Monday, September 26, 2011

Peas in a Pod

Today I have been doodling and drawing girls. The idea is to use some of them to create a double page spread for a proposal for a children's book illustration. I am thinking of tackling the Wizard of Oz. Well, at this point that is just an idea, so I shall keep you posted this project.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Mexican Cat or how I went to the flea market

Summer is usually the time for flee markets in France, but since we are currently enjoying a short Indian Summer, so there are still flea markets around to be visited on the weekends.
And while I was browsing the stalls this little fellow caught my attention. It is a terra-cotta figurine (that fits comfortably on my palm) which has a hand painted enameled decoration on different tones of blue and green. I have found a spot for him on the tea rack among my boxes of tea. It was a very relaxing evening, spent drawing it.

Saturday, September 24, 2011


The ferocious winds played with the boat as if it were made out of paper...
This week's Illustration Friday is FEROCIOUS. What first came to mind was a wolf, then monster, a piraña, a glutton, then winds and finally a tempest. I never use photoshop to work on my illustrations, except when adding tone or balance for the colors and contrast, but for the first time, I started playing around with the filters and so I am posting the end result. I think I actually like it better than my original piece as it looks a bit more ominous than the original illustration.
Oil pastels and soft pastels on paper. 25cm X 18cm

Friday, September 23, 2011

In the land of elephants

This morning I don't really why I was thinking about elephants and this is the image i came up with. I wanted to do something colorful and free-flowing. It is done using soft pastels, but because I used a regular drawing paper, the texture of the paper helped create all the nice textures you see on the image. It was totally unplanned, but I think it adds to the image.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Apples anyone?

Voilà some apples that I drew using a combination of soft and oil pastels. I specially like the texture that comes from mixing these two types of pigments. Only problem is, once you have applied the oil pastel to a surface you cannot really erase it and if you comeback with another layer of soft pastels, the actual strokes underneath are more vivid than before (instead of softening).

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Views from my village

Making personalized cards for my friends is one of my life's pleasures. These two cards show the church of the town where I currently live, which has a very Spanish Baroque feeling to it (instead of a French feeling to it... hard to explain it, but it has to do with the architectural style chosen to build this church).On the upper image you can see the outline of the Mont Ventoux is like the Mount Everest but for cyclists.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Another birthday card coming up!

Currently working on several birthday cards as some of my friends have birthdays in October. Time flies when you are having fun!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Mesmerizing... London!

To illustrate this week's Illustration Friday's subject (mesmerizing), I chose this image that I had created with the subject of London in mind. Why mesmerizing? Because I think London with all to its history, monuments, museums and cultural baggage is really one special city. That is why! Oil pastels on paper, 50cm x 35cm

Friday, September 16, 2011

Coffee Break

These were quick sketches done while sitting at a terrace cafe last monday which is market day in the village where I live. The town is well known to cyclists all over the world as it very close to the Mount Ventoux which is a mountain that represents a BIG challenge to people who cycle. Sooo, there are always plenty of cyclists here, specially in the summer. The watercolors where added later, but the sketch done with markers was done in situ... First time ever that I sketched directly with the markers. This is Lab10 in the Drawing Lab for Mixed-Media Artists.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

True love knows no boundaries

The subject this week for Illustration Friday was BOUNDARIES. I kept thinking from the beginning about maps and frontiers on the physical sense and about limits on the personal/psychological side and this is the illustration I came up with. I am enclosing the other two sketches I did for this piece. Basically in the second drawing I pretty much know how I want to position the flamenco dancer... but then my French suitor is more or less laying down in awe of his lady, a posture much more contemplative than the one I finally chose for the finished piece (oil pastel on paper).

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

My Pet Project

Voilà! Another lab completed from the book Drawing Lab... This time is the turn of Edouard to come aboard as an obliging model... Well, not really, but we can tell he is quite relaxed and that he can keep a long pose.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Blind Contours

Drawing giraffes without seeing what we are drawing? FUN!!!! Judge for yourself the results.
This exercise was proposed by Carla Sonheim in her book Drawing Lab for Mixed Media Artists.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Drawing Lab for Mixed-Media Artists

I have recently purchased this fun book called Drawing Lab by Carla Sonheim. I love the way she wakens the creativity in the reader through the exercises she has created. I will post periodically some of the labs I am doing from this book. If you want to learn more about Carla, her work and her online courses, you can go here: The first lab was drawing cats while in bed...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Birthday Cards! Birthday Cards!

I have been quite prolific today working on different projects, one of it being birthday cards for friends who are having birthdays this month. The first card takes after Modigliani... in a campy sort of way;

The second card is more traditional, but I like the flowers in a heart-shape and the texture that I used for the background. Here I was experimenting using calligraphy pens and then a brush to to the black outlines.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Bookcover: another possibility

What to do once we have finished an illustration? Most of the time we show it to friends, and the we stock it in a pile (oops I meant to say that we store it with other artwork). :-)
This time I thought I would venture and take it a little bit further... so I used Illustrator to create a basic book cover for a young-adult character named Julie Martin, who apparently has been in more than one adventure!...
The things that one's imagination can produce are endless, aren't they?

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Illustration Friday: Mysterious

This week's theme is MYSTERIOUS. I thought it would be interesting to post not only the final piece, but make this post more about the process than the actual finish product. So, here we go:

When I read that the topic to be represented was MYSTERIOUS, it got me thinking about crystal balls, detectives and treasure chests, "mysterious" keys and doors that took you into the unknown.

So I developed the idea of the detective girl, but got sidetracked thinking about mysterious women...

... This lead to a mysterious blue woman who ate grapes... (but then, I didn't quite think that a figure eating grapes would exemplify the subject in question). So I went back to the idea of a "mysterious" door and peeping through the keyhole... and this time I tried to think of an artifact that looked "mysterious" enough (incorporating the idea of the all-seeing-eye), but then I really did not like the object that came out of this idea....

So my final piece came into being: a mysterious young woman wearing a yellow raincoat and hat who is having some sort of adventure in Paris.
... and voilà! That's it for this week's Illustration Friday.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Moleskine exchange project: Unveiled!

My friend Nora and I got the idea from this moleskin sketchbook exchange from an ancient blog which was no longer running. Soooo in this blog I will be including both my entries and Nora's. The subject for her sketchbook is food, mine is favorite places in the world. If you want to see all of the entries so far on the food sketchbook go to the flickr button on the top right of this blog.