After deciding to learn the gradient mesh tool in Illustrator, I completed a few personal exercises and challenged myself to recreate an idea I have had for a long time-- a classical statue with an ice cream cone. This piece underwent many reworks, but I feel that the final product is well-aligned with my initial vision. This piece began very simplistic, but as it progressed, I felt the need to add more and more detail, the highlight of which is the addition of the neon. The inclusion of neon (my favorite element) was really important to me, as I originally envisioned a simple black and white piece drowned in the glow of red neon. While the final product isn't quite as dramatic, I think this was a good first step toward conquering gradient meshes and the visual effects of colored lighting.
The statue featured is the Venus of Capua (ca. 117-138 CE), currently housed in the Napoli Archeological Museum in Italy. I originally intended to use the Venus de Milo as the base, but after doing some research, I found that I much preferred the pose and stature of the Capuan Venus.