Hello there! Dear reader I hope you are doing well. What are you doing those days? Who are you? What is the project that carries you from day to day? How is your creativity doing? I would be delighted to hear your answers in the comment section. A good chat is always appreciated.
Between preparing for the launch of my Patreon page, working on the release on Red Bubble of four custom notebooks, keeping up with the reshaping of my portfolio and trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle (later not always successfully), I have got to stretch myself up and get in the productive groove.
Today I want to show you the steps I took to make this image which is going to be part of these four upcoming custom notebooks.
My initial motivation was to get rid of a nervous feeling that built up from the frustration of not being able to deal with a certain study of Enki Bilal I was doing at the time. After destroying my failed attempt at reproducing one of Bilal's painting I decided to react and do it "my own way" and "no matter what comes up!". My plan then, was do explore Bilal's technique in a more personal way and experiment with the layering of different medium while letting each step apparent so to include the process in the final image. Somehow I began to draw this imaginary portrait, on this new "mixed media" paper I had recently got hold of. Midway, I realised I was not going at all where my first impulse was suppose to lead me. I kept struggling with hold habits of outlining, detailing at early stage, erasing and fixing instead of compiling and adapting. The subject turned out to be out of control, that is: I wanted it to look out of control, but I kept applying my good old inhibited standards and completely missed my point. How funny that is, even though it really didn't feel that way. I fell I was playing an sort of anti-game with myself, proving myself that in fact I can do things the old way in a secure manner instead of rolling free through a ground-breaking experiment.
This was the first step right after the initial graphite sketch, laying down the ground work with colour pencil:
The plan was to go much wilder and have coloured lines going all over the place. but you understand by now that's not how it went like. Once this step reach completion I knew things were not going to go as intended but that I had to change gear and comply to what was to be done.
The next step was done with acrylic paint on top of the colour pencil layer:
For the mid-layers, I usually like to use complementary colours of the final upper layers, but for some reason it didn't do it this time and the final layer done with oil paint was simply a refinement of the build I had laid down so far. I also clearly so at this stage the religious aspect of the figure and decided to go all in in this direction by putting gold on her aureole.
Here is the final image, after the oil paint layer was applied and varnished:
Considering my initial intent regarding this image and what I wanted it to be, I felt very disappointed by the end result. I nearly destroyed it, but refrained myself from doing so. A few weeks passed and I began to see this work with new eyes. I began to appreciate it for what it was and not what I wanted it to be. Finally, because I felt shy about it and still didn't want to "release it" and show it to the world, I decided to glue it on the cover of my "personal folklore" sketchbook. I love to personalize my sketchbooks, which are for me the most precious things I have. So here is how the sketchbook look after customization:
Finally, after publishing the image on my facebook page I realized, unexpectedly, that people were very fond of it. They appreciate the colour scheme, the atmosphere. I have to say that I was a bit shy to show it and unsure about people's reactions concerning it. But somehow, after all this process, this is a lesson for me. A lesson of acceptance of the will of an image, as if an image had its own will to be and one had to surrender to it to see it appear. And a lesson of letting go of one's judgement of things, and understand that people see and relate differently to an image one "creates", or puts together. (For I don't really understand the word create when it comes to art. But that's a topic for another blog.)
That's it for today. I hope you have enjoyed this episode of Trail of colour. I can't wait to read your comments. Feel free to share the post if you like.
Wishing you an exciting week ahead, full of little and big realisations!
Adrien Sourdot, signing off. Peace.