On a cold winter's day, what could be better than a hot cup of tea? But for illustrators David and Jodie Peskimo, the drink is more than a winter warmer, it's a source of visual inspiration. The studio has just released Special Brews, a limited edition series of four- and six-colour screenprints, each focusing on a different type of tea.
The roots of the project go back to digital imagery created for a tea-based exhibition a couple of years ago. The prints sold well, and now they've decided to tackle tea afresh with a new series using hands-on printing techniques. Each type of tea leaf they decided to depict led to different visual connotations for the prints.
"We decided that there should be a theme to this first set, so we settled on animals and nature, but they do all bear some relevance to the tea they represent," explains David Peskimo. "For instance, Oolong is a feisty tea from China, so we depicted it with a dragon. Darjeeling is a more refined, regal tea from India, so we used a white elephant with a golden teapot. Lapsang souchong is a Chinese tea, so a panda fitted nicely, and Rooibos is also called red bush tea, so we incorporated a big red tree into the artwork."
Take a break
Known for their digital illustrations, recent years have seen Peskimo moving into screenprinting as respite from sitting in front of the computer screen. The images for this series were sketched out on paper, developed as roughs in Illustrator, and then separated for printing on the screen rack.
"We started with Oolong and created maybe ten versions, in widely different set-ups. Once we are happy with a composition, we split it into its separations and play about with colours. For these prints, we wanted them to all work with a similar palette, so it was tough to pick six colours that work in different arrangements. No two prints feature the same colour arrangement," says David.
Each print devoted to an individual type of tea is printed with four of the final six colours chosen, and Fabriano paper has been used for a vibrant. There's a fifth image too, showing all four boxes of tea, and it's been created using all six colours. A limited run of 80 has been made of each one, and prints are selling between £60 and £140.
In future, they will be doing more screen printing, with a new set of themes - human characters from around the world, or something nature-inspired, perhaps.
If these luscious images have left you with a thirst for tea, go and put the kettle on, but if you're hungry to get your hands on one then take advantage of the special offer Peskimo has lined up for Computer Arts readers. Go directly to Peskimo's BigCartel shop and use the code CACRACKERS to receive a 15 per cent discount.