Tagged: Art

Itsy Bitsy Tout Petit Mini

(Voir en bas pour le français)

When Jon Schindehette first posted about the Tiny Pleasures challenge, I immediately dismissed the idea, thinking that 3 inches by 3 inches is WAY too  small for me to paint something that makes sens. Then I was peer pressured by my friends Sybiline and Louis-Philippe St-Laurent to enter the challenge. Well, to be honest, Louis-Philippe might not be aware that he pressured me, because he didn’t, Sybiline just said (I’m paraphrasing) :”You should do it, Louis-Philippe and me are thinking about doing it.” Ok, I admit it wasn’t hard to convince me.

I was considering ways of making tiny illustration boards that would be compatible with my way of working when I lucked and found these MDF and masonite boards in a craft store during a visit in Quebec City. So that removed my bigger obstacle. I did about 8 different compositions in Photoshop, picked my 4 favourites and painted away.

With any luck, these pieces will be on display at Spectrum Live this coming May.

The pieces in the scanner with a ruler for scale (and to keep them straight)- Les peintures dans le scanner avec une règle pour montrer l'échelle (et pour les garder droites.)

The pieces in the scanner with a ruler for scale (and to keep them straight)- Les peintures dans le scanner avec une règle pour montrer l’échelle (et pour les garder droites.)

Quand Jon Schindehette à publié son défi Tiny Pleasures, j’ai immédiatement écarté l’idée en me disant que 3 pouces par 3 pouces, c’est BIEN trop petit pour que je puisse peindre quelque chose qui a du sens. Mais c’était sans compter la pression exercée par mes amis Sybiline et Louis-Philippe St-Laurent. Honnêtement, Louis-Philippe n’est probablement pas au courant qu’il m’a mis de la pression, parce qu’il ne l’a pas fait. C’est Sybiline qui m’a dit : « Louis-Philippe et moi, on envisage peut-être de faire le Tiny pleasures, aimerais-tu ça? » Bon, j’admets que ça n’a pas été difficile de me convaincre.

J’ai considéré des façons de fabriquer de tout petits cartons d’illustrations qui fonctionnent avec ma façon de travailler, mais j’ai été chanceuse et j’ai trouvé des petits MDF et masonites dans un magasin d’artisanat durant une visite à Québec. Ça a enlevé mon plus gros obstacle. J’ai fait environ 8 maquettes dans Photoshop, j’ai choisi mes 4 préférées et je les ai peintes. Voilà.

Avec un peu de chance, ces œuvres seront à l’affiche en mai à Spectrum Live.


Art Catalogue

catalogue_art_2013_coverwebI just finished putting together a catalogue of all the paintings I have for sale, and also a few who are already sold. I’ve wanted to sell art outside of shows for a while, but it’s pretty hard if I don’t have a list of the art available anywhere. So here it is. It’s pretty much a work in progress, I will be updating as new pieces are added and as pieces sell. I also have a section on commission because a lot of people don’t know that it’s possible to order a painting to their specifications.

The Holidays are coming, so it’s time to buy or order art, whether you want to give it away or just to brag to your visitors!

Click here for the CATALOGUE

Je viens juste de terminer un catalogue de toutes les peintures que j’ai à vendre, et de quelques unes qui sont déjà vendues. Ça fait un bout que je veux vendre des toiles en dehors des expositions mais c’est difficile si je n’ai pas une liste des pièces disponibles. Alors c’est fait. C’est une travail en progression où j’ajouterai les nouvelles peintures et noterai celles qui sont vendues. J’ai aussi une section sur les commandes parce que plusieurs personnes ne savent pas qu’il est possible de commander une peinture suivant leurs spécifications.

Le temps des fêtes approche et c’est le temps d’acheter ou de commander de l’art, que ce soit pour le donner ou pour impressionner la visite!

Cliquez ici pour le CATALOGUE

Time Killer

In an effort to build up my traditional portfolio with pieces that look more like book covers, I did this one this week. I’m trying to find a good balance between graphic and narrative. I’m also learning to use MDF effectively.  I got this MDF in a lumber yard and it’s not as smooth as the one I got at the art store. It threw me off a little the first time I used it (for a piece that is still under wrap.) For this one, I gave a few coats of clear medium before I transferred the drawing on the board. That made the paint glide on in a more enjoyable manner.

Time Killer, 12"x18" acrylic on MDF.

Time Killer, 12″x18″ acrylic on MDF.

Urban Sketchers Workshop part 2

Shari's demo up close.

Shari’s demo up close.

The Watercolor Sketching in Historic Montreal workshop I attended this weekend is over, and I have mostly recovered. You can read the first part of my review  here. After spending day 1 with Marc, my group and me got to spend Saturday with Shari Blaukopf down in Place Jacques-Cartier and next to Bassin Bonsecours. It was all quiet when we got to Place Jacques Cartier and we settled under the trees at the south end of the Place, with a great view up the street at the Nelson monument.

