The Assignment 2 brief was all about creating two illustrations depicting Summer and Autumn for a point of sale display for a supermarket campaign.
Here are the key words and phrases that I picked out from the brief:
- Focus on research and the gathering and evolving of ideas
- Quality of Food
- Supermarket campaign
- Images to Package and Promote quality seasonal food
- Promote the notion of quality in the design and packaging
- Respected Supermarket
- Illustration for Point of Sale Display
- Food Illustration
- Final size 12 x 12 inches
- One illustration for Summer, one for Autumn
- Objective Illustration
- Based on Direct Observation
- For each range (Autumn/Summer): an individual piece, dissected or partly sliced sections or a group of several pieces
- Create separate images for Summer and Autumn that reflect both the produce and aspects of the season itself
- No limitations on content: can include objects, a place, patterns, people or any combination of these
- Focus on the food
- Create a visual distance between you and the food (be objective rather than subjective)
- Put yourself in the place of the customer and ask ‘does this look edible?’ ‘would I like to eat it?’
- Be conscious of how you use colour to describe tone, shadow and surface marks.
So as I’ve been learning to do throughout the course so far, I started with research and did little drawings in my sketchbook along the way. The more research I did about food illustration, the more convinced I became that I wanted to paint my fruits and vegetables using watercolour. All the food illustration I saw that I really liked were done using watercolours and had such vibrant colours and lots of personality, especially Emma Dibben‘s work.
However I did try a few different tools and techniques in my sketchbook to get a feel for the assignment. Here are some examples including some digital attempts:
I did enjoy the experimenting but the attempts didn’t quite have the look I was after and I was worried that some of the media didn’t exude ‘quality’ which was a key word in the brief. If it was a different brief I might have continued with the digital look I gave to the pear illustration above as I quite liked the sketchy look to it.
It was helpful for me to be able to check out the learning logs of other students and look around the internet for point of sale, food packaging and general food illustration ideas. Here is a Pinterest board with many of the ideas I gathered:
To help me generate more ideas, especially for the extra elements that depict each season, I created two mind maps. I used some software free software called XMind to generate the mind maps and it was a quick and easy process to get my ideas down:
Here are the watercolour paintings I made for use in my final illustrations:
I was inspired by the illustration style of Illustrator Holly Exley when I did the above paintings. Her food illustrations always look really tasty!
I played around with the idea of just using the fruit with nothing much in the background but I found it hard to let go of the ideas I had about a creating more of a context to the food. I really wanted to use colours and other images in the background the depict certain scenes that I associate with the summer and the autumn. For instance for the summer illustration, I imagined someone sitting in the garden, under a tree with the fruit and fruit juice there to refresh them should the day get too hot and for the autumn one I imagined someone sitting in their kitchen preparing a warm, nourishing soup from the season’s vegetables.
These ideas really drove me to complete the illustrations to a degree that I enjoyed, but I don’t know if overall they successfully answered the brief. Do the background elements detract from the fruit? Should I have made the fruit look bigger? Have the elements I’ve added enhance the illustration or not? These are the questions I’ve been pondering but at some point you have to just submit something you’re relatively happy with and learn from whatever feedback you get from your tutor. We are all here to learn after all! Another thing I considered is that the brief did state that we had no limitations on content so maybe I did the right thing to go with what I wanted to do.
And I tried them out with some text as well to see how that would look:
The added text make the illustrations look more like they’re advertising something and more suitable for a supermarket campaign and for point of sale usage.
Overall I’m pleased with my final illustrations. I have been wondering if they exude the ‘quality’ element as stated in the brief and I’m not sure. The fact that I did the fruit and veg in watercolours probably helped with that, but with all the vector elements around them, maybe that brings down the image of quality? Or maybe the contrast between the watercolour and the vector is a bit confusing? I think I will have to wait and see what feedback I get from my tutor because I’ve been looking at these illustrations so long, I’m not sure I can make an objective assessment. I need fresh eyes on them I think!
This assignment was a good opportunity to improve my vector illustration skills. I learned how to create the effects I was looking for through research and experimentation and so that is a positive thing to come out of this work. I also practised with composition which I enjoyed and I’m keen to learn more in this area.