Fountain pen, dip pen, brush pen, brushes.... ink wash, coloured inks, stippling.... the object of the game is to learn to ink better, so that means experimenting, which means some of these are going to be a bit rough!
A new Belgian fries restaurant called BeFries which has just opened in Brighton wanted line drawings showing the whole process from potatoes growing to chips in a cone, to be chalked on their blackboard wall three meters wide.
It took some trial and error to get all the elements in reasonable scale relative to each other, and balanced in a way that would flow and make sense with enough spacing including room for the text. It was fun drawing the cool cutting machine (I wanted to write hand-cutting as it's operated by pulling the lever, but that just sounds bad!).
The day of the actual chalking involved a projector, with my line drawings changed to pink so I could see where I was, and joining the whole picture up from two halves as it was too wide to project as one image.
This was a fun job, working for a lovely bunch of guys making a truly delicious product!
how to make Beans on Toast
Directions for making beans on toast? How silly and unnecessary is that?
Except that when my son Z says he's making that for breakfast, well, beans are included, and toast is included, but there the resemblance to the normal concept of the dish ends. I should point out that while the graphic recipe pictured here shows what he made the day before yesterday, it is but is one version and other things will be included as and when available.
The double layer of baked beans is important. I'd initially neglected to represent the lower one, and was told that was very necessary in order to soak nicely into the bread, hence it's shown as more sauce than bean.
The bread is usually a delicious sourdough made locally, but apparently even terrible soft white bread will do.
A Christmas treat for you
The two good things this time of year are, in my personal opinion a) getting to sing beautiful obscure old unusual Sussex and Sheffield carols in multi-part harmony with various nice groups of people, and b) German spice biscuits. I've been lucky enough to do loads of the singing already, and now it's time to get out the mixing bowl and start baking.
This is a recipe I came across a few years ago in a newspaper and, well, to be honest... it was a bit of a faff, what with letting the icing drip and dry. But they were so delicious and proved very popular - completely worth the trouble. I'm not normally very keen on sugar or refined carbs, so these are just a complete indulgence once a year!
As is my way, I naturally sketched out the recipe in graphic form to make it easy to follow for myself, then posted it here a couple of years ago, and even printed it as a postcard.
Today I decided to make it look more festive with colour. And you can download it below. Enjoy!
Getting ready to take part in an upcoming local Illustrators' Fair, I've printed up these postcards as my last batch had completely sold out.
This time, it's four graphic recipe cards, plus two more which might be described as household hints - to do with wet towels and with rubbish. All on glossy 350gsm card, to withstand conditions where they might be placed.
To see in more detail, and even order a set, click here to visit my shop.
Well, it's Shrove Tuesday today, and it's taken me by surprise once again as it's just not part of my consciousness. To be perfectly honest, it's hard to understand why it continues in a time when we don't all give up butter and eggs and milk for the following forty days. So we don't need to use up those perishables, and we don't need to enjoy a rich fatty blowout before log weeks of abstinence.
However, just in case people are playing the game, and are thinking of making pancakes today -- and why not? They're delicious and versatile any day of the year -- may I take this opportunity to mention my rather nice recipe if you're happy with the lighter, baking-powder-risen American version.
Do let me know if you have any favourite variations or ways of using them.
And if you'd like to know about new recipes as they're created, please do sign up to my rather infrequent newsletter over there at the right. ==> ==> ==> ==> ==>
This is another of JJ's Graphic Recipes that was voted on to my tea towels made last month.
These pancakes make me think of Sunday mornings when I was growing up (although in the US, pancakes get made with Bisquick, a sort of self-raising flour mix with added salt and oil that comes in a box. My dad would sometimes put in a bit of nutmeg, which I didn't think to draw, and I'd sometimes include raisins which might be just a bit weird. As always, these recipes are just guidelines to be played with.
And speaking of playing, we often dropped a few dots or squiggles or backwards letter shapes in the pan to turn brown first, before covering with a full ladleful of batter. My dad started it by presenting pancakes with our initials to my sister and me, and of course I've done the same for my boys. You can see this taken to wonderfully silly and amazing extremes by googling pancake art - seriously!
The day I realised that 'pancakes' dont mean the same thing here in the UK was when I went to a Pancake Day dinner at a friend's house and was surprised to find she'd left out the baking powder and they were coming out all flat... Anyway, my version does exist as well, but is called a drop scone or Scotch pancake, though those seem to have a smaller diameter and aim for max height.
Whatever the terms are, they're delicious, very easy, take very little time to make and are a good fun way for kids to get involved in cooking, too. You can buy the tea towels here if you like, or see the original booklet they were printed in last summer. And do let me know if you like making them!
the pizza that shouldn't work
When making pizza at home, it always seemed that you had two choices: Either make a quick base using baking powder as the raising agent, essentially creating a big flat scone with toppings; or plan in advance, use baking yeast, and allow for quite a lot of rising time.
So when my son decided to make pizza for dinner one night and did it amazingly quickly, from a recipe he found on the internet, I was quite intrigued. This is based on that recipe he used. It's the only one in the booklet that comes from him, so I was especially glad to include it so he'd continue making it.
I honestly don't know why this turns out so well, without being given the usual long rising time followed by more rising, but it works.
And this was tied for second place in the tea towel voting a few months back, so it's one of the four recipes featured in the initial print run. (Pancakes [American type] and the very delicious Courgette Chocolate Cake are the remaining two, for which check back soon!)
the Random Veg Soup mystery
and they're ready!
The first fifty graphic recipe tea towels were collected from the screenprinter on Friday and made their appearance at a craft fair in town on Saturday. I'm pretty pleased with how they came out.
If you think you might like one, have a look over here on this page to place an order.
Click to see: What am I doing right NOW?
Note: Two Shillings per Day graphic novel-related posts now appear over here on their own page.