September 26, 2011

a bit of DIY

I had a zebra pattern painted on my studio wall for 6 years. I loved it for 5.5 years, and then it started annoying me, so a couple of days ago I had finally decided
to do something about it. 

I bought the best paint I could find, and painted the entire "enormous" wall all in one colour, this greyish-brownish-not-too-light-but-natural beige.

The idea was to have something neutral where to hang my lovely heavy vintage frames that I had painted white with lovely mating emulsion finish, something like this one here, only a matching pair, and bigger (and yes, two more embroideries were evicted from their frame-homes, but they'll have new life as cushions). I looove love love white-brown combinations.
the wall was painted, and I let it dry over night, and the next day ...I hated it. It was so bad that it was making me angry. I stepped into the studio, saw it, and walked out.
When I'm at any of my desks, the wall in question is behind my back, but I couldn't sit at my computer and work, the wall was bugging me that much.

Then I did something about it... again... 

I did what I like doing most... I painted... first I thought of painting an entire village, all with little trees and houses, but honestly, I don't think I'd be able to live with so much going on behind me... so I painted a forest... nice airy forest where I wish I really lived instead of being trapped on the sixth floor in a noisy-city-centre-apartment.

Mr. Cat slept in his chair. I moved it about 20 times, with him on it. He woke up only once, he was hungry.

September 21, 2011

technique research

I was testing a new painting technique last night
and it got me so preoccupied that
I'm running on 60 minutes of sleep and 12 mugs of coffee (so far) today.

First, I'm showing you the end result:

Unfortunately, the photos are not perfect.
I tried to fix the colours in Photoshop, 
but I'm still not 100% happy with them.


I've been using so many different materials lately, like colour pencils, graphite, ink with brushes or rapidographs, aquarelle, acrylic paint, and most of the time I was mixing them all in one drawing/painting.

I wanted to try to and do something a bit... heavier this time.
I don't know is it autumn, or maybe something not necessarily coming from outside me...
I just needed more... emotional saturation in what I do.
And I think I've found a good technique.

I like to use 500g cotton paper, but it's not perfect, because it usually has strong texture, and I like my paintings to look smooth, so I painted the paper with acrylic paint for background, and rubber wax over it. Then put it in the oven for 2 min, just to let the wax melt and distribute evenly across the surface, and fill all the little gaps.

Then, I put one very thin and watered down layer of white gouache paint, and when it dried up, I did it again. 

I worked on 3 sheets at once. By the time I finish the first layer, the first paper I did was already dry, so I could start over.

Only then I did sketches. 
That is a bit of a reverse process, but I wanted to let the material guide me.

Then I transferred the sketch onto the prepared surface.
It was easy to do with a pencil, lightly, because of the white pigment. It allows you to draw on it with soft graphite. I used B9 pencil.

As I drew, I made shallow cuts in the wax, and I like how it added the textured coutures to the painting.
All the rest was done with brushes and acrylic paints.

Here is the final painting:

and another one:

I would LOVE to know what you think of it!

September 18, 2011

a cat

There are so many things I should be doing now
...and none of them is drawing cats...

September 15, 2011

progressing +/- advancing

I've decided to try and have a bit more studious approach to drawing.
I had a clear picture in my head of what I wanted it to look like, but instead of changing my mind when I start colouring, and then destroying the illustration, this time I did "test drive" sketches.
Here are some of them:

After I met my characters and we had a nice chat over coffee and a bit of cake, I took my nice heavy paper, and put it all together, like a story... it's strange how drawing is like writing. Before I draw the story, I must draw the concept first... like an outline of a story, a plot.
This is it, scanned, because it was very late at night, and my drawings hate flash lights.

I would usually draw my characters first, and I'd ruin it all once I start drawing everything around them... that's why I did it reverse this time. Strangely enough, I've drawn the background easily. There are some details missing here and there, but I'm not worried about that.
Now that I've reached the final stage, I do hope not to mess it up... I'm letting you see the unfinished drawing, but I've cut out the bits I'm working on now... if they turn out well, they'll be a nice surprise, and if they turn out bad, off to the bin with them, but you haven't met them, so you won't miss them  :) ... only I will

September 13, 2011

un vrai papa

I don't know if it ever happened to you, but it happens to me all the time, and it always ends in frustration:
I draw outlines of something, I put all my actors on the stage, then I start working on one detail, and I'm actually pleased with it, so I pass on to the next one... and it's baaaad... bad bad bad! hands draws like paws, nothing looks right, I hate every line I make... That's the moment where I usually just crumple the paper, throw it in the bin that's always within a handy reach, and always completely full.
Last night I simply walked away... I couldn't look at it... But it was still there, waiting for me in the morning... it didn't disappear, it didn't change over night... but my level of tolerance and patience did.

fanfares and cheers fooooor:

Monsieur Vrai Papa, avec la moustache et les muscles d'un papa super!

What you have before you is my attempt to save this guy... I'm even quietly happy I didn't toss him with the rest of the gang from that sheet of paper...
I'm sorry, Lady Weightlifter and Mr Bearded Clown... I promise to give your a solo act each... one day... maybe soon... learn to be patient, that's a good thing to be!

September 9, 2011

caffeine feline

I drew a lion...
I like lions... especially today
I don't know why...

Sorry 'bout the coffee stain
if it wasn't for coffee
there would be no lion tonight

had to take a photo again in the morning
do all photos taken at night look terrible?
even when I use the scanner?
the scanner can't know what time of day it is, surely!


You don't look silly, dear! You look mysterious!
Now, let's go to that fancy dress party.
I've heard they'll be serving wine...
if we're patient, we can have coq au vin
or  souris au vin
or even lapin au vin!