Shari doing a drawing demo.

Shari doing a drawing demo.

As the hours passed, the Place filled up and I have to say that this spot attracts weirdos. We had one guy try to shake everyone’s hand AND kiss many of the attendees and a passive aggressive panhandler. We also had tons of tourists come by and try to look at what we were doing. Shari got us to do value sketches and reviewed before we settled on one composition. I’m used to thumbnailing illustrations, but I never thought to do that when drawing from life. It helps make a conscious choice to edit parts of the image to get a better final piece of art. We then got lunch at the newfangled food trucks in front of the wharfs and I can’t say that I was impressed.

My painting of N-D du Bonsecours church.

My painting of N-D du Bonsecours church using ultramarine, alzarin crimson, a tiny bit of cool yellow and touches of umber and black when I got lazy.

We then moved on across the Bassin Bonsecours bridge and settled in front of the Bonsecours Market and Notre-Dame du Bonsecours church. This time, Shari did a demo on using a limited palette and I learned about transparent and opaque colors in watercolour (I was just going on the assumption that all watercolours are equally transparent by virtue of being watercolour, hah!) It worked well for me and I no longer feel bad about hating some of the colors that came with my set of paints. I think I’ll remove some from the set and use the additional space to put bigger pans of my favorite colors. Because seriously, two different cad reds is overkill, and also: I hate you Phtalo Green.

We had a longer time to work in the afternoon and many of my classmates produced lovely paintings. It was also way less crowded than Place Jacques-Cartier and I stopped hovering  over the piles of unattended stuff my classmates left lying around. We got a few drops of rain here and there, but it was just enough to scare us, we never really had to stop painting.

My painting of the Painted Ladies.

My painting of the Painted Ladies.

Sunday was the last day and we met in Carré St-Louis in the Plateau Mont-Royal neighborhood. We just scathered around and painted, getting occasional feedback from the instructors. Carré St-Louis has spectacular painted houses nicknamed Painted Ladies (when reading the description of the location in the workshop documentation, I remember wondering why they mentioned hookers in Carré St-Louis, not knowing what Painted Ladies were.) Our luck finally ran out and we got the rain that had been forecast all weekend just an hour before we were planning to leave and meet up at the restaurant so we just went to get lunch a bit early.

Lunch was great fun, by that time, people had socialized and made friends and exchanged contact information, promising to keep in touch. Then one by one, the group dispersed.

I’m really glad I was able to attend this workshop, I learned a lot and it motivated me to spend more time with watercolors. I’m also looking forward to hanging out with the local Urban Sketchers in the future meetings.

Baby steps

I just had a fantastic meeting today with Suzanne and Julia, two other Drink & Draw Montréal contributors. We talked about the future of the site and I mentioned that I didn’t post very often because each of my post is such a laborious process that it takes ages to come to fruition and involves much procrastination and stalling. I have known that I was stalling for a long time, but the discussion we had validated my feelings (and my choice of topics) and I decided to write smaller articles more often and it would increase my output.

Of course, I didn’t come up with that idea. That’s where the expression Baby Steps comes from. The thing is, often we don’t notice how much we are stalling while we are stalling. We are procrastinating because a task seems too arduous and it’s just easier and less scary to do something else. It’s the reason you hear about people trying to do a novel, but never finishing it, but you rarely hear about people trying to do a short story but never finishing it. It’s much easier to do a short story, so chances are you will finish, even if it’s rubbish.

The same can be said of anything, making art, packing for a move, doing our taxes. It seems so big and complicated that we push it back and never do it. I have been doing that with my writing for DnD. But our meeting gave me plenty of ideas of articles that shouldn’t be agony to write, so expect more in the near future. And we are planning on putting the drinking back into Drink and Draw, so expect more of that as well!

Sneaky Zoltara.

Over a year ago, I posted a turn-around for a woman called Zoltara. She’s inspired by the character played by one of my friends in an Exalted game. I changed her around a bit to make her fit better for the universe and turn her into a portfolio piece. I just finished a new piece with her (hiding and spying, it seems that’s what Night Castes do.) And I discovered that I never posted her completed character sheet. So here they are.

Turn -around for Zoltara

Turn -around for Zoltara

Zoltara being sneaky.

Zoltara being sneaky.



I thought I was done painting for my upcoming show, I’ve been very busy with packing because I’m moving just before I have to go hang the show. Well, last night I found the time to sit and paint this. The graphic flame ring is inspired by Brom. It’s my first ever painting on wood panel and it’s a learning experience. The wood became rougher after being varnished, I didn’t expect that. I had to sand it down. I call it Chromosphère after the sun’s lower atmosphere, the part where we see flares and arcs.


Chromosphère will be at my upcoming exhibition Des ventouses et des hommes at Pourquoi Pas Espresso Bar in April. More info here.

