TDAC: Asian Vinagrette

I have a new recipe over at They Draw and Cook!  It was a fun one to work on in between other projects, although i think the vegetables stole the show, even though they were added as just an additional graphic to the main recipe. I had fun working with a vertical layout in the typically landscape space, but it may be difficult to read. So here is the recipe turned right-ways for easy visuals:


I have another small project i'm repurposing some of these graphics for, but more to come on that later!

My recipe has been posted

My recipe has been posted on They Draw and Cook! Yay! It's been such fun watching all the different recipes appear on the site every day. It's like a very unique advent-day calendar: what goodies will opening the door each day reveal. I can't wait to see who the winners are.

What a great Christmas Eve present to me! I had a blast working on the drawing and testing cookie recipes. Below are some photos I took while I was creating the piece. They're not the greatest, since they were only taken with iPhones, but it's always fun to see the process.

The first of three versions of the mouse putting a cookie in the oven. I decided I wanted him leaning over more.

Take 2, but overlapping the center mouse more then I liked.

Final Line drawing

I started by laying in the background elements, then went straight to the foreground, since i'm still hesitant with the dark colors

Then, I started laying in the color on the main pumpkin and the snow in the middle-ground.

And more color...I was trying to mimic a white pumpkin with orange patterns from my reference photos, but by the time I finished tweaking colors to accurately highlight the focal point, this effect got very subdued

Working on the focal point, even though the background wasn't quite finished. The pear-shaped gourd has the door and window in a different position then the final drawing, which I didn't correct until the end. It had created a horrible tangent in the drawing with the pumpkin in the foreground. The carolers were also added to give more life to the scene.

Mostly final color.

The concept for my primary pumpkin.

The reference photo for the primary mouse, so I could get the lighting to look as accurate as possible, while stylized.


I recently discovered that I made a rookie chef error. During the recipe testing phase of my entry for TDAC Illustrated Holiday Recipe Contest, I made many variations of this recipe, all with the spices I had on hand. All of my spices were at least a year old (most more), and not as potent as fresh spices. When I remade the cookies with new spices after running out of what I had in stock, I found the recipe WAY too spicy.

I should have realized that during the testing phase. I started with half the spices in my current recipe, but felt that I could barely notice them, even though there cumulatively seemed to be a large amount of spices.

There isn't much I can do about the contest entry as it stands, but I can go back and adjust the recipe for my own edification. And for all my faithful blog readers, I will post the revised recipe once I make all the final adjustments.

If anyone HAS tested the recipe, I would appreciate your feedback on the cookie as it stands and any recommendations you may have on tweaking the spice levels.

it is DONE! or Illustration Friday: Savour

I've been very quite for the past month, but I have been working hard!

I worked all month (read: weekends and sporadic nights) on my recipe submission for They Draw and Cook's Holiday Recipe Contest. Not only did I work on the illustration, I made LOTS of pumpkin cookies in search of my perfect cookie. My coworkers sure enjoyed that part of my project.

It's been fun, exciting, nerve-wracking, and exhausting, because it definitely came down to the last minutes before the submission deadline. I achieved most everything I set out to do with the piece. I have strong characters, strong composition and focal point, and I added/modified things up until the end to make it just right. I also used dark colors, which is still the hardest thing for me to do. I wanted to hand-letter the title, but I knew when to throw in the towel and fall back on my graphic design abilities.