Jellybean Art - test piece - "Infant Sea"

After retiring, I took a part time job working as a security guard. One of the locations I worked at was a Jewish Y. One day, an instructor at the Y asked me if I could make a jelly bean painting for their facility. At first, I thought she wanted me to paint a picture “of” jelly beans, but she soon explained that she wanted a painting “using jelly beans” as the painting genre. I never heard of any artwork being done using jelly beans but said that I would happy to do it (love new challenges), anyway. I did my research, then sat myself down and plotted out “how” to begin.

I had immediately decided a painting of Jerusalem would be most fitting. BUT, first I had to do a test run!! I never worked in jelly beans before and had to make sure I worked out all the kinks. The first pic below is the test piece I did which worked out to be 5ft across. I have to say, I really loved how the water movement in this painting, turned out, and boy was it heavy…as ALL jelly bean paintings, are!! And they have to be “large” too, to allow for detail. The larger the piece, the better the detail.

Title: “INFANT SEA”thumb-1348710087662-_dcp_0085

…I did include other edibles but just in the ocean floor, area.thumb-1348710087845-_dcp_0006

ETA: there’s not a lot of hues in color, but what they did have, I tried to make a reference chart for it…such as the pinks, reds, etc.


Such an unexpected request, but I love how you took it and ran. Amazing execution! I think the variety of materials beyond jellybeans on the floor definitely give it a much needed variety of texture to the piece.

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This is really cool! Will you be using resin on it?

A jellybean mosaic! The light refraction must be lovely in person.

How will you keep it from being destroyed by bugs or humidity?

This is all kinds of cool!

Wow, this blows my mind! Do they want the finished painting to be edible, for an event? Or is it to be a more-permanent artwork?

Thanks guys!!! For your information, that bit of white stuff sticking out on the ocean floor is tic tacs! And there are some small yellow marshmallows there too, plus some other candies I thought would fit in. As far as protection goes, nothing beats polyurethane and bugs absolutely hate it. I never, not once, saw a bug on my painting. I coated the foundation board with a few coats of the stuff before I put on any jelly beans. Guess that was enough to deter insects. When the painting was done, I then coated the whole painting over in urethane, a few times. Believe me, that secures it very, very well and makes it bug proof and weather proof as long as you don’t just forget about it and leave it outside in the rain. Indoors, it will last a very, very long time!


Whoa! That is crazy awesome.

They wanted it to be permanent. The Y has a LOT of children of all ages that attend it daily, and I think that may also be why they wanted it in jelly beans.


WOW! Excellently done, and the tips on bug-repellant finishes is fascinating. Yeah, I expect kids will love walking by this kind of thing every day. :grin::+1:

This is insanely awesome! I’m so impressed that you used such a common item and made art from it!

I know ONE KID that thoroughly enjoyed eating them…can you guess who? :innocent:

So strangely fascinating!!