03 March 2013

Spinach / Artichoke Dip

This weekend I started to work on some drawings/paintings for the library cookbook. First recipe up: Spinach/Artichoke Dip. So I headed out for the farmers' market this morning to buy an artichoke and a bunch of spinach.

My first two drawings were of just the artichoke. I don't want each illustration to slavishly duplicate all the ingredients of each recipe, nor can I see necessarily painting the finished product--after all, a bowl of white goo with green flecks doesn't make for a very interesting illustration; so I thought since the artichoke is the most fun element to paint, I would just do that. Then I tried representing a few more ingredients, too, in combination with the artichoke.

I was pretty happy with this one (above). The darks could have been a bit darker (and I might go back in later and add some), but I really enjoyed how the shadow turned out, and I like the attitude/angle. (I'm going to have to re-scan, though--I had some bleedthrough from the picture behind this one in my sketchbook.)

With this one I spun the artichoke around to get another angle, and the sun was at another angle as well (I was painting on the patio), so the shadow is in a different place. This time I tried doing it more wet into wet, at which I am not very accomplished, and I think that shows. I also overworked the shadow, which became muddy and weird. Then I tried some spatter, but it's a bit of a mess--too much, too large, too regular, and I haven't got the hang of directing it where I want it yet. I won't be using this one, but it was fun to do and I did learn some things for next time.

And for this last one, I cut off the stem of the 'choke so it would stand up (although not very straight! I think I'll have to use Photoshop to rotate the whole picture), and added a handful of fresh spinach (the recipe calls for frozen, but this is called artistic license) and the Philly cream cheese. I quite like how the spinach comes forward, and I always enjoy doing some lettering/labeling work. Not sure about the artichoke, though, it feels a bit pallid--in fact, the whole sketch feels that way to me. Again, I could go back in and work on it some more...

I can see that this is going to be a challenge for me--to work hard enough to achieve the results I want without getting too crazy about redoing and reworking! I guess I'll just keep going and pick the most successful ones at the end.

More next week...

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