Month: April 2015

WIP Shots of Repainted Ballerina in Spotlight #4


Painting in some of the first values. I almost always paint over everything anyway, so
this is more to get down the shapes. Clearly, the skin tone is off. You can see the heavy
texture in the tutu.

Je suis en train de peindre des premières couches des valeurs. Je presque toujours peins
sur tous, alors c’est plus pour dessiner les formes. Évidemment, la teinte de peau n’est
pas correcte. Vous pouvez voir la texture épais sur le tutu.

WIP Shots of Repainted Ballerina in Spotlight #3

I have to admit what I started doing here is a bit weird. I was trying to build texture with some left over paint on my palette, considering I will cover it anyway. Now, this came out too thick and globby, and I ended up cutting it off with an exacto knife. My boyfriend made sure to let me know how bad of an idea this was the whole time. I wanted
to have texture in the tutu, but it was far too heavy and out of place.

Je dois avouer quoi que j’ai commencé ici est un peu bizarre.J’ai essayé à bâtir de la texture avec le reste du jaune sur ma palette, étant donné que je vais la couvrir plus tard. J’ai essayé à bâtir de la texture avec le reste du jaune sur ma palette, étant donné que je vais la couvrir plus tard. Vu que c’était tellement épais, j’avais dû
l’enlever avec un couteau. Mon chum assurait de m’en faire savoir que c’était une idée stupide. J’aurais voulu de la texture dans le tutu, mais c’était tellement épais et pas comme il fallait.

Close up:



WIP Shots of Repainted Ballerina in Spotlight #2

If you’re looking at a thumbnail, this probably looks exactly the same, but it’s the line sketch I put down to mark the figure.

Si vous le regardez comme un thumbnail, ça pourrait ressembler le dernier image, mais c’est les lignes de la figure que j’ai dessiné pour la marquer.

0122Something seemed off, so I rotated the painting and considered it from a different angle, then realized that the legs are too small for the body. I fixed them.

Quelque chose n’était pas correcte, alors j’avais tourné le tableau et j’ai réalisé que les jambes des corps étaient trop courtes. J’ai les corrigées.


WIP Shots of Repainted Ballerina in Spotlight #1

So, it’s time to post some shots of the painting process for this ballerina painting that I finished this winter and that I have been circulating online and even in exhibitions.

The inspiration behind this painting: The very first painting I did on a canvas* was actually a ballerina for a friend, who kindly paid me $50 to do it despite my complete lack of acrylic painting experience or experience working with clients at the time. I remember finishing the painting within 5 or 6 frantic hours, where I stressed about trying to make it “good”. Before that, I was nervous and did several prep. sketches. This actually hasn’t changed much over 10 years… I still shit my pants every time I have to paint something for someone else, because I really care that they like it and don’t want the final piece rejected.

*Apparently, I put watercolour paper on my website. My memory is kind of faded of this, but I really feel like it was on canvas. I don’t know. Eitherway, first acrylic commission.

Here’s one of those sketches, for anyone interested. I’d be happy to sell this, as I still have it. 8″x11″, frame or no frame.

Here’s the painting I painted for her. THIS IS NOT FOR SALE. DON’T ASK. Oh my god, someone ALWAYS asks. Why is this painting so popular? I will HAPPILY paint you your own ballerina, but this one is GONE. Unlike my other work, I can’t make prints of it either because this is before I knew what I was doing, so all I have is a potato quality JPEG.

So after 10 years of practicing and learning about art and not having painted in acrylics in a long time, I decided to revisit this subject. There’s lots of things I didn’t like about the original painting: mainly, the stiff, inaccurate anatomy and the muddy, dull colours. There’s just the feeling I felt while painting it that I didn’t like: it doesn’t feel good finishing something and thinking “this is okay, I wish I could do better”. Interestingly, I’m learning that kind of discomfort is important. If you’re too comfortable, it probably means you are not being critical enough of your work and not improving. There’s always the inverse – something I have problems with now: I am too critical and mostly of the wrong things, so I end up with a painting that is overworked and lost its vibrancy and life. I’ll talk about what I learned from this painting more later on.

The first step, aside from research sketches and collecting reference photos, was to lay in the background of the stage.


Hiatus, Problems with “Samples”

It’s quite evident that I have not been posting for several months. My excuse this time is major video projects and because I got upgraded into a French writing course, which meant I had some 2-7 hours of writing homework. I just couldn’t get myself to sit down, think about this blog, and write in English. When studying a language intensively, it sometimes becomes hard to think, write, read, or speak in your primary language. Usually, it’s the opposite, where I just can’t formulate anything in French out of sheer mental exhaustion in that part of my brain. Anyways, I am lucky I can spend most of my days right now learning. I really don’t look forward to taking that day job to pay the bills and being back in that monotony. It depends on the job, of course.

I want to let everyone know that whoever finds us a returning client for video gets a percentage kicked their way for a year on projects. We’re not really decided on the percentage, but it’ll be something we’ll deem worth your time. So, if you know someone who needs video work, motion design, colour grading done and has money to pay for it, send them our way:

Since this has been an issue for us lately, we don’t do spec. work. Here’s some informative links my partner found on this subject. Link 1, link 2, link 3.

There’s very few projects we’d genuinely say we’d work for free, and there’s very few excuses you can give us for why we should work for free. It most often comes up that a “sample” is requested. In the most recent and serious case, it was during a second job interview, where all portfolios and demoreels had already been reviewed, so there would be no other reason for this other than to collect free ideas. It was not a 30-90 minute test either, it was something that would’ve required several hours of work. Let me be clear: this is incredibly unprofessional and insulting.

I believe I talked about this before, but it’s so obvious someone is trying to shop around and clearly has no idea what the job entitles or what they want if they need to ask for a sample. There are cases where a sample is asked for as a proposal, which in my books is fine because it is usually a write up or a simple sketch and it’s for a several thousand dollar large project that requires a lot of commitment from both parties. Most of the time, when I am personally asked for a sample, it’s for a client that is not going to pay more than $500, $200, or even $100, so it is a pure waste of my time to do a sample. Often, they also want a sample that’s going to look like the finished product. What? So you basically want me to do the whole project, call it a “sample”, then decide whether or not you want to pay for it? That’s shady and shitty of you. I pretty much always say no and let them roll off my back, unless the person agrees to pay for the sample itself. In my experience (ohh some 10 years or more of freelancing), the clients who waffle and who ask for ridiculous things like this cause the most problems. They’re the ones who want the most changes, who ask for impossible changes too late in the process, who just can’t make up their mind or don’t pay in a timely fashion. Everyone I ever worked with who looked at my portfolio and hired me on the spot was always great to work with: they understood the process, they understood why it costs why it costs, they didn’t try get me to give them discounts or held out my payments for months; they were just timely, understanding, and a pleasure to work with.

I think in the future, I will write several articles talking about different things like the process of creative work so everyone understands why we do things the way we do them. I know I ramble in here about it, but I really need something I can point people to.

Anyway, I have several art events I want to post about and tonnes of updates, so stay tuned. I will slowly start rolling things out and catching up. You can always keep track on my website or one of my many other social media pages that are unfortunately easier to update (I really prefer having a blog). I’ll also be posting some of my French writing, if it’s of interest to anyone.