sketchbook stories :: shari warren


Shari is a fellow Northern California artist that I met via twitter and is proof that you can form friendships thru social networking. Shari use a variety of media to create her art, both traditional and digital, but no matter what the project is, she always starts with pencil and paper. Shari is a fan of HGTV (one of my all time favorite channels) and a bargain shopper to boot. Hey, who doesn’t love spending a day doing some solid trend research!

The series that Shari is sharing with us today is for products that she designed for Ritzenhoff, a European giftware company that specializes in high-end designer collectibles.


Here is Shari’s Sketchbook Story ::

SW:  The project was to design a coordinating beer and schnapps glassware set. For each product I design, the company sends me a story and technical brief about the product description and I am given complete freedom in creating the artwork and colors. The only restraint is that the final illustration has to be in a vector format (I use Illustrator) to fit the supplied product technical drawings. 


SW: The story for this Beer and Schnapps glasses is “Royalty”. So I gathered reference of Crowns and Kings and Queens. Animal Icons and Motifs are commonly used in the jewelry and crown designs and as my creative ideas started flowing, a thought came to me “King of the Jungle” and “The Beer of Kings”. I decided to design a Lion King for the Beer Glass and a Lioness Queen for the coordination Schnapps Glass.


SW: I thought it would be fun to incorporate the Barley and Hops, the ingredients for beer, as part of the crown design. I draw my rough sketches and then scan them in. Since the final art needs to be in a vector format, I place the sketches on a layer in illustrator to work from. And a little side note: I added the little hearts to the faces, because as I was thinking of “kings and queens” and I remembered this funny segment from a Mel Brooks movie where he played the French King in History of the World. It’s one of the silliest and naughtiest movies I have ever seen, yet the costumes were great and the make up was awesome. Powdered faces, crazy big wigs, and one of the characters had this little heart on their cheek right under their eye. Yes, I had to sneak this in!


SW: I create the final artwork directly in the Product file as supplied from the manufacturer. That way I can be sure all the elements fit as I see it as a final product. They also wanted me to use a metallic gold on the top rim design of the glass as well as an accent color below. 

SW: I love how the Glasses are the Heads and the Coasters are the Bodies. These products were introduced in Ritzenhoff’s 2008 collection, and are still great sellers today.


And here’s where you can find Shari:




if you are an artist or would like to recommend an artist to be featured in Sketchbook Stories please feel free to drop me a line. I’d love to hear from you :-)

  1. Great behind the scenes post! Love the artwork!

  2. Blu Penny by Cindy Ann

    Thanks, so glad you're enjoying it. It's been really fun doing the column.

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