I’ve always been fascinated by pattern and texture. A material background can help you to create a whole new pattern all of your own, in which folds, creases, motifs and all manner of food can add to the overall composition.
Fruit, vegetables, spices, meat, its all great to paint. I would suggest that if you’re painting meat though (or anything else that can stain, place the food on a small section of plastic to protect the material). I used scarfs for my backgrounds, but also scraps from a material shop, and interesting clothes from charity shops.
Foods and materials from India, Italy and France were my real source of inspiration in this project although there are, of course, so many cultures to choose from. As for the overall placement of the food, I tried various techniques – an overall scattering of elements, a band of food along the bottom, and sometimes a strong diagonal from one corner to the other.
As I scanned in these photographs of my watercolours, the smell of the fish and prawns actually came back to me really clearly! I painted most of these pictures one summer and because they were quite large intricate pictures, they took a while. By the time I finished, not even the cats were interested in eating the subject mater! If you want to eat the food afterwards, perhaps try painting single items on smaller sections of material.
Cooking programmes have become incredibly popular, and now you can even subscribe to watching people eat everyday on the internet! So why not food painting, with tantalising ingredients, sliced fruit, raw meat, or cooked meals….?
Watercolours by Rebecca Jelbert Email – info@RebeccaJelebert.co.uk