Art Books, I has them

Recently, Gurney Journey and Muddy Colors had features on art books and a lot of people seem to be curious about art book collections. I’m in the process of packing to move and I thought I could take a few pictures of my art books since they were all in the same place for once. I don’t have a very big collection, but I’m aiming for voluntary simplicity in books. I also suspect I move way more often than the people with the book hoarding thing going on.

Mah books

Mah books

Often when I see pictures of bookshelves I end up thinking to myself:”Well, cool. but I can’t make out what all these books are at that scale.” So I thought I would list the looks, or at least, most of them. I think it’s going to motivate me to write all the book reviews I’ve wanted to write, and crosslink them to the picture. Some of them are not exactly art books, they are reference books, picture books or books by artist friends.


  • The GAG Pricing and Ethical Guidelines
  • Book of the Five Rings, got neat prints of samurai.
  • Dover Victorian Design
  • Peck – Atlas of Human anatomy for the artist
  • Molly Bang – Picture This
  • Steve Prescott- Aggregate
  • Textbooks from my costume history classes.
  • WotC- The art of the Rath cycle.
  • The making of Alien Resurrection
  • Will Eisner- Graphic storytelling and visual narrative
  • L’harmonie des couleurs sur le web (basically tons of palette samples for website, useful for quick and dirty graphic design jobs or to get a client to pick something)
  • Ken Hultgren – L’art de dessiner les animaux.
  • PML- René Lalique
  • The Spiderwick field guide
  • De Fontenoy à Waterloo (book on european military uniforms in the 1800’s)
  • Uniformes Militaires. Book on various military uniforms I picked up in a bazaar.
  • Donato Giancola’s Middle Earth book
  • Juliette Aristides – Classical Drawing Atelier
  • Peck- In the Studios of Paris, William Bouguereau and his American students.
  • Loomis-  Figure Drawing for all it’s worth.


  • Alex Wreck- Stolen Sharpie Revolution
  • DiTerlizzi and Black -The first volume of Spiderwick
  • Strunk & White- The Elements of Style (not an art book, but I think everyone who needs to communicate in writing needs to read it)
  • Art & Fear
  • Tim Burton’s Oyster Boy book
  • The Art of War
  • Speedball calligraphy handbook
  • Perspective made easy
  • Speed- The practice and Science of Drawing
  • How to survive and prosper as an artist (already wrote about that one ha!)
  • Le Ramat de la typography, like Strunk & White but in French and pretentious
  • Bridgeman boxed set
  • Bridgeman constructive anatomy
  • The New drawing on the right side of the brain
  • L’anatomie humaine (this is not so much as anatomy book as it is a compendium of antique engravings of anatomy, artists used to display the human body in very weird ways.
  • Pat Manocchia -Musculation (shows what muscle groups we use during each movement, it’s a body building book, not an art book)
  • Matthew Meyer – The Night Parade of one Thousand Demons. Book about Japanese monsters.
  • Alan McKenzie – How to Draw and Sell Comic strips. I got that book when I was about 12 and I LOVED it.
  • L’Univers des araignées (tons of spider pictures)
  • Jonny Duddle-Le Croque Pirate
  • Lottie Paris Lives Here illustrated by Scott Fischer.


  • Bammes – Complete guide to Life Drawing (awesome)
  • Some Walter Foster and Disney books
  • PML – Spiders and Cabriolets & Fer Forgé
  • Grand Cours D’anatomie artistique
  • Star Wars Episode 1 Ships and vehicles concept art
  • The Art of the Hunchback of Notre Dame
  • Those 3 giants binders at Famous Artist course books.


  • The art of Exalted (meh)
  • Thierry Labrosse – Ab Irato #1
  • James Gurney – Journey to Chandara
  • Norman Rockwell – My Adventures as an illustrator
  • James Gurney –  Color and Light
  • James Gurney – Imaginative realism
  • Wynn -Altered Curiosity (that’s a very weird craft book)
  • Encyclopedie de la Mythologie
  • Spectrum 16 (I know I know, I have only 1 Spectrum)
  • The art of the Dragon
  • Petar Meseldžija – The Legend of Steel Bashaw
  • Once Upon a time Walt Disney – This is the book of the Disney Exhibition at Musée des Beaux-Arts in Montreal. It’s full of concept art and influences for early Disney movies.
  • The Art of Daren Bader
  • Magritte book of the exhibition at Musée des Beaux-Arts in Montreal.


  • White – The Animator’s workshop (a classic)
  • a bunch of PML books, PML books are super cheap books filled with images that I used to find at bargain bookstores.
  • Dover’s  World of enchantment: The Art of Maxfield Parish
  • Calvin and Hobbes
  • Some art magazines.

Missing: Giant pile of early Realm of Fantasy that are already in boxes.