Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Snickers Bar

Snickers "fun size" bar
6" x 8", colored pencils on paper

Did I tell you my dream about Einstein? A while back I dreamed I called him up, and after introducing myself and telling him I was an illustrator, somehow (through the magic of dreams) we were sitting across a table from each other at a cafe or something. I started showing him my chocolate drawings, and he says to me (in that affable, smiley way, with the goofy hair) "You should do more!". 

And right after that, I had this commission! The client wanted the wrapper torn 'just so', similar to my Heath Bar drawing I did a while back. So I had the arduous task of tearing open wrappers and taking pics to email over, until I got one that was just right. (Of course 'someone' had to eat all those opened Snickers bars - good thing they were 'fun size'.)

I thought it was finished at this stage, below. I even signed it. The client loved it, but wondered very gently if maybe the wrapper could be darker?

She was right. Sometimes when you look at something for too long, you can have trouble really 'seeing it' properly. I went out shopping or something for a while, then came back and added some color to both the wrapper and the chocolate, and voila - perfect!

I used mostly Polychromos on this, except for the red on the wrapper (LOVE Prismacolor's Permanent Red), but then came back in with some Prismacolor chocolatey browns to add a little 'more' to it over all. 

This was done on Stonehenge paper, since all of my other candy drawings have been on that, and I wanted it to look the same (I've been switching over to Fabriano Artistico Hot Press for other work lately.)

I decided to make a swatch chart of all my chocolate colored colored pencils, so I'll really know what I have to work with. Sometimes chocolate is orangey, sometimes purpley, and the shadows can go almost black. The wrappers aren't always chocolate colored, but when they are, the same thing applies.

Terrible scans of how the whole chart looks ...

 And terrible close ups of them (sorry) so you can kind of see what I did.

I did Prismacolors, Pablos, Polychromos, and Luminance.
There are gaps, because at first I was going to try to match colors by name across brands, but that all fell apart pretty fast, and I ended up with a sort of disorganized mess. But it works for me.

(Every time I do swatches I have flashbacks to Illustration 2 class at the Academy of Art, where we had to make watercolor and gouache swatches of all our new paints - and they had to be perfect, an exact size, all lined up in straight rows ... actually I think we did them on watercolor paper, then cut them out and pasted them onto a sheet of illustration board with rubber cement - crazy, but they were beautiful, and I used them for years and years. But I digress ...)

This is what they look like when I just do them for me, and just want to get a splotch of color down so I can see what I have. It still surprises me sometimes when I think a color is going to be one thing, based on the casing or lead, then it looks totally different when it goes down on paper. Luminance are the ones that do that the most I think.

I have Alyona Nickelson's Colored Pencil Painting Bible, and in it she shows how she swatches her pencils. GURL, she be crazy (I mean that in a good way), but very thorough and totally impressive. She does color 'mixes', as well as un-burnished and burnished. I considered doing something like that with these, since its the mixture of colors that will make just the right chocolate color for each drawing, but then couldn't wrap my brain around how to do it without making it my life's work. 

Alyona does have a cool tip about printing your swatches out onto clear paper (like overhead projector transparencies) so you can then lay them over a partially rendered drawing, and see exactly how a new color applied will look. I think that's worth a try.

But I know myself, and figure I'll just do tests as I go along, each time I do a drawing.

For fun, I just googled "drawings of chocolate", and found this Pinterest page which has a lot of cool art (and a few of my pieces too).

I've made prints of this piece available in my etsy shop

Next up is a small architectural food piece . . .

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