Monday, December 28, 2009


A new sketch, just to warm my lazy hand...

Friday, December 11, 2009

Maid service

This month James Gurney's Art by Committee is about a business card:

Cinderella's maid service
a Wish come true

Melissa - Reference available

My image is actually set some years later. Melissa is no more a maid herself, but still runs her company with some employees. The maid service has evolved a bit during the years, as Melissa is always concerned about customer satisfaction...

For those who prefer drawings:

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Vegetables, vegetables... chapter 3

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

His eyes, so bright

This month James Gurney's Art by Committee is about a strange creature:

“He is shorter than I remember, and thin. His fur is grayed to white in a fringe around his head, just below his ears. His coat is dull, thinning, and coarse. His eyes, so bright I…”

In one of my previous posts, I was complaining that my digital paintings are actually "drawings with some color below". So I decided to make no preliminary drawing on paper, and start painting from the beginning... well, almost. This is the digital sketch - anyway, less accurate than I'm used to do:

the "bright eyes" made me think the guy was not a nice person, so I ended up with this gnomish, dwarfish villain. After that, I started painting - disrespectfully covering the drawing :)
This is the "creature" without fur (I know, I should have painted the fur from the start):

at this point, I should have added some fur as described in the quotation, but I decided a satyr-like red beard was more suited for this guy, and that's the result:

Monday, November 2, 2009


A couple more charcoal drawings:

Winter is coming back, with its beautiful "drawable" vegetables.

Friday, October 23, 2009

The friendly pirate

A quick sketch with quick digital color, made some time ago. Just for fun.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Love is blind/1

I've made some drawings illustrating the idea of blind love: pretty "ladies" in love with ugly "guys", or the opposite. And also other strange situations... just for fun...
This is one of the series. What is perhaps more interesting is the way a drawing becomes (or should become) a painting. Here is the original pencil drawing: a little girl with her beloved dog

In my attempt to make the girl very cute, I've probably made her a bit weird, too. But anyway...
Now I add some digital color in my usual (lazy) way: I keep the drawing in a separate layer, on the top, and then quicky fill in with some color. It's a fast technique, and it has many pros, but it's probably not painting (maybe I could call it coloring)

Now I sink the drawing into the color, and remove almost all lines, using tone and color to build shape.
A notable point: what works in a drawing, may not work in a painting. Look at the muzzle of the dog. In the drawing the construction is not correct, but it works, and it even adds to the weirdness of the expression. In the painting without lines, the same shape simply looked wrong, so I had to change it in a more correct way, possibly loosing some expression.
In general I think the drawing is more incisive, the painting softer and a bit more "dreamy" (of course I could easily make it stronger and more contrasted, but I prefer this way). Anyway, I'm probably a "drawing guy".

Below some preliminary sketches of chihuahuas, made from photos found on the internet. The purpose was to stress more and more the weird side of those dogs. I definitely don't like chihuahuas, but they are so fun to draw...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


If I have some tiny talent, I think it shows in my drawings "from memory", "from imagination". When I draw from life, my drawings are so plain that I usually hate them. However, I don't dislike these too much, so...

(Compressed) charcoal is a wonderful medium, although it's a mess and you end up with black spots everywhere on your body and in your room

the following is a bit lighter, but I think it's OK. Incidentally, when I scan graphite drawings I always increase the contrast a little (to make lines darker) - which is not needed with charcoal:


A new chapter for the "music guy" (yes, he's always the same guy):

Ink is such a wonderful medium, but I still have to learn to think in two "colors":

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


"He stood and held his arms out before him, pulling the chains taut. The muscles in his shoulders and his chest bunched, standing out in sharp relief, and a moment later, the chains snapped cleanly"

This month's assignment for James Gurney's Art by Committee is probably more definite and precise than usual, which, depending on your disposition, can make things easier or more difficult. Anyway, I've decided not to be completely literal.

