This was a fun piece to work on. I was challenged every step of the way, but that is a good thing. This idea for this piece was born during a conversation between myself and two other women talking about starting businesses. The hoops we have to jump through. The journey and successes. While we were sharing stories I had stated that I was just commissioned to do wedding invitations. I saw the a lightbulb pop out over the one woman’s head. She was throwing her husband a surprise birthday party and had been looking for a unique way to do it. She wanted a ketchup bottle theme because their last name is Heinze ….. and so became the Ketchup Bottle invitations.
Playing with the idea began. Images rolling around in my brain. I started gathering information about the person the party was for… Detroit Lions was his football team. He fishes an is a real family man. I started laying out the colors on the ketchup bottle while attempting to sketch a nice looking fish.
Fish was a challenge. They all looked like slimy aliens. I researched various sites. Kept coming up with nothing I found appealing. I searched various angles of bass, crappies, big mouth bass, perch and so forth. In the end my sketches of crappies were the best look and less creepy. Plus, I got pleasure out of saying I was sketching crappies, “off to do some crappie sketching”
I have reached the point where I add in the crappie fish. Let the erasing begin. I shifted this fish slowly and methodically until I got the position that worked the best for the piece.
I had added in the light sketch of the crappie. I was adding colors to the bottle but something wasn’t right. Both the bottle and crappie didn’t pop yet. The fish needed colored placed one stroke at a time. ERASE. The bottle was looking flat. It needed curves and dimensions. ERASE. The eraser added dimension to the bottle without dulling the color.
Then the text …. I have the wrong team symbol. I had Indianapolis Colts on my mind for some odd reason and he’s a Detroit Lions fan. I was annoyed with myself for being an idiot and not writing down the info. Off the drawing board goes version number one. Some pacing, pondering and wondering. New blank sheet of paper is taped down onto the drawing board
Now begins the ketchup bottle, Detroit Lions & the pig.
The ketchup bottle is better this time around more ketchup bottle shape rather than BBQ sauce shape. I changed the lettering a teeny bit. Most important I needed to incorporate the Detroit Lions. Do I add Barry Sanders or Alex Karras (he’s my favorite from that team) number to the piece? Little bit of pig photo research while I think about the piece. Add the right team colors to the bottle label. It suddenly hits me use the Lions symbol as your background. It’s one of the coolest symbols in football. I traced it off my phone and did a rub to place it on the piece. Even doing that I still didn’t get it 100% but it is darn close.
Time to add the pig with the apple in its mouth. Piglets are cute but adult pigs get creepy. All I kept seeing was the pig head worn as a mask in a horror movie. Of course adding color helps. My technique is adding the lightest colors first so they standout and not blend or bleed with the darker colors. This means the pig head sits there looking hollow no eyes and no color or apple in the mouth. The piece is really pulling together.
I add the Detroit Lions color to the background. Work on the base color of the pig mixture of light pinks and a touch of brown. Next step, thankfully I gt to add color to the eyes and put the apple in the mouth. This also leads to my favorite part adding shadows and shading.
Unfortunately, there is a piece of this that’s bugging me, the nostrils. They needed a little something. They seemed to shallow and needed more depth and shading. I erase the nose. Shading and some shadowing are added. It seems better. I move to the apple in the mouth. I didn’t want it just to be round it needed the stem and leaf on it to give it more power.
It’s DONE! It’s complete! I fixed my mess up. Made it even better, in my opinion. Now I can breathe easy while I design the physical invitation.
A lot of pastels, brushing, erasing and hard work went into this piece. It gave me a challenges and I didn’t back down.