I love cooking and I love illustration so what could be more perfect than to illustrate a recipe? I saw that Ohn Mar Win (a very talented illustrator if you haven't come across her work before) had posted a class on Skillshare on just this subject. I love the book she published with TDAC (They Draw and Cook) and promised myself that I'd find the time to have a go myself
Dorset apple cake is one of my favourite recipes and it's so simple to make. Whenever I get homesick I make one of these to cheer me up and it always brings back memories of making it with my Mum. I also thought that apples would be fun to illustrate
I started my making a mood board. There are so many gorgeous patterns, illustrations and photos on Pinterest so it didn't take me long to pick lots of lovely images to inspire me
I could see a fresh fun colour palette emerging from my moodboard, but I wan't quite sure at that point if I'd go with graphic or painterly style for the end design
I took Ohn Mar's advice and sketched some fruit quickly and using different black pens to vary the line weight and texture. These are apples that my Dad had grown in his Dorset garden, I picked up the windfalls to use as models
I also had fun experimenting with paint brushes and India ink to experiment with some loose more traditional lettering, as well as trying out a few different layouts for the recipe using the TDAC template (a double-page spread), referring back to my sketches and moodboard to get ideas
The first layout is quite a classic recipe layout, which I liked, but it didn't really relate to my moodboard. So for the second layout I tried to tap in more to the 60s/70s vibe of my moodboard. I really liked the idea of using the apple shapes and the silhouette of the Dorset map as backgrounds for the text, so I played around further with those ideas in the third layout
I chose the second layout to take to the final stage. Being a pattern designer I couldn't resist making a repeat pattern with the apple motifs. I experimented with some texture and detail to start with, but decided that keeping them simple fitted best with the retro vibe I was after. Playing with colour palettes for this was so fun - I can spend hours on this part of a design as I love to see how the use of colour can transform a pattern. I went for a fresher modern take on retro, with some Scandi influence. I think this could be really fun for a table cloth, kitchenwares, kids clothes, home decor... so many things!
I also spent time working on the lettering arrangement for the recipe title. I considered trying out some retro-style lettering, but then decided that it could be nice to keep some more traditional elements to the composition to reflect the fact that this is a traditional recipe that has been made for hundreds of years (but still having a bit of fun adding the leaf motif to "APPLE", just because I couldn't resist it!)
So here is the final illustrated recipe - I hope you like it!