Sketchbook Throwback: St. Patrick’s Day

Here’s a re-post from 2014. Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone!…

St Patrick's Day illustration by Cedric Hohnstadt

Today’s sketch is a combination of three things:

First, I’ve been having a blast following @sketch_dailies on Twitter. At the moment it’s a very popular feed with over 15,000 followers. Each day a new character is suggested and hundreds of artists from all over the web draw their version. The best ones are retweeted and they are amazing! Today’s theme, naturally, was “leprechaun”.

Second, I’ve been trying to add a sense of story to my practice sketches. I wanted to try something original with the end-of-the-rainbow idea. It seems to me that if there really was a pot of gold out there on a hill somewhere it would be foolish to leave it out in the open with only a small, unarmed man guarding it.

Third, I like to try and tie each sketch into the Pose Drawing Sparkbook somehow. At the back of the book is a bonus list of 100 Moods and Emotions to draw. This might be a good fit for “Dumbfounded”.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone!


Packaging Art for Leahy’s Leprechaun Ears

A couple of years ago I was hired by the owner of a small food company to design a mascot for a new line of chocolate covered cashews. His idea was to call them “Chocolate Covered Elf Ears”, since the shape reminded him of the ears on a small elf and he thought it would be a fun way to make his product stand out a bit from the other chocolate covered nuts on the shelf. I was asked to design an appealing elf character with chocolate ears—certainly not your everyday request—dressed in green so that he could be used for marketing pushes during both Christmas and St. Patrick’s Day.

Leahy's Chocolate Covered Leprechaun Ears

I’m not a graphic designer so the client hired another artist to design the label. Today I received a package containing the final product, “Leahy’s Chocolate Covered Leprechaun Ears”. Because of the word “leprechaun” instead of “elf”, and since we just wrapped up the Christmas season, I’m assuming this is the packaging that will be in stores for St. Patrick’s Day.

My family and I all agree, they’re delicious. The chocolate is smooth and rich, not dry or rubbery. It tastes like a quality product and I’m happy to recommend it.

So far the chocolate cashews are only available in one retail location, a Minneapolis specialty food store called Local D’Lish. If they become available elsewhere, either in stores or online, I’ll let you know.

Character Design: Chocolate Covered Leprechaun Ears

I recently completed work designing a mascot for a new product, Leahy’s Chocolate Covered Leprechaun Ears. It’s a new confectionary product, fine cashews dipped in rich chocolate. They’re shaped like, well, leprechaun or elf ears (hence the name). I’ve sampled them and they are delicious! Easily as good or better than the name brand chocolate covered nuts you’ll find at the grocery store. (Yup, I tried those too. Market research is tough but somebody’s gotta do it.)

I was hired to design a mascot for the packaging. The client requested an elfish character whose ears resembled the chocolate-covered cashews. The product will get its big sales push twice a year, once around St. Patrick’s Day and again around Christmas. The client needed an elf/leprechaun character that could work for both holidays.

Above are several rough concept sketches I submitted, along with the final design. The “ears” will be on the market soon, and I’ll be sure to post more info as soon as they are available.

(Please parden the large copyright notices. I know they’re ugly but I’ve been hearing more and more stories of other artists whose work is getting ripped off online. On top of that there’s new copyright legislation looming in Congress, the Orphan Works Act, which, if it passes, will make it even harder for artists to protect their work. So for now this is one solution I’m experimenting with. Sad but necessary.)