjoyed our working relationship very much.

This was a wonderful, purchase order to come across. Sigh – those were the days!
I see on this line drawing that I saved a lot of work not completing the fruit. I regret it, though.I illustrated over sixteen flavors of yogurt where I cropped the illustrations. My line drawing of peaches above, shows that I saved some work by not completing all the fruit. However, I regret that a lot. Although it saved me time, unfortunately, cropping the illustrations didn’t allow for flexibility of different usage on a label later on. If the fruit were completed, I could have reconfigured the illustrations to utilize in my stock illustration library.
There were also some other challenges, particularly when illustrating pineapples. The crown had to be shortened to fit the label’s perimeters better, which looked a bit strange to me.The job layout for Crowley’s cottage cheese label was too “blue.” My photo reference was very pink when I pasted it together to create a “photo comp.
Solving the texture of cottage cheese was challenging, but the preliminary comps and practice paid off. I decided that the best way to capture the texture of the curds was to use marker and colored pencil. I put my translucent, marker paper over my photograph on a light table. I added the light gray marker tones and used colored pencil to add delicate definition. It worked! Unfortunately, I didn’t have any examples of my final illustrations.
I inserted my marker comp. I liked the technique and it's "forgiveness." I'm fairly certain I used markers for the final painting.

Another marker comp for this illustration. Pasting my comp in position was important.

Above the two, marker comps for this illustration show my marker sketch pasted in position. That was important.

There were several types of sour cream to render and those were fun because of the colorful products using the sour cream as an accompaniment. I am sharing one with cantaloupe. I did another two illustrations of a dollop of sour cream on a taco and a baked potato. Below is the art director’s layout and my marker comp. I didn’t have any examples of the final art on this either.This was the art director's concept. I illustrated several flavors of sour cream - this was a pretty illustration to render.

This is my marker sketch for the sour cream. I did not have any copies of final art.

Later on, I was contacted by Crowley’s to do some additional illustrations. Those later illustrations were done with “full bleed,” as I no longer cropped any of my illustrations any more. I noticed how I illustrated the Key Lime Pie very green for them!

A group of only a small portion of later flavors that were done for Crowley's yogurt. This company is based on the East coast.

The group above is only a small portion of later flavors that I did for Crowley’s yogurt.I couldn't help but fix my photo reference (I took away the background). My photo gave me the information I needed to make my painting more realistic. It didn't hurt to have a few candies nearby to eat and look at while I was working!

I am sharing my photo reference, which I couldn’t help but fix (I took away the background). My photo gave me the information I needed to make my painting more realistic. It didn’t hurt to have a few candies nearby to eat and look at while I was working!

Pina Colada was a common flavor. Even though I had only a color copy, there was enough detail on it for me to show it larger. I was used to illustrating cut pineapples and I have illustrated them cut vertically, as well as horizontally.  To capture the texture on a coconut, I used a crowquill with acrylic.

An example of a “repetitive, unusual flavor” would be white chocolate raspberry. I have actually illustrated that flavor numerous times for different companies!

Prices for my yogurt label illustrations ranged from $1,000 – $2,000 per illustration. I have included estimates and invoices on some of my projects.

Ironically, I eventually painted groups of fruit later on for Crowley’s that were used on “Multi-pack” labels.  It turned out that there was a lot more fruit to paint since it wasn’t “cropped!” Those illustrations thankfully paid more! I illustrated approximately, four multi-pack labels and had transparencies of two of them, as well as examples of the printed labels. My illustration reflects the strange shape where the blueberries had a space for the type to go!

My illustrations definitely improved upon the layout!
I can share a thank you note from the art director at Crowley’s. Crowley’s was based in upstate New York and the art director, Randy, relocated to the state of Washington and worked for Westfarm Foods. Later on, he contacted me to work on an assignment for Darigold through his new position at Westfarm. It was a wonderful opportunity for us to work together again!

Working with Randy was always a pleasure. I still get a Christmas card from him every year, even though he is now with a different company.

Working with Randy was always a pleasure. I still get a Christmas card from him every year, even though he is now with a different company.

Below are a medley of my illustrations for Publix Supermarkets, based in Lakeland, Florida. Putting all those illustrations together makes them look adorable!

I included my line drawings to demonstrate the importance of designing and indicating how my illustration would fit on the label. Of course, it should be obvious from my scans that I used a photocopier prior to using a computer!

In my file cabinet, I have a lot of magazine clippings for photo reference. I probably have several hundred images of pumpkin pie because I find it so appealing! That was helpful for this particular design.

It was a challenge to come up with this flavor. I always was curious which one the art director would choose!
Banana berry yogurt. I loved illustrating the "huckleberry!"
On this flavor “banana berry yogurt,” I loved illustrating the “huckleberry!”

A really “deceptive” flavor for me and quite imaginative was “Wild Berry Crumb Cake Yogurt.” Just thinking about it, did make me hungry. It was fun to create the photograph for this flavor. My photo wasn’t that appetizing, but it still gave me the information I found helpful for my illustration! The client did not want any dripping, for sure!

I couldn’t help but try to enhance this photo. It was very dark and not easy to paint from. I did work from several photos, and the information for the crumb/sugar texture was very important for my painting.

© 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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