Back at the start of the first Covid lockdown in spring 2020 we were delighted and grateful to secure weekly fresh fruit and veg delivery from The Limes. It’s a lovely, local, family business in Burnham on Crouch.
Our closest supermarket is also in Burnham, and on my way there and back I’d pass The Limes, see their sign (perfectly functional but a bit rough and ready) and daydream about painting them a new one. Painting food is one of my passions afterall.
I made a Photoshop mockup incorporating some of the fruit and veg drawings from my sketchbooks and sent it to them with my proposal. They were really enthusiastic, suggested a couple of design changes which led to the final version below.
I got a full size (110 x 125 cm) copy printed in black and white and used it to trace the design onto both sides of the board after they had had a couple of coats of exterior gloss paint. Important to remember to flip the arrow on side two!
I worked from the bottom up, turning the board over after each section had dried to paint both sides to the same stage. I didn’t fancy completing one side then having to start from scratch on side two. Below – my supervisor does his quality control check.
I used One Shot sign painters’ enamel for the text and decorative parts. It’s a durable, high quality paint with a lovely, creamy consistency.
It’s also expensive, so I limited my order to six colours: white, lettering black, medium green, reflex blue, fire red and primrose yellow. I planned to mix all the shades I needed from them. You can see a colour chart I mixed using the red and yellow below.
As I painted the fruity parts, I used my sketches and real fruit for reference. The sketches for a loose approach to shape and the real fruit for accuracy of colour and detail.
My limited palette of colours worked perfectly until I got to the cherries. I just couldn’t get the shade I was after by mixing the fire red with reflex blue so I had to order a pot of kool [sic] crimson.
I worked slowly and steadily, averaging a couple of hours a day over three happy months. I enjoyed painting this sign so much and I hope that it shows in the finished product.
The good folks at The Limes are very happy. I’ll add some photos of the sign in situ once it’s been installed. In the meantime here’s my supervisor taking a well earned rest.