It's the design I made for my 2000-piece custom puzzle by PuzzleYou, featuring all of my favorite foods. It makes me so happy looking at it.
I've never done a 2000-piece puzzle before, and after accidentally creating a really difficult 1000-piece custom puzzle, I was really cautious designing this one. I don't enjoy solid-color or similarly-textured puzzles where you have to try every piece in every position, so I wanted my puzzle to have a lot of variety in color and texture. So how did it turn out?
(The poor color in this photo is due to bad light. The puzzle is more vibrant.)
It was difficult because 2000 is a lot of pieces, but it was never frustrating. I was always able to make progress. I started with the outer border, which was the easiest part by far. The next easiest were the red objects and the blue backgrounds. After that, the black borders were a lifesaver.
I decided I could treat myself to whatever food I assembled first. At this point, I thought it was going to be the ice cream, donuts, or beet salad, but it ended up being the lemon souffle. (I haven't had one yet.) The most difficult ended up being the pizza, pasta, and the eggs benedict. The pizza was particularly vexing, as it was very easy to identify the pieces, but hard to properly connect them.
I spent about two weeks on the puzzle, working on it in sessions ranging from 5 minutes to 2 hours. I loved every minute. The quality is superb and I'm very happy with the design. As I was working, it struck me how valuable puzzles are as a way to train your eye as an artist. What do I mean? When you look at one puzzle piece, you're seeing isolated colors and textures without the surrounding meaning. These colors and textures might not match what you expect them to be.
Take a look at the four puzzle pieces across the top of this image. They are each part of a food or drink (as opposed to a plate or background) and are in the same orientation that they appear in the puzzle. Based on the colors and textures, can you guess what food each is?
If you knew that the first one was a hamburger, I'm really impressed. For the longest time, I assumed it was part of a cocktail. Now that I know where it goes, it's obvious that it's tomato, onion, and cheese.
The second one isn't a loaf of bread, nor a waffle. It's a donut.
Surely this is a hamburger patty? Or bread? Nope. It's ice cream.
For the longest time, I couldn't find the last piece for the cocktails. How hard could it be to find a red piece? Very hard, when I'd sorted it definitively with the rhubarb, where it did not belong.
After doing this puzzle, I am confident that I would be able to draw or paint any of these foods better than before. There's no question that this puzzle helped train my eyes to see the actual color and textures, rather than the ones I might logically expect. Plus it's so much fun! I highly recommend a custom puzzle from PuzzleYou. My coupon code has expired, but even without it, you'll find the prices are very reasonable. Enjoy!