The drawing was a bit unclear, so I decided to put some (digital) color on it:

With digital color it's quite easy to do some variations:

without the strong contrast between flowers and backgroud the image is somewhat less focused, but perhaps more subtle:

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Knight and dragon/4

I've tried to develop a bit further the concept shown here, with one difference: the knight is coming out of the dragon's belly

I guess the same idea shouldn't be used too many times, it tends to get "rotten".

I usually draw bald people (maybe I'm lazy), but this time I decided to add this long hair, as the guy looked like Mr. Magoo. Also, I'm not sure I like the bat-birds, with their umbrella wings.

Friday, July 3, 2009


But when the dots did not vanish even after he scrubbed his fists across his eyes three times, he shouted hoarsely…

This is the last assignment given by James Gurney for his "traditional" Art by Committee. I suspect that my proposal is a bit coarse, but anyway...

Of course, the drawing is reminiscent of both the scream by Munch and the cliché of the painter with Dalì-style moustache.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Knight and dragon/3

It is worth noting that in some versions of the story (for example the story of St. George), the dragon is just made harmless, not killed by the knight. To be precise: not killed immediately (St. George actually kills the dragon in the end of the story...). Anyway, I've tried to imagine what could happen if the dragon was not slain.
The title could be: knight, princess and dragon... 40 years later.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


A watercolor version of the drawing shown here. It's clearly overworked, and lacks a strong focus. I should paint watercolors more often...

and two more drawings on this subject:

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Knight and dragon/2

While playing a little on this theme, trying to get an almost "baroque" feeling, it came to my mind that the knight and the dragon could be two different sides of the same "entity" - sometimes our worst enemy is inside ourselves, isn't it?

I've tried to develop this idea in a new version:

which I (digitally) painted

as always with me, the drawing is by far more incisive and interesting, I think.
A couple of details:


I've played a little with the idea that these guys are completely "covered" by instruments:

I also like the idea that they share their lives with a (small?) dog:

here is a study made in watercolor. I've left my brushes in their box for too long, and it shows...

Friday, June 12, 2009

Knight and dragon/1

Everyone knows stories about a knight (or a saint) fighting against a dragon, usually with a princess to be saved. The story has been illustrated millions of times, yet someone (like me) still want to give his own versions. This is typical: any myth is alive as long as people keep on telling and varying its story.
My first attempts, like the one below, where quite plain - looks like we have to purge ourselves of some trivial images before we can produce anything (hopefully) a bit more interesting

after that, I let my thoughts wander a little - here are a couple of drawings:

some more next time...

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Harvard Depository

This month James Gurney's Art by Committee is about a business card:


Trudy L. XXX
Operations Manager
A Depository for books and records
owned by Harvard University and operatied By XXX YYY

the "assignment is to illustrate the owner of the card and his or her profession based just on the card itself".

I'm not very expert with those new "odd" jobs, so I have simply imagined an old lady working in a book and record depository, a kind of bookworm ideally living among her beloved writers and artists. I hope I haven't completely missed the point.
I realized quite late that "Trudy" is female, so I simply put a kind of wig on the head of the old guy, and changed the dress a little...

Below is a version with some background, the question is always the same: more focus or more detail? (but good artists get both, actually...)

Monday, May 11, 2009

The harper began to sing...

“The harper began to sing. His deep voice was fine and sweet, eloquently expressing his intent. He sang of the bitterness of defeat and the gut-wrenching carnage of war. He sang of boys...”

Every month James Gurney, the creator of Dinotopia, chooses a short quotation from a book and invites people to illustrate it (look for Art by Committee in his blog). I regularly visit Mr Gurney' blog, as it's full of beautiful art and interesting notes.

As to my image, it has been made in a "free mind attitude", and it shows. Sometimes I allow myself to freely draw what comes to my mind, the result is clearly rather messy in composition, proportion and perspective (and possibly anatomy, too), but often more interesting than a "planned" drawing - and it can be the starting point for more accurate works, too.

Comments and critics are welcome.