Post Cereals - Trix or treat.

If anybody from Post Food, Inc. sees what I did in the title, they'd have five simultaneous heart attacks. General Mills makes Trix - not Post. But that just shows you I care more about a decent pun than the health of strangers. I am the worst person in the world.

Cereal for Halloween? I'm trying to think if I would have been as cranked as this little girl to get a single-serving box of cereal for trick or treats, and I think I would be into it... depending on the cereal. It would have to be something desserty and sweet. Froot Loops or Lucky Charms would be great, but Raisin Bran, for example, would go right in the bushes on my way back to the sidewalk, as I didn't develop a tolerance for the stuff until adulthood. Now that I'm a great big man, I shovel the stuff down with gusto. But as a kid, that's a big negative, good buddy.

Pre-sweetened cereals were generally forbidden by mom and when we were allowed to indulge in them at all, they were doled out only as a dessert. Not a bad Idea, IMO. To this day, I'll occasionally buy a box of Cap(apostrophe)n Crunch, to be eaten as dessert. The things drummed into us as kids sometimes stick.

But now that I'm a great big man... handing out single serving cereals for trick or treat? No friggin way. I'm not made of money. Have a "fun size" Twix instead, kid. (Note: Making a candy bar nearly microscopic does not make it fun, dickheads! A "fun size" Twix would be about the size of my leg. Don't get me started.)

The painting in today's ad is by... guess who? His name is only as big as the text on the Sugar Crisp box. Dick Sargent was not shy about his signature. He was also not shy about his attempt to emulate Norman Rockwell. Here's an interesting thing. It's not hard to tell that his stuff is heavily "referenced", as we say. That means he would stage a photo shoot with models posing exactly the way he wants, take a photo and then basically do a painting of the photo. This was not uncommon, especially when you got paid by the job, not by the hour. Anyway, that's not the interesting part. The interesting part is that he seems to basically use a flash when he takes the photo. Look at the lighting on the people in the picture. They're lit from directly behind the viewer, as if he just used flash, instead of positioning lights around the scene for more naturalistic lighting.

These people are floating over the sidewalk like they were pasted in from another painting. No drop shadows at all. WTF, Dick? They're outside in daylight, but the light source for the people seems to be about six feet off the ground, right in front of their noses. Freshman art lesson number one; Consistent light sources. These people might have been Photoshopped into the scene, if it had existed then. Maybe he was in a hurry?

Looking at the rest of his stuff, it seems to be his style. Almost everything is lit from the front, with no cast shadows at all. This makes for a sort of flat, cartoony look that kind of bugs me. Why try to paint something photo-realistically and then (in my opinion) ruin it with flat, artificial lighting? Maybe it was just faster or simpler (read: more profitable)? I dunno.

See? I knew you could do it, Dick. Try to pay attention to the light source all the time.

Just don't tell Dick Sargent what I said about his stuff or his wife will put a spell on me. She's a witch, you know.

Click for big.


Post a Comment