short and sweet

short and sweet - student project

Hello everyone,

As I would enjoy drawing sweets, I thought I'd use an idiom containing the word "sweet".

My idiom list is:

-be my sweetheart

-a sweet deal

-sweet dreams

-sweet talk

-short and sweet

I decided to go with "short and sweet". Working on it for a while I found it somewhat hard to illustrate, but I said I'd stick with it to push myself.


Here are my thoughts on the sketching phase. Feedback will be VERY helpful. Please chip in.

Word list:



Coffee, spoon, sugar - cubes/sachets






short person

gingerbread man

I first started drawing anything sweet that came to mind.

Then I started thinking of trying to show the contrast between tall and short or long and short. Something tall and not sweet (tall savory food, a jar, a jug, a spoon), next to something short and sweet (a piece of candy or dessert?) Maybe a long tray with small desserts on it?

Another thought I had was to combine a pair of shorts with something sweet. Shorts made out of sweets maybe? Or shorts covered in honey?

A final direction was to work with a gingerbread man - he is inherently sweet and could be somehow depicted as short.

short and sweet - image 1 - student project

short and sweet - image 2 - student project

As much as I liked it, trying to show the contrast between long/tall vs short wasn't really working. In all the images the focus would shift to the long/tall object instead of the short one(s). 

I explored it for a while placing the gingerbread man in different settings (cups, jars...) but the idea of short wouldn't come across.

short and sweet - image 3 - student project

The shorts idea wasn't working that well. I couldn't imagine how I would go about finishing this as an illustration. So I gave it up and kept exploring the tall/short contrast.

short and sweet - image 4 - student project

Then I said "why not skip the tall/long objects, which are not working, and only try inherently short items?" A shot glass came to mind.

short and sweet - image 5 - student project

But maybe this is too much. What do we need the shot glasses for? Maybe the sweet things are small enough by themselves and don't need anything else?

short and sweet - image 6 - student project

Same with the gingerbread man. When would a gingerbread man be short? Maybe when someone bit off or broke his legs?

short and sweet - image 7 - student project

Broken legs may be a little depressing. How about eaten?

short and sweet - image 8 - student project

So here I am now, feeling a little stuck. Please help out with some feedback!


After sleeping on the previous ideas I think I found it!

short and sweet - image 9 - student project