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  1. #1
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    Jon's Food Sketches

    So I've been illustrating my wife's food blog. She loves to cook and when friends come over they ask her for the recipes and then say they can't cook She decided that enough was enough and she put together a cooking website that provides core recipes and then lots of variations. It also takes on the idea that food lies at the heart of relationships, friendships and stories, and weaves those in with the recipes themselves.

    Anyway, it's a fun little website and it'll be updating three times a week - so this sketchbook will too!
    Last edited by torstan; August 19th, 2010 at 12:24 PM.


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  3. #2
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    Last edited by torstan; August 25th, 2010 at 08:39 AM.

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  5. #4
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    Nice bit of illustration there torstan! If you want to listen to opinions, I think the fruits by the way it was approached and coloured looked loose and rough. Is that your intention, or just your style?

    If you're looking for a friendly critique, then I think you should add more depth to it in terms of tones and colours. If you want it to look fresh add little tints of highlights. Well, basically experiment around and have fun

    and good luck with the website! (:

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  7. #5
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    I like the style here,very nice looking foward to more.
    "The one hope of producing better work is through the conception,not the material"
    -Andrew Loomis

    MY BLOG

    MY SKETCHBOOK

    AnimationForum

  8. #6
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    Neat idea! I've thought about doing something like this for restaurant reviews, but the food often disappears faster than I can photograph it, so illustration's kinda difficult.

    Have you ever thought of using real watercolours for this? The general style is good but the digital brushes look like they need a little more complexity to really look good.
    *** Sketchbook * Landscapes * Portfolio * Store***

    "There are two kinds of students: the self-taught and the hopeless."
    - Dr. Piotr Rudnicki

  9. #7
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    @Bleo: I certainly want to listen to opinions! It was certainly the intention to keep these fairly loose. I like the style that generates in contrast to the super-crisp photography on most food blogs. Good notes on the tones. I'll see about pushing the lights and darks a little and throwing in a little more colour variation.

    @Nubian_Greene: Thanks!

    @vineris: Yep, I agree totally. It's tricky doing it that way, and if you have to take the photograph, you might as well use that to illustrate the review. For this site it's mostly a matter of illustrations of the raw ingredients - for which Google images is a wealth of good reference.

    As for the real/digital issue - I agree that these still look very digital. Real watercolours will take longer to do - and I love the ability to go back and edit these when they need tweaked for the site. I'm wondering about trying this in painter or artrage to get closer to real watercolours - or stumping for CS5 and seeing whether all the noise about the new wet media brushes is true.

    Hmmm, thanks for calling me on that. I'll look into ways of pushing that further.

    In the meantime, here's some raspberries

    Attachment 1034668

  10. #8
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    Okay, here's the latest piece. I'm trying to tighten it up a little, without losing the feel of a watercolour sketch. I possibly went a little far on this one.

    Attachment 1035140

    This was done for today's recipe for red snapper fillet with asparagus. The article - and accompanying tale - can be found here:
    This Dinner Will Get You Laid – Hot Sex and Hot Butter Sauce

    Don't worry - the only porn you'll find there is food porn - it's totally safe for work.

  11. #9
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    Overall I love the style and I must say it really makes me have a drink with a limette, or eat a bunch of raspberries .
    I checked out the site and I think this style is really fitting for this kind of thing, but I would avoid using the paintings next to the photographs (like in the last post).

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  13. #10
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    Well if it makes you want to eat raspberries then I've done my job well

    I wondered about the collage of drawing and photo as well. We're wondering about it as part of the site design. We didn't want to have a food site resting on photography as there are already many sites that have stunning food photography and I know that the site can't compete with them.

  14. #11
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    Monday's treat is a goat cheese and cherry salad so it must be time for some cherries!

    Attachment 1037175

    Attachment 1037176

    I've pushed the colours more than before, and tried to tighten them up a lot. I also pulled back from using white, instead building up from light to dark as I would with real watercolours and letting the white canvas be the highlights. I think it loses some of the movement of the earlier illustrations, but cherries are so clean and crisp I'm not sure that's a bad thing. I need some messier food to draw next

  15. #12
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    A couple of pans for a Tuesday morning:

    Attachment 1038104

    Attachment 1038103

    Used to illustrate recipes for stews and recipes for sautéing meats and making good sauces.

