This past year I've discovered a love of food illustration. This is really unexpected, as I'd never given it a thought as something I'd like to draw. It began with another architecture drawing of London- the Seven Dials area of Covent Garden. Then I saw that a lot of food places were there, the Neal's Yard Dairy, a bakery, a macaroon patisserie, and a restaurant bar. They each have a lot of beautiful food on show, and I wanted to turn it into a drawing which could work as a magazine spread.
To start with, the base of the drawing would be 7 Dials seen from above, and in research I discovered the 3d button on Google Earth. After spending an afternoon flying around the rooftops of London like a virtual Mary Poppins I started to block out the buildings. The plan was to keep it loose but not too sketchy, and also keep a chunky feel to the buildings.
The base drawing, where the 7 streets meet, with a sundial obelisk in the centre.
I'd already drawn some cakes earlier last year, but it was good to tackle something savoury. The idea was to make it really 3d and colourful, and also take loving care of the way it was shaded. It gave the food a storybook quality, traditional but still fresh with colour. Some food illustration can be a bit too sketchy for my taste; which made me realise that the food could look really appetising if it was very full bodied, with glaze on sauces and shining colour in the drinks (basically, pimp that food up).
Balans Soho Society- Eggs Benedict (with crab claw) and Pimms.
Bread Ahead- Sourdough loaf, cherry tomato ciabatta and their special cinder toffee doughnut.
Neal's Yard Dairy- totemic cheese stacks.
Pierre Hermé Paris- dancing macaroons.
The final piece, with everything in place.
Making the food images fit onto the street view was a challenge- should they be put on straight?
Then I realised that as it's a very 3d image the food should be placed as if it was on the same
angle as the streets, like giant billboards.