Recently I was hired to do a commission of a funny little robot dude who bakes. This was ultimately as a gift for Circuitreats.
With each new piece I want to really challenge myself to make impactful pictures and connect deeply with the viewer each time. Ordinarily the viewer is not looking out from inside an oven, but we try not to judge around here.
I was contacted for this work by my favorite client, Steve, who wanted to surprise his friend for Christmas. I was a little slow on the draw this go-around, but I always deliver.
The initial design for this picture took some time to conceive of, but the main thing this character is known for is baking and sharing delicious goods. So, whatever I did, I knew it had to have its roots in the forge of love and sustenance, the oven.
Even with the help of a reference photo, this illustration took some doing. I had to gather reference material beyond just the photo I took to help understand how I wanted to compose the picture. Reference photos informed pretty much everything about the design of this illustration.
- The way a cookie bakes and forms.
- The kind of furniture present in a serious kitchen.
- The kind of machinery used to bake small and large goods.
- The way the process of baking looks from the inside of the oven.
On top of how everything looks on a shape level, lighting and focus were two other major challenges in making sure this image communicated what it needed to.
Most ovens with an interior light give off a really warm temperature light, so getting that effect right was a key component in the correct effect of the illustration.
Managing focus can be tricky in high-detail illustrations, so I used blurring to imitate the adjustment of focus used when a camera changes its focus distance.
I’m proud of what I accomplished in this illustration, and I hope to maintain and challenge this standard in my best work going forward.