Saturday, February 09, 2008

Wine Label Commission

As things were winding down at the end of the year, or so I thought, I was contacted by a local vineyard about doing a wine label drawing for them. This is an organic vineyard with a very limited production of grapes to be sold to other labels. They do however hang on to enough grapes to make a small run of their own label in various types of wine, Pinot Noir, Chardonney and a red I can't think of. For their label they choose a local artist of their choice to do their Artist Series wine label.
I drove out to the vineyard and snapped a lot of ref photos with an idea of putting their dog on the label...fat chance, about 3 previous artists did that same dog. They were at the time training a sheep dog to watch after sheep they would use in the future for mowing the grass between the rows of grapes...remember, organic vineyard. I got the idea of putting their sheep grazing in the vineyard so here is how I came up with my label.
Problem 1... it was December so no wonderful thick grapeleaves in sight. Here you can see my angle I would use with the distant mountains...the only thing in this scene I would use. This is one of the refs of the actual vineyard.

Next thing to do was come up with some cool rows of grapes with leaves. I had snapped some ref photos at another vineyard while doing a show there so I used their grapes.

Here are the vineyards sheep who posed for me while eating lots of grass....any grass!I took these images into Photoshop and put together an image that worked...sent it off to the vineyard for approval and then drew the image on illustration board in light pencil to begin inking. They wanted an oval format and I played with the values in black and white to make the image work better for their sake.

My drawing is lighter here. I tend to draw light but that's ok because in working with various printers I found the printing ink usually darkens any drawing a few values. They use the blackest ink I've ever seen for printing. I let the owners know about this and even asked them to reduce the vlaues a bit to make it look better. I didn't like the values in my original drawing...too light and it looks better notched down a bit.Here is a preview of what the label will look like. They liked it a lot. They will bottle the wine next August and release the wine in Feb 2009. A long wait but it will be fun to see the label.


Ryan Evans said...

Hi Ron this is really great- I like how created the image too.

The sheep look fantastic and really add a nice touch as its unusual to see them in a vineyard setting

Bet the wine don't taste too bad either!


Ron Guthrie said...

Hi Ryan,
I haven't had the chance to taste the wine yet...I will down the line though. This was pretty fun to do. I did it pretty quick too so I could get back to painting but seems like, one after another, things just kept getting in the way. Getting back to normal now. Thanks.

Teresa said...

Ron you did an awesome job on this! Very impressive work!!! Bravo! I'd love to have a bottle of that wine as a collectors item *hint* *hint* Ha-Ha!

Ron Guthrie said...

Hi Teresa,
Thanks for the comments. You and your hubby are going to have to drive to the Central Coast to pick it up! hahahaha.

It was a fun project to do and pretty timely...I was talking with some people at a reception earlier in December and they were suggesting I try looking into doing a wine label....I thought one of them had set it up when I first heard about it.
We've got a long wait kiddo.