Sweetly Refined :: Cupcakes & Fashion

Sweets and in particular cupcakes have been on my mind. I have a sweet tooth like nobodies business. Always have and I think always will. It’s something I think I’ve passed down to my daughter, but thank goodness she has inherited her fathers teeth, as I have definitely have paid for it at the dentist. I’ve been working on my new Sweetly Refined Collection for sometime now thought I would share with you my process. I showed you a few of these sketches for this collection a while back but thought it would be nice to pull it all together to show the true progress of my creative process.

When I first started off thinking about cupcakes I was taking it in a whole different direction. The first phrase that came to mind was ‘camp cupcake’ it was summer time and I was envisioning cupcake totem and little cupcake doing skip rope, sitting by a fire and playing camping games. Cute, right? But I when I thought about it a little more I really wanted to add in a level of sophistication and all the ideas were   beginning to feel a bit too cuties. I’ve been reading and looking at all the soft and romantic fashion photography over at Day Dream Lilly and thought that there must be some way I can incorporate cupcakes and fashion. I also really wanted to draw some ladies.


 I started off pulling some screenshots of cupcakes that I liked off of the web. There are a ton of different kinds of cupcakes and website and blogs dedicated to the art of making cupcakes. It’s very easy for me to get caught up in all the research.


I decided to draw a few flavors that I liked and started filling up my sketchbook with pages of cupcakes. My daughter even joined in the process with picking the cupcakes that she wanted me to draw and making suggestions on how many sprinkles should be added.


Then I started drawing the ladies and pulling pages out of my husbands stack of W magazines. Gosh I love looking thru that magazine with juicy colors and large format pages. We often fight over who get to look at it first when a new issue arrives in the mail. Technically they are addressed to him, but I feel it becomes communal property the moment it hits my front step. :-)


After I was satisfied will all the sketches and drawings. I pull out my handy dandy color swatch books and pick a basic color palette. This way I at least I have a starting point even if it grows and changes I always have a color foundation to go back to. Next came the computer work. I scan my drawings, clean them up and then place them in illustrator and start the colorization process.


…and Voila the first of my Sweetly Refined Ladies!! Only 5 more to go and the collection will be complete.


  1. Nancy Comelab

    What a stunning illustration!!! My jaw literally dropped on the floor when I saw it! Thank you for sharing a little of your process.

    Love your blog!

    Much love,
    BYW '09 fellow class student

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