  16. #13
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    Your cherries look fresher, and more realistic. It also looks a little bit more heavier now. Keep it to the level of your intentions but it's also a good thing. It made it more appetising, although the outlines reminds me of the loose style intention.

    Your pans look very soft. I want to see where this is going. Keep on experimenting (:

  17. #14
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    Thanks - yes it's a little tricky walking that line. I'm still not sure which way I want to take that.

    Yep, the pans were very much part of the first run at the style - they're some of the core navigational images on the site. They lead to (and illustrate) whole sections on how to stew and saute meats so they were some of the first illustrations to be created. I think I'd do them a little differently now. Though I'm still pretty pleased with the way that the saute pan came out. The wet hard edges on the different colour regions capture some of the reflection of the metal.

    Okay, well enough of that. Here's a new one for today. It's a pot of sangria (Wednesdays are for cocktails) and the recipe with it is for tomato rubbed garlic bread. Here's the sangria:

    Attachment 1038837

    Back to the looser and lighter style here.

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  19. #16
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    These look so nice! Your style is very consistent through your pieces. The only thing I think I can critique on is your second cherry is very light, and then it has that harsh outline around it. I think it pulls away from the lovely coloring you did. Besides that, beautiful work and keep it up!

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  21. #17
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    You're right - that is a little heavy. I started that at a different scale to the others o the line weight ended up being much heavier. Good catch.

    I do still want to have the lines in there, as it's more clearly a sketch. But as the colouring gets more detailed and vibrant it has moved away from a pen drawing with an ink wash. Hmm, might need to work a little harder on that balance.

    Here's another from today's recipe - some olives to go with a Wednesday cocktail. Because what's a drink without some nibbles?

    Attachment 1039086

  22. #18
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    And a tomato for Thursday. This was the first one that I went heavier on the colour with. I think this is a good example of a case where I lost the brightness of the watercolour approach and ended up with something a bit muddy. I still like it, but I'm trying to avoid the mistakes I made in this one in the newer pieces.

    Attachment 1039680

    Here the highlights were painted back in in white rather than being left as white when I built up the other colours. You can see the difference and it was this that caused me to be a lote more careful when I did the cherries.

  23. #19
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    Some pancetta for carbonara - illustrated for today's 'This dinner will get you laid': Text, Love, Carbonara

    Attachment 1040385

  24. #20
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    Having some fun with this one. I had to do affogato for today's recipe - crazy easy to do, and really worth it. Good tip about the freezer too.

    Attachment 1042575

    We've just run out of espresso at work - so this was a little like getting a guy in the desert to draw a cool glass of water. No matter how realistic I tried to make it - it still doesn't taste of espresso (sigh). Now off to a cafe to placate a craving

  25. #21
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    Here's another piece of glassware from a couple of weeks ago - a gin and tonic. Something of a favourite back home. A very nostalgic drink as expats in the States.

    Attachment 1043287

  26. #22
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    Not my best shot but posting these keeps me honest (and motivates me to get better)

    Watermelon martinis for Wednesday:
    Attachment 1044349

  27. #23
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    One of the earlier pieces for the blog. Red onions are fun to draw - nice easy shapes, but interesting textures from the paper skins. And onions form the base for so many dishes, so it's a useful one to have in the bag:

    Attachment 1045071

  28. #24
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    Today's recipe involves mussels and white wine - so here's a sketch of a mussel.

    Attachment 1045969

    It's great to get the chance to put some really saturated colours into this.

  29. #25
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  30. #26
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    A lemon to illustrate a frozen lemon drop martini:

    Attachment 1049582

    and the martini it accompanies:
    Attachment 1049583

  31. #27
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    Back on to core food groups - here's a chunk of parmesan to illustrate a risotto recipe:

    Attachment 1051031

  32. #28
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    YUM, now I'm hungry :]

  33. #29
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    Thanks! Well try this one on for a Monday morning. An ice cream sundae (with recipes for hot chocolate, raspberry and toffee apple sauces):

    Attachment 1053048

  34. #30
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    This is such a great way of using your artistic ability. What do you use to draw these up? Watercolor? Photoshop? Whatever it is you've gotten the hang of it!

    Lovely!
    Visit my blog:

    Juicy Beetle

    When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

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