The ABC’s of Illustrating [Coconut] Soup

This illustration is back from a food related project around 2005-6, when I went back to school; to bump up my digital skills. I had a number of years with both hand-drawing and digital-drawing, but upgrading my toolbox was neccessary to stay current.

The final was completely done in Illustrator. It was the only 1 of 20 or so drawings needed for the project, so I wasn’t able to do more than one before figuring I wasn’t going to be able to finish and we had to use ‘position only’ images.

The work was done over an image I found online from a restaurant and quickened by the Wacom Cintiq tablet I used to have. These tablets are amazing and output is so much faster. If you’re going to make a living at illustration or say, animation, they are indispensable.

Sometimes, if I was in a hurry I would use the trace tool in Illustrator, but it often creates too many bad points and in the long run it’s faster to do by vector pen and sometimes the imperfections are more perfect.

There are such a number of textures and pattern tools you can find to accentuate any details in Illustrator. The background glass is one of those filters. The light graduations in the bowl and spoon are done with a gradiant mapping tool with transparency alllowing multiple layers and buildup of tones and direction.