23 décembre 2014

Moving Blogs

A quick note to let you know that Google's strategy to ignore and let die Blogger so people will move on has worked for me.

Click here to visit my new tumblr.

Thank you for your patronage!

20 décembre 2014

Creepy Eye for my Vulture

I was looking for a way to keep the big shiny vulture eye and at the same time, make it creepily human of some kind.

After a bit of sketching, I (probably) settled on this formula.

Let me know what you think!

19 décembre 2014

17 décembre 2014

Marabou Stork Underpainting

I can't say I FULLY understand how to go about an underpainting but still... I guess that if I find this layer useful while painting later on, I must be doing something right.

15 décembre 2014

12 décembre 2014

Stork - On to the Canvas

Drew my marabou stork on canvas. I like to loosely place the composition in charcoal before the underpainting stage. It's also where I tweak some details from the initial sketch (angle of the bill, eye placement, replaced gular sac with jacket).

My 4 year-old daughter insisted on helping.
She did the dark coat and parts of the ruff. Her line is much more vibrant than mine... I still have much to learn, obviously.

Also, she named the bird "Aticeg".

10 décembre 2014

Marabou Stork

A carrion bird makes for an awesome creepy portrait.

I need a little bit more research on the costume, though. I know I want the white ruff but I still need to match an appropriate jacket with that. Fortunately, costume history books are not lacking here.

09 décembre 2014

Mr. Toad -- Done

I think he's pretty much done.
On to the next one! I'll keep you posted.

Oil on canvas, 8"x16"
Original available.

04 décembre 2014

28 novembre 2014

A Neighbour


The other morning while walking to school with my kids, I saw my neighbour.
He was wearing his full cycling outfit (he cycles to work every morning, which is more than I can boast) and I understand that it's functional clothing and all... but still... I was amazed at the overall effect.

Later that day, while sketching I tried to reconstruct the image from memory.

This is a first attempt at working without with less outlines and more shapes. I'll continue exploring.

03 septembre 2014

Self-portrait #3

I've been feeling like pure, unrefined, Grade "AAA" shit lately.

I went and asked myself: "What would Dorian tell me to help me get out of this?"
I concluded he would have me paint or draw. I decided to paint this grinning self-portrait.

20 août 2014

Tortoise head

Another watercolor in the painting a day series.
I haven't used watercolor seriously since the late 90's... I feel so clumsy after 15 years...

Tortoise head study, roughly 30 minutes, used this picture for reference.

19 août 2014

18 juin 2014

Teratoma #2

I... I don't know. I'm fascinated by the idea that such a thing can even exist.
I'll be exploring this...

16 juin 2014

Teratoma #1

Some kind of... stream of consciousness sketch... I guess...

I mean... I kinda knew I was going to draw some kind of weird tumor-thing like this. But the fun part is that I absolutely didn't know how it would end up. I just let the pencil do its thing.

All in all, nothing fancy but a fun sketch.

Hope you enjoy.

20 mai 2014


Played around with a water brush and an ink brush (both pictured) over a quick coloured pencil sketch.
It was fun to push the pigment around and experiment with the effects.

12 mai 2014


Oil sketch in a narrow palette.
Trying to keep a certain energy in the touch.

Lots of questions but no answers yet. This is good, it means I need to keep on painting.

10 avril 2014

Short Oil Study

Really just for the fun of it.
Going for flow in my brush strokes and balance in my colors.

Also, after... I dunno... 15 years, I made peace with black. We're friends now.

24"x36", oil on canvas.
Private collection.

02 avril 2014

Barnacles Study

I've been playing around with an idea recently...
I can't tell you what it is. And I have good reasons.

I can show you this without compromising my project, though.

Acrylics, fun and oils on canvas.

22 mars 2014

Self-portrait #2

Another experiment in self-portrait.
Tried the Zorn palette for the first time. Was really impressed with the versatility of those colors.

Learned a lot. Enjoyed myself. All in all, a success.

Oil on canvas, 14"x18".

18 mars 2014

Monster Eyes

Other eye sketches inspired by the Cthulhu Mythos for the ArtOrder Tiny Pleasures challenge.

Top: Tsathoggua. Bottom: Azathoth.

Black Prismacolor on watercolor paper.

13 mars 2014

Goldfish Casein Study

Felt like painting a fish today. Fishes are fun to paint.

It was great but the takeaway is that I have to learn to handle paint.

Oh... and that my home-made titanium white isn't worth shit.
It's got all those lumps (when it should be smooth), it's glossy (when it should be matte) and it doesn't close (this morning, as an experiment, I rinsed off a layer of that white I applied to canvas the day I made it with a mere trickle from the tap — the paint is supposed to be waterproof after 8 to 10 days).

25 février 2014

Mixing my own casein paint - Experiment no.2

Awright... I have news about Experiment no. 1. The paint rotted. My tube smelled like a corpse decomposing in a barn on a hot summer day. Ugly stuff.

I read some more and consulted with some people in my area and it seems that I made at least one big mistake AND that I need to tweak my recipe.

The mistake: I did not sterilize my containers and tools.

As for the possible tweaks: 
Firstly, I think I can use more of my alcaline solution to raise the pH of my paint. 
Secondly, I was recommended a preservative to use in my paint. I had read about sodium otrhophenylphenate but the only place I found to order it sold it in pallets of 500 kg... I had to go for another option...

