My sister is a little protective of her food. You know that bit in Fellowship of the Ring where Bilbo goes all Gollum-y when Frodo asks to see the ring. That’s similar to what my sister does when you get too close to her food. For years I have been threatening to make a t-shirt proclaiming that ‘Kirsty doesn’t share food’ and finally as a birthday present for her this year I actually did it.
I started off by forgetting everything we’ve learned at college about the design process and jumped in without really knowing what I was going to do. I knew the piece was going to have various food stuffs on it so I started off by writing a list of her favourite foods and doodled them. It was pointed out to me a number of times that I forgot to put Irn-Bru on this list but I did actually remember it, I just forgot to put it in the final design. Ooops!
I then scanned these doodles and brought them into Illustrator. Using the image trace function I can turn the doodles into paths which means I can rotate and scale each food separately and figure out the best layout.
I initially wanted to make this design into a t-shirt but that seemed like even more hassle so I decided to paint and frame it instead. This meant I had to decide what medium to paint it in. I did test paintings in both mediums, watercolour on the left and gouache on the right. I eventually decided to use the gouache as I was going for a more cartoon-y look.
I’m not sure how other artists do this but I bought a frame from Paperchase for £15. The frame was 40cm by 40cm so I scaled the artwork on the computer to this size, leaving a 5cm border all around so I could put a mount on top. I really don’t know if I was doing this the right way, if anyone knows more about mounting paintings please tell me your secrets.
I printed the design at the right scale then traced it using the highly technical method of taping it to a window (seriously why do people buy expensive light boxes?). I used Bockingford watercolour paper for the final artwork and I was really surprised how well it coped with the gouache. No warping at all. And it was only £2 for an A1 sheet from Paperchase.
After that it was just a case of painting and doing the linework. Then it was done. And my sister seemed to be quite happy with the result which was good.