In keeping with my new style, I created this digital illustration “Warm Butternut Squash Chickpea Salad” by Smitten Kitchen. The recipe is actually for a salad without the greens, but I love adding mixed greens and putting the squash/chickpea mixture on top. The tahini dressing is creamy, and addictive. I could literally eat this dressing with a spoon. I don’t, but I could. I may lick the spoon though after I drizzle all of that creamy goodness over my salad. It’s very hearty, filling salad that will keep you satisfied until your next meal. I make this salad so often that I usually buy a larger squash and cut it up in cubes and freeze it for a later date.
As an artist, I like to experiment with new things from time to time. Even after all of these years of being an artist, I still love trying new techniques, mediums, and taking classes. I think it’s important to continue the learning and growing process. Some folks think illustrators and artists, should have one unique style. I disagree with that, but I also understand that point of view, having been an Art Director in my past life. I’ll get into this more at a later date.
I’ve been wanting to create a new loose style for awhile now. It’s still a work in progress, because I’m still playing with figuring out which digital brushes and textures feel right to me. Here’s what I’ve already learned about working on a loose style. It’s not as easy as it looks, and it’s not necessarily a lot faster. It is a little faster, but still takes an artful eye, skill and effort. My style has always been to work detailed and more realistic, so this is a nice departure from that. Right now I’m focusing on using Procreate for a digital version of this style, but sometimes I will work in watercolor, maybe sometimes, a mix of colored pencils and watercolor or gouache, basically I’ll decide what I feel for the day when I’m working in this style. I’m really enjoying the process and this journey right now.
For my subjects, I’m going to focus on food, because I love to cook. I’ll be focusing on my favorite recipes to start. The first one I chose is by Bon Appetit, “No-Fail Roast Chicken with Lemon and Garlic.” We love having a roasted chicken for dinner because for one, it’s a delicious dinner, but, also to me the best part is that we always have a lot of chicken for leftovers for the week. There’s so many things to do with leftover chicken.
This recipe is delicious. The lemons and garlic become deeply caramelized. Once you slice the chicken to serve, the lemon drizzled over the chicken is amazing. I like to just eat the roasted garlic as we eat the chicken, but if that’s too intense of a garlic flavor for you, then try mashing the garlic in some potatoes. Sometimes I throw in a few potatoes and other veggies, while the chicken is roasting too, and then you have a simple one pan dinner. In the past, I’ve saved some of the garlic and made a delicious, roasted garlic vinaigrette for the week. So many good things come from this recipe!