When I started working for the St. Petersburg Times, it was long enough ago that clip art was not pervasive, and I would actually create illustrations, as well as design ads. This illustration in acrylics was the cover for a multi-page tabloid of readers' favorite recipes.
I achieved an interesting texture by painting on a matte board that was pebbled to look like burlap. As you can see in the detail, I applied the acrylic paint thinly, like a watercolor, allowing the surface texture of the board to show through.
The title of the section was printed over the tan square at the top.
When I choose colors for a painting — any painting — I tend to think in terms of edible colors! I want a buttery yellow, a tomato red, or a crisp green. So I suppose painting food comes naturally.