Inky Illustrations

Inky Illustrations - student project

I worked for a couple years as a cheesemonger, so I decided to draw some tools of the cheesemonger. I had sketched the tools about a year ago in a sketchbook, and thought it would be fun to update the drawings for this project.

Printing out a template was really helpful. My brain knows that this is a helpful exercise, but I never do it for other projects because I'm an idiot. :P I will likely be adding this to my work process. I spent a good amount of time trying out different arrangements. Here are some of them along with the mess on my desk.

Inky Illustrations - image 1 - student project

I picked the one I wanted to use and scanned it.

Inky Illustrations - image 2 - student project

Final artwork below.

Inky Illustrations - image 3 - student project

I'll explain the tools briefly, just because. :P

On the far left is the two-handled knife. Used for cutting clean wedges off wheels of cheese. To it's left, is the trier. It is use to core a sample from a wheel of cheese to test it's ripeness without cutting it open. The sample can then be reinserted, and the hole covered up with cheese or wax. Moving right, we have the flat spatula knife, or, as my old boss calls it, the stabber. Next to that is the rind cutter. For a larger wheel of cheese that has a very hard natural rind (parmigiano) or is sheathed in wax (gouda) or cloth (cheddar), the rind cutter is used to make a slice through the rind. Then the stabber is inserted into the center, and two other tools (not illustrated) called almond knives, are inserted into the sides to split the wheel. At the very bottom is a two-handled wire, useful for halving large wheels of cheddar.

I struggled a little bit with the pen tool. It's not as intuitive as in Illustrator, and I'm pretty lousy with it in Illustrator anyway. But I powered through. Some of my lines are pretty rough--the rind cutter (top right) is a little jagged due to my inexperience and general discomfort with the pen tool.

Putting the textures in the alpha channel worked really well. Previously I would put them in as layers and then try to just select the blacks, but it never got everything. It's very quick, too, once you get the steps down.

Great class! Thanks for all the clear instructions and for broadening my Photoshop knowledge. This project took some time, but I learned a lot of new techniques that I can use on future projects.

Stefanie D'Angelo
Artist, Illustrator, Eater of foods
Teacher