The wonders of Spanish cuisine


I worked with the FT Weekend Magazine last week on a map about Spain and it’s wide variety of cuisines. It was for an article about a new book written by Miriam Gonzalez Durantez, who grew up in Spain and often returns there for business, family, and the great Spanish cuisine. Having been to Madrid myself this spring I can certainly vouch for that myself. Thank you Mr Torrez for the introduction.

With this post I want to offer a clearer insight into how I work so I’m going to show my process from sketches right through to the final piece. Many people think I work digitally, but a large part of the process is still handmade and crucial to my way of working.


This was the first map I had to create where no specific destinations or any particular route needed to be portrayed so I had a lot more freedom with what I could chose to represent. The article partly focused on different Spanish delicacies specific to certain regions while also looking at “sombremesas”, which are important after dinner discussions that take place around the dinner table. I sketched these elements out in a b/w pencil sketch of the different elements. The sketching process is still one of the most fun and important parts due it’s immediacy.

spain-map-bw-sketch spain-map-colour-sketch

After the sketch was approved by the FT art director Shannon Gibson, we then discussed how the color palette should reflect a warm, rustic and terracota tone, which I had already developed in this image for The Folio Society. I knew the map would need one contrasting colour for certain elements to pop out and my favourite “Jungle Green” seemed an obvious choice.


Apart from a few minor changes everything went well and I took the coloured sketch to final in Photoshop. You can also view the online version of this article and illustration here.