Bevas Vitamin-infused Coffee Illustrations

Welcome to my latest blog post about Bevas Vitamin-infused Coffee Illustrations that I completed in September 2022. We are excited to reveal the project and you can even buy the coffee!

White Bear studio contacted us in 2022. They asked if I would be able to create a range of pencil illustrations for the packaging of a new brand of coffee. It was quite an unusual brief as they only wanted the heads – or the head and necks of a specific range of animals. Their idea was to be able to place the drawings on photos of human clothed bodies. Ultimately create animal / human characters to display on the front of the packaging.

This of course was an unexpected commission. It had a tight deadline so we worked it around our main commissions. So Nicholas and myself decided to work together on this project. We have often worked together on projects of this kind over the last 20 something years. Nicholas and myself are very used to working together. We are likeminded with very similar skills. Although we definitely keep our own client commissions separate!

Bevas and The Animals

The new coffee company Bevas had a set array of animals they wanted to use. Elephant, Giraffe, Lion, Tiger and Polar Bear. Bevas employed the branding agency White Bear Studio to create their branding for them. They were set with the task of visually mocking up Bevas’s ideas for the animals. Their ‘in house’ graphic designers found pencil drawing images online of each animal and mocked them up on the photos of the bodies for each formula of coffee. White Bear Studio emailed us the designs for us to see. Plus to show how we needed to draw them.

The images the mock-ups were based on were not copyright free. So it was our job as the artists to find high quality, copyright free reference photos to work from, in identical poses.

Bevas Vitamin-infused Coffee Illustrations
Bevas Vitamin-infused Coffee Illustrations

Creating illustrations for a brief is very different from creating artwork for yourself or to sell in a gallery or for prints. When you create something for yourself you have full control and you can make it exactly how you want it to be. However illustrations for a specific brief have to be in line with what the client wants. You cannot be precious with the end result, as when you think you have finished, in all probability when they see it, they will want changes. We worked on the drawings over and over until both Bevas and the White Bear Studios were happy.

Bevas Vitamin-infused Coffee Illustrations – The Elephant – Focus

The first Bevas Vitamin-infused Coffee Illustrations to be drawn was the Elephant. I found excellent reference, modified the photo to enable it to work on the photo of the human body. I shortened the trunk and angle of the tusks. We okayed this with the White Bear Studios and Bevas. It felt so good to finally be starting! Overall we felt this one was really eye catching and strong as an image.

Bevas Vitamin-infused Coffee Illustrations
Bevas Focus Coffee

The Giraffe – Prebiotic

Once the elephant was complete we moved on to the next drawing. The Giraffe was the most straight forward of them all. I tackled this one while Nicholas was working on an oil painting. It didn’t need much tweaking once submitted other than darkening the shadows. They asked for all of them to be a little darker. I think for printing purposes, it’s very different from my commissioned drawings where you can have delicate tones and gentle shading. For this kind of thing, the drawings needed to ‘Pop’ as the agency kept telling us. So this is the final version with the darker tones.

Bevas Vitamin-infused Coffee Illustrations
Bevas Prebiotic Coffee

Bevas Vitamin-infused Coffee Illustrations – The Tiger – Anti-Ageing

The Tiger was next and we had a lot of changes on this one. With regards to the photo we used, before we started, Bevas wanted it so that it was a mirror image and symmetrical showing the perfect Tiger. When we sent a photo fo the artowrk the feedback was to round the face out a little to make it wider. Also make the ends of the fur as clumps rather than whisps. Plus to define the edges. You can see the final design below.

Bevas Vitamin-infused Coffee Illustrations
Anti-aging coffee

The Lion – Energy

The Lion was a lovely one to create. The only real change we needed to make was for it to be much darker than we had it. Plus again the eyes needed to be almost a mirror image and everything symmetrical. The outside of the eyes really needed to stand out. Of course the focus is on the eyes, so we strengthened the outline a lot. We also rounded the face more and clumped the outer fur together. Overall this strengthened the Lion and bought it inline with the shape of the Tiger.

Bevas Vitamin-infused Coffee Illustrations
Lion Energy Coffee

The Polar Bear – Immunity

The most difficult drawing was the Polar Bear. The photo we chose to work from (which was okayed by White Bear Studio and Bevas) was so different to the final illustration. This is about the 8th modified version of the original illustration.

The first version was very ‘Polar Bear’ like with a thick neck and a wide head. However White Bear Studio and Bevas preferred to have a slimmer version. So this tasked was mainly down to Nicholas. Each time he modified it and showed them the changes, they said… a little slimmer please! I think he drew the ears about 4 times, erasing the outline of the head and bringing it in more and more. Along with making the neck a lot more slender too. They obviously needed the neck to fit inside the suit. When the final draft was okayed, we did a little cheer! It had gone on for so long, we were relieved to be finished. The customer is always right!

Bevas Vitamin-infused Coffee Illustrations
Polar Bear Immunity Coffee

Pet Portraits VS Commercial Artwork

Now a year has gone by we are delighted to finally see the illustrations being used and the coffee being sold. It’s been a long time in the making. We hope that their customers enjoy the different blends of coffee and feel either energised, focused…etc. I think with the slight hassles that went along side the commission we should be drinking the anti-aging version!! View them online here – Bevas Vitamin Infused Coffee.

For any pet portrait artist reading this who might be thinking that they would like to create artwork for packaging, from our experiences it’s swings and roundabouts. With all of the commercial artwork we have created over the years, it’s good to be able to work with professional companies and see the end result in print. Bonus! It’s so cool to walk into a pet shop and see your illustrations on a box of Seven Seas Cod Liver Oil for dogs. (Actually I don’t think Seven Seas make that anymore!).

However, invariably we have found that the fees are usually slightly less and overall it’s less profitable than private commissions. There is often a lot more work that goes along side. With extra designs, changes to the artwork once completed and the tight deadlines, it can take up a lot more time. On the plus side we were guaranteed 5 commissions, even though it wasn’t as well paid, it was guaranteed work.

We Love Being Pet Portrait Artists!

On the whole we do prefer to work with private clients and add our personal touch to our artwork and their presentation. For example read about the story of the portraits of Dodge in Oils and Pencil, you just cant beat this kind of interaction with clients. Its definitely more fulfilling. But we are always open to talks with product companies if they ever need bespoke illustrations.

We hope you have enjoyed reading our blog post about our Bevas Vitamin-infused Coffee Illustrations. Don’t forget to subscribe for our newsletter!

Are you enjoying our blog? Why not sign up to our Melanie’s Monthly News, which comes right into your inbox each month! You can sign up at the bottom of our website or at the top of the blog. Please don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube Channel too. You are more than welcome to comment below, we love hearing from our readers!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.