Thursday, 18 October 2012

Illustrating Delights

We came across Alexandra Rolfe’s portfolio accidentally. What caught our eye was her scrumptious food illustrations. On her website, Rolfe displays an exquisite menu of desserts that jump out of the screen to entice you.

Based in Essex, Alexandra Rolfe has recently finished her Bachelors in Illustration from Middlesex University. We met Rolfe in central London to discuss her work and why she has decided to draw food.

Alexandra Rolfe was born and raised in Essex. As an only child she grew up in a creative household. Her parents run a carpentry business and her mother always had creative flair. Alexandra tells us that her mother has always loved to paint: she once painted her room with Alice in Wonderland as a backdrop.

Immersed in fantasy, Alexandra took her A-levels in Art and Design. She admits that living in a creative household and seeing her mother paint encouraged her to take this route. She decided to study illustration at University, a choice both her parents encouraged her to take.

Even though Alexandra admits to not being much of a cook, her food drawings create a visual escapade that not only tickles the eye, but also tickles your appetite. However, drawing sweet things is not just a coincidence. Rolfe openly confesses to having a sweet tooth - one of the main inspirations behind her sweet drawings.

Her food portfolio began with her most popular illustration entitled ‘Winter Warmers’. She started drawing these as she wanted to illustrate what she wanted to eat. She then went on to draw macaroons and did so because of their popularity.

People’s reactions to her food illustrations were that they were delicious stimulating their appetite. For Alexandra this was encouraging and this was the intention - she wants people to have a “bit of fun and a laugh” with her images.

Alexandra intends to start focusing more on food because she enjoys drawing it as a subject but she also finds it as an excuse to eat it.  She uses life models to draw all her illustrations, taking her three to four hours to finish. During that time, Alexandra always finds it hard not to eat the item before finishing the illustration.

Apart from finding it challenging to stop herself from eating her models, Rolfe admits that drawing food does have technical challenges. She explains that it can be challenging to get the colours right. She also explains that she takes a step-by-step approach to drawing in a way that is similar to cooking - you start one way and take methodical steps whilst instilling creativity in order to achieve a master piece.

Alexandra’s plans for the future are to continue developing her food and pet portfolio and also to expand her greeting card range. You can  purchase some of her work here:

Follow on Twitter: @Alexandarolfe

By Yancy Jensen

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