Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Pectin Priestess complete! -- Hydrocolloid Pantheon

Third of my personally developed series of jiggly deities: Hydrocolloid Pantheon. Just in time for summer!

Pectin is a fruit-derived hydrocolloid most often found in jams, jellies, and marmalades. Citrus fruits (particularly dried orange peels) and apple pomace are common sources. Common jam-related treats include thumbprint cookies, jammy dodgers, fruit tarts, fruit tarts, and jelly rolls.

Here's my attempt at doing a more painterly style. Something that'll require some more experimentation on my part :).

And here are the other two for the series:


Next up... Gum Arabic! The first one unrelated to food :P.

-- Julia

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Horse Problem for the Weekly Alibi

Are horses livestock or pets? What should be done with the growing population of abandoned horses, as the economy has made it more and more difficult for families to feed them? Should the ban on slaughtering horses for human consumption have been lifted in the States?

There are lots of things to consider. Is it more humane to kill the horses in slaughterhouses or let them starve to death on their own, or ship them overseas to have them killed there? Is horse meat fit for human consumption, as so many horses are injected with drugs during their lives that may remain intact in their flesh after slaughter? Is it ethical to sell that meat to other countries for low prices, even though there may be health and safety issues?

I don't have any idea how it'll all work out so that's what I illustrated. One path to the slaughterhouse, one to abandonment, and one to an animal shelter. Whatever happens, it'll be humans leading the way.

Here's the original sketch. I didn't know what the dimensions of the illustration were so I started horizontally (most of my jobs for the Alibi have been either square or horizontal): 

After I got the dimensions, it was pretty easy to resize and shuffle around the elements to work in a vertical composition. To me, it's better to get started with the sketch and not just be sitting on my hands!

-- Julia
Portfolio site

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Many Shades of Grey for the Weekly Alibi

One of the reasons I love editorial illustration so much is that I get to learn about all sorts of things I wouldn't think to look into otherwise. Last week I got to learn about the cultural roots of the banjo. I had no idea that black slaves brought the instrument and its music to America. Here's a link to the article. 

I wanted to show the luxurious plantation houses of the sweltering south and the crystal-clear lakes and humbly built cottages of the Appalachian mountains. Banjos have been in many different hands. Minstrel shows are a rather awkward bit of American history but an important bit nonetheless. I knew I wanted to include it but I definitely didn't want it to look offensive. 

The art director got back to me later to say that the article's title was "Many Shades of Grey", just at the time I was trying to decide how to colour the illustration. So I went with it!


Portfolio site

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

New Macleans illo out!

A tribute to a fun, irreverent lady. The subject wrote a number of books in her life and was poised to make her mainstream publishing debut with a novel being put out by Penguin Books. I managed to dig up the book covers of the stuff she'd gotten published before and include them in the piece. The internet is so perfect for this kind of research -- I never would've been able to find this type of stuff back in the old days!

She was a Dadaist who liked to dress in tuxedos (upper left), dabbled in striptease (upper right), attended OCAD (top middle, though I know that bit of OCAD wasn't around in her day, I liked using it to frame the piece), enjoyed yoga and animals, the occult and psychology. The round things with the tassels are pasties -- which the art director said he couldn't really identify as such but would trust me on it :).   

Spot illustration for the iPad version:


-- Julia
Portfolio site

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Pectin Priestess -- Colour process

I've started dropping colours in this one, part of my Hydrocolloid Pantheon series. The first two were gelatin and agar and all are my way of paying tribute to fun, edible jiggly-wigglies. Pectin is derived from fruits so naturally this one is all fruity and green. Still a work in progress. Might still add texture to the bark.

I feel like with the orange hair she's looking just a bit more like Margaery Tyrell of Highgarden (from Game of Thrones :P) who would naturally be the personification of such a bounty!

Gelatin! (Derived from hooves, horns, hide)

Agar! (Derived from red algae)


-- Julia
Portfolio site