This mix's recipe:

Casein milk protein — 10 g.
Boiled water — 100 cc.
NaOH — 2 cc. (or about 40 drops)
Grapefruit seed extract (glycerin vehicle) — 1 cc.
Dry pigment (titanium white) — 60 g.

Total cost: I don't care anymore...

Above: First observation, more NaOH made my binder 
more homogeneous faster and a darker yellow.

Above: Mixing away. I used rubbing alcohol to
sterilize my surfaces, containers and tools.

Above: A 37 cc. tube filled to the brim. 
(I actually put too much paint and ended up wasting 
about 15 cc. Most went on my fingers but I also used 
some as a ground on an old canvas I was planning to paint over.)

Above: Messily filling up the tube.

 Above: Done!

As you see on the last picture, I have a lot of unused binder left. I plan to leave it on my shelf and see how much time it takes to rot. The last batch started smelling ater 7 days (the tube took about 18 to 20 days — I thought I was okay since the oxygen input was practically cut off but I was wrong), we'll see how long this one lasts... if it rots at all.

Also, the canvas I prepped with the leftover paint (it was a store-bought gessoed canvas already covered with a layer of acrylics) ended up being glossy. This is strange since casein is supposed to be super-matte. It might be an indication that my recipe is wrong. We'll see how the paint handles and how it interacts with Richeson caseins. I'll keep you posted.

19 février 2014

Art terminology

Today, we'll be taking a look at some art terms and explore their origins and meanings.

Still Life noun
A painting, a drawing or an arrangement of objects that resulted from an artist being bored in his studio, grabbing the first random shit that he can find lying around and proceeding to paint aforementioned shit to validate the general waste of that particular period of the day.

Still life. Oil. 8x10. I know...

Study noun
A detailed investigation and analysis of a subject, be it a scene, an object, animal or even a body part if the artist is just too lazy to even bother to paint a still life.

Hand study. Oil. 8x10. What can I say?...

13 février 2014

Subway Sketching - Red Hair

Subway sketching incorporating watercolor.
The trick is to have a victim that is captive long enough for what you want to do. In this case, it was from Berri-UQAM to Longueuil on the yellow line. She literally had nowhere to go.  ^_^

12 février 2014

Hot Water Valve - Casein Study

This morning's efforts.
I wish I could tell you this is from a photograph taken in a derelict building I was exploring last summer but it's not... it's from my own bathroom. I am terrible at keeping the house clean...

Casein on wood.

Side note: I used the Raw Umber I mixed last week and it works! It doesn't stink, it mixes well with the Richeson paints I used, but it was a bit too thick. Next batch will have more casein, less pigment (probably 1% or 2% less).

07 février 2014

Subway Sketching

I'm currently swamped in work I can't show (of course I had to go and sign those non-disclosure agreements) so here's a small subway sketch.

The thing I like most about urgently drawing an unsuspecting model (who can get off the train anytime while I draw) in an uncomfortable postion (easels are a drag to carry around) in a moving vehicle (which doesn't allow for fine details) is that all I can rely on is shape and line weight to convey volume. A valuable exercise.

01 février 2014

Mixing my own casein paint - Experiment no.1

I'm writing this down both to share with you and to have a reference point when I try this again.

I mixed my own casein paint today with a pretty straightforward recipe.

Here's what I used:

Casein milk protein (store bought) — 12 g.
Water (tap) — 120 g.
Sodium Hydroxyde (NaOH 50% solution) — 8 drops
Raw Umber (dry pigment) — 60 g. (or 125 ml)

Total cost is around $7.00.

Above: The milk casein 15 hours after adding the NaOH. 
The texture was then completely homogeneous.

Above: Starting with a small amount of pigment.

Above: Ongoing.

Above: I didn't know how much pigment I would need 
so it was quite the experimental approach. 
The "Oops! more pigment... oh... now more binder... 
ah! more pigment again... oh! this looks just right!" kind.

Above: My tube with paint. It's a 110 cc.

Above: I ended up with about 60 cc. of paint which is 
more than twice the amount in the Richeson Shiva Casein 
paint tubes (which are, I believe, the only brand of 
commercially available casein paint available).

I have yet to try the paint but it looks like regular paint both in saturation and in texture.

I'll keep you posted as I try different colors.

EDIT: I forgot to mention that I only used half of the casein preparation for 125 cc. of pigments. Next time, I'll get 250 cc., use all the casein and fill my 110 ml tube.

EDIT #2: Hahahahahahaaaa! LOL! My paint's rotten! I used the tube 12 days after mixing it and it was ok. 7 days later, though, it smells like a cow barn... in a bad way. I threw it away. I have to find a preservative or a stabilizer to add to my casein if I want to keep my paints longer than 2 weeks.

30 janvier 2014


Dorian Vallejo wrote that the most patient, understanding and available model you can have is always yourself.

Had fun here. I'll definitely hire this guy again for a portrait session.

17 janvier 2014

Subway Doodling

This woman looked nicer than on my drawing... I guess an angle in the mouth I caught at some point didn't help...

From Laurier Station to Rosemont, black Prismacolor in a Moleskine sketchbook.

16 janvier 2014

Fan Art Progress

Here's a detail of the line art for my fan art piece.
It's Mike Mignola's Rasputin.

I'm having a blast working on the gloves. Charcoal on masonite.