When Tex-Mex and Indian Cuisine Make Bright Beautiful Graphic Art

Botanical Art Food illustration Kitchen Wall Art Magical Realism Travel

freelance illustrator, watercolor illustration, watercolor paintings Colorful paintings, Illustrations, wet wash watercolor, uplifting illustrations, realistic art, graphic art, using ink with watercolor, timeless, fine art, expressive artwork, american southwest, food illustrations, vegetable illustration, onion illustration, garlic illustration, beer illustration, lime illustration, tortilla illustration

 

CREATIVE BRIEF

Right at the beginning of August 2018, I had the opportunity to work on an atmospheric food illustration project for Gravy Quarterly, the food magazine of the Southern Food Alliance, an organization of the University of Mississippi. I was asked to illustrate a delicious article about the magic that happens when authentic Tex-Mex cuisine meets Indian cuisine.


As a travel lover who also enjoys both slow food and slow travel, this assignment was a dream project. The surprising combo of these two vernacular cuisines made for satisfying bright and beautiful graphic illustrations.

CLIENT: Gravy Quarterly Magazine by Southern Food Alliance, University of Mississippi

PROJECT TYPE:  One full-page illustration + two spot illustrations |  Editorial Illustration

 

Full Page Illustration

Below is the final full page illustration inspired by the article’s focus on a well-known chef with Indian heritage who grew up in Texas. The imagery of long-horn cattle nods at Texas heritage beef. I married this idea to the celebration of the elemental force of a food group that provide life-giving sustenance to millions of human beings.

DESIGN STAGES


Thumbnail Sketches

From a handful of rough thumbnail pencil sketches, I selected six drawings to share with the client. I refined them to clarify the composition and general layout. Of these six pencil sketches, the client confirmed three sketches: one full illustration and 2 spot illustrations to develop into final drawings.

freelance illustrator, watercolor illustration, watercolor paintings Colorful paintings, Illustrations, wet wash watercolor, uplifting illustrations, realistic art, graphic art, using ink with watercolor, timeless, fine art, expressive artwork, american southwest, food illustrations, vegetable illustration, onion illustration, garlic illustration, beer illustration, lime illustration, tortilla illustration



Final Drawings

I refined and developed the images until all the visual issues were resolved and I couldn't find any ambiguous lines or mysterious areas that made no sense.

freelance illustrator, watercolor illustration, watercolor paintings Colorful paintings, Illustrations, wet wash watercolor, uplifting illustrations, realistic art, graphic art, using ink with watercolor, timeless, fine art, expressive artwork, american southwest, food illustrations, vegetable illustration, onion illustration, garlic illustration, beer illustration, lime illustration, tortilla illustration



Bonus Color Studies

Once the three drawings were submitted and given the go ahead, I started working on a quick color study sketch. I completed digitally for speed in Photoshop.

Although this is not something I typically include in my contracts, I share the color study sketch with this client. It helped them see what the general color scheme would feel like with the bright colors - keeping in mind that watercolor yields a more atmospheric and distressed illustration than this graphic test.

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Colorful Full Page Final Art

The resulting uplifting, painted illustration bursts with vivid colors and flavors. At the same time, the stylized, watercolor painting of a laughing cow, crowned with a cast iron skillet and veggies, create a memorable, ethereal visual art piece that embodies the spirit of this eclectic culinary journey.

freelance illustrator, watercolor illustration, watercolor paintings Colorful paintings, Illustrations, wet wash watercolor, uplifting illustrations, realistic art, graphic art, using ink with watercolor, timeless, fine art, expressive artwork, american southwest, food illustrations, vegetable illustration, onion illustration, garlic illustration, beer illustration, lime illustration, tortilla illustration

Atmospheric Spot Illustrations (above)

And of course, let’s not forget the tortillas and beer. They turned out fantastic and looking pretty delicious!

Work With Me

 

The three painted illustrations took about two weeks and were delivered in the spring of 2018. They appeared in the fall Gravy Quarterly Magazine of Southern Foodways Alliance.   I was thrilled when I received a sample issue that the client mailed me as part of our agreement.

PUBLISHED ARTICLE & ILLUSTRATIONS

freelance illustrator, watercolor illustration, watercolor paintings Colorful paintings, Illustrations, wet wash watercolor, uplifting illustrations, realistic art, graphic art, using ink with watercolor, timeless, fine art, expressive artwork, american southwest, food illustrations, vegetable illustration, onion illustration, garlic illustration, beer illustration, lime illustration, tortilla illustration

Work With Me

 

In the end, folks plagued with wanderlust and who can’t really travel at the moment but love to cook real food, will find this piece gratifying. The colorful and whimsical painting, has a strong dose of magical realism and captured the wonderful story of Indian Tex Mex cuisine.  I hope it will invite home cooks to get into the kitchen and try out the recipe.

Check out the article to find the recipe and read about the story, here.

Other Related News

As of November 14, 2021, this illustration I modified the original art and repurposed it as the cover for the now published, beautiful and practical “Weekly Recipe Planner“.

Find out more about this FANTASTIC, new meal planner in this post HERE!

BUY THIS MEAL PLANNER ON AMAZON

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RESOURCES
  • To see what original art and art prints have been released and are available for sale, visit the art shop at United Wanderlust.
  • If this atmospheric watercolor travel illustration seems like something you’d want to create or license for your own projects (marketing, book, editorial, stationery etc.), simply submit a request in my contact form with what you have in mind and we can go from there.

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Work With Me


Patricia Jacques is a food and travel Illustrator working with individuals and commercial clients, with a strong interest in slow food, slow life and slow travel.


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