The Great British Bake Off has been a hit overseas for several seasons, and here in America the fervor for the kindest baking competition on TV is just heating up. One signature element of the series: the lovely drawings that come to life as the contestants talk about what they plan to create.
Those luscious renderings are drawn by artist Tom Hovey and have spawned an adult coloring book that allows you to bring your favorite baked goods to life, all with a few colored pencils. Hovey’s Instagram is filled with wonderful time-lapses that show how he creates pages of the book, with hours of work condensed down into just one minute. The videos are mesmerizing and allow you to better appreciate the intricacies of each of his sketches.
In the seven years of The Great British Bake Off, Hovey has drawn almost 2,000 illustrations of biscuits, cakes, breads, and more. I talked to Hovey about the coloring book and his process for creating such showstopping illustrations. Using photos of the bakes taken on set, Hovey gets every angle he needs to recreate the culinary miracles in vivid detail.
For the coloring book, Hovey says the complex drawings take anywhere from three hours or more to create from start to finish, with patterns and scenic illustrations taking a little longer. First everything is roughed out in pencil, then he finishes the line work with pen, scans and cleans up the images and adds the text. The beautiful color is digitally done in photoshop to bring the mouthwatering treats to life.
The more complex the dish, the more Hovey wants to do it justice, seeing food illustration as an advantage over photography in that you can look at the food in a whole new way.
Images: Tom Hovey