Ave Santa María — editorial illustration for Gravy Food Journal

I was contacted by Bita Honarvar, image editor at Gravy, the quarterly publication by the Southern Foodways Alliance. She requested a cover Illustration & two vignettes, for the piece "Smoke and Mirrors - The Myth of Santa Maria" by Gustavo Arellano.  The piece tells the story of the cult of barbecue in America, specifically in the Santa Barbara region in California and how history its manipulated to serve tourism erasing the real truth behind it.

You can read the piece here, I loved it. https://www.southernfoodways.org/smoke-and-mirrors-2/
This is the final illustration below, but I want to show you some of the sketches and creative process.
The first main sketches were a scene at a local restaurant and the actual Santa Maria barbecue glorified in the style of a hispanic religious painting from colonial times.
Here below are the finalist clean sketches...
Detail of the food illustration...
For the final composition I considered three backgrounds that I researched on hispanic colonial paintings.
These are some of the sketches for the vignettes, representing Santa Barbara and the missions times in California.
Thanks for watching! 

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