Drawing Sweet Perfection for The Great British Baking Show

November 29, 2018

Do you love The Great British Baking Show? Have you ever wondered who is behind the recipe illustrations that envision the competitors’ proposed creations? Appearing to the tune of a chime’s tinkling decrescendo – as if a wish fulfilled by a Fairy Godmother of Baking – the eye-popping illustrations by Tom Hovey have accompanied the series since its inception. His drawing of sweet perfection continues to grace Season 5, which begins Friday, December 7 at 8 p.m. on WLIW21.

Selasi's Three-Tiered Ombre Floral Cake. Drawn by Tom Hovey.

Selasi’s Three-Tiered Ombre Floral Cake. Drawn by Tom Hovey.

In an interview with Vulture, Hovey shared that he draws with a stylus on a Wacom Cintiq tablet, and adds the color digitally in Photoshop. With his thick black outlining technique, the cakes and sweets are reminiscent of cartoon illustrations.

My job is to illustrate what the bakers planned to create, not what they actually baked in the tent. Sometimes if the bakes don’t go as planned, I have to work out with the producers and the bakers how to fix the issues. Add missing elements, extra layers, that sort of thing. Just make the bakes look the best they can, that’s the key. – Tom Hovey

Hovey has drawn over 2,000 different baked creations during the series and its spin-offs in the U.K. See more of them, including in time-lapse videos like this one, below, on Tom Hovey’s website.

WLIW21 members can stream all five seasons of The Great British Baking Show any time with the member benefit WLIW21 Passport.