Pippa Shaw

Surface Pattern Designer



Dorset Apple Cake

I'm so excited to get started on this project.  I love cooking and I love illustration so what could be more perfect?  Ohn Mar's class is brilliant and has inspired me to try something a bit different.

Dorset apple cake is one of my favourites and it's so simple to make.  Whenever I get homesick I make one of these to cheer me up and it always brings back memories of making it with my Mum.  And I think apples are  going to be fun to illustrate.

I started with my mood board.  There are so many gorgeous patterns, illustrations and photos on Pinterest so it didn't take me long to pick some lovely images to inspire me.

I could see a fresh fun colour palette emerging already, but I wasn't quite sure  if I'd go graphic or painterly in style.


I took Ohn Mar's advice and sketched the fruit quickly and using different black pens to vary the line weight and texture. These are apples that my Dad has grown in his Dorset garden, I picked up the windfalls to use as models.


I also had fun using paint brushes and India ink to experiment with some loose more traditional lettering.

Next up I tried out a few layouts, and referred back to my sketches and moodboard to get ideas.  


The first layout is quite a classic recipe layout, which I like a lot, but it didn't really relate to my moodboard.  So for the second layout I tried to tap in more to the 60s/70s vibe of my moodboard.  I really liked the idea of using the apple shapes and the silhouette of the Dorset map as backgrounds for the text, so I played around further with those ideas in the third layout.

I chose the second layout to take to the final stage.  Being a pattern designer I couldn't resist making a repeat pattern with the apple motifs.  I experimented with some texture and detail to start with, but decided that keeping them simple fitted best with the retro vibe I was after.  Playing with colour palettes for this was so fun - I can spend hours on this part of a design as I love to see how the use of colour can transform a pattern.  I went for a fresher modern take on retro, with some Scandi influence.  I think this could be really fun for a table cloth, kitchenwares, kids clothes, home decor... so many things!


I also spent time working on the lettering arrangement for the recipe title.  I considered trying out some retro-style lettering for that also, but then decided that it could be nice to keep some more traditional elements to the composition to reflect the fact that this is a traditional recipe that has been made for hundreds of years (but still having a bit of fun adding the leaf motif to "APPLE", just because I couldn't resist it!).  

So here is the final illustrated recipe - I hope you like it!


All this talk of cake and Dorset is making me hungry and a little homesick, so I'm going to reward myself by baking one of these this afternoon. Bon appetit!


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