Thursday, November 26, 2015

Building a story up

What does come before, the chicken or the egg? What does come before, the idea for a story and then the illustration, or the illustration and then the need to make it live and evolve to build a story? Sometimes it is clear, others I am not so sure. 

The drawing I am posting today is one of these cases where the story and the illustration came together, or maybe the story had been growing up inside me before the drawing came, or maybe I got inspired during my excursions to sketch the little villages around mine. Most probably a bit of everything. 

A while ago I posted an illustration of a little road which inspired a story in which I am working on now. When you work a story out, the first thing you need is a storyboard. That is, a set of simple drawings put in the format of a graphic novel that will mark the evolution of the story. After that one can start doing the serious illustration work, so now I am making different tests of composition, color, characters, and others to define how is the place where this story will take place. Today's illustration is one of these tests. 

What will happen in this little town?

Sunday, November 22, 2015

First snow of the season!

And yes, it was really my last chance to draw without gloves for a while! Between yesterday and tonight we've had the first snow of the season! It is not a lot, but something around 10 cm, and enough to cover everything in white for a while. Already in the morning, the sun came out, and together with soft breeze, it is slowly melting the snow away. So I went out quickly, before the snow in the roofs melts down, to capture this beautiful moment. This is Rue du Jura in Crozet, a little road in my village that I've drawn before, but today I drew it from its top, next to the church, and looking down towards the valley.

Friday, November 20, 2015

House portraits

One of the fun things of drawing in the street is that, sometimes, you get to know people. In general, people who see you is shy, and many not dare to even say hello, because they are afraid of disturbing you. But others, they approach, they look, and comment. I like it very much when this unexpected chat happens. Sometimes, some of these brave ones even ask you if you'd do a drawing of their house, so that's even better :) 

Then, once agreed, I go to see the house, we decide things like the size of the drawing, the view, the season, whether it should be sunny or it doesn't matter, and all sorts of stuff like this. When the day arrives, I go to the house with my little foldable stool, my pencils, pens and watercolor box, and make the drawing. 

The drawing below was done for some friends of mine. They wanted a portrait of their house in autumn, if possible in a sunny day. It was kind of tricky this autumn to get a full sunny day before all the leaves had fallen, as autumn mornings are usually really foggy here, and then days become shorter and shorter, leaving less chance for some sun after the fog opens up. 

After waiting and checking the weather forecast for a couple of weeks, finally a sunny day came up! And so I went with all my stuff and my small sketchbook, and did the drawing in small size so I could finish it before the sun light vanished behind the mountains. Then calmy and once at home I did it big size, and this is what this beautiful house in Thoiry looks like!

Who wouldn't want a portrait of a house like this?

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Before winter comes this weekend...

After working working working, and with everything done and approved, I finally got some time to get out this morning. And I was lucky that I had everything closed today, as there's been many warm sunny days before winter comes this weekend, and apparently, if I trust the weather forecast, today it was my last chance to draw without freezing for at least some time! I had to go to Thoiry in the morning, so after that I continued driving a bit farther, just to the next little town, Fenières, where I found this sunny and open spot with old farms and streets to draw. After I'd finished, going back towards Thoiry, I realized the view of Fenières main road was much nicer from that direction, but that's something I'll draw some other day.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Celebrating with Music 
collection 2015-2016

Again this year time has come to share with you the illustrated card collection for this season! For all of the cards the drawing is hand made, with ink, then I give them color digitally. 
Celebrate with music, and have fun!

Monsters concert

Le cirque

 Fête au cor

Petite Sorcière

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Drawing in Chevry

After a full morning of working in my computer, it did me very good to go out and draw. It is not always possible to find time to scape and draw, but in the end, it is not much, and it pays off. Colors are gorgeous now, even if we're in the middle of a cloud of fog that never seems to leave completely! This drawing is made in a small road in Chevry, a little village next to mine. The road is right where the town ends, and it goes parallel to the forest where the river Allondon has its source. The place is just beautiful. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

In Pregnin, under the cloud

This afternoon I went to Pregnin, a bit further below the mountain moving towards Geneva, but very close to home. A very nice little village where it's easy to find a spot to draw when I don't have much time. So this is Rue du Fierney, which takes its name by the mountain that is in front of it, as does the télécabine that goes up to the ski station in Crozet.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

And finally some sun!

Fog is what defines autumn here. It starts with fog, and the fog only disappears when the snow is about to come, already in December. So one has to get over to the top of the Jura to see the sun on top of the sea of clouds. But, sometimes, the fog opens up in the afternoon, and so it did today! I took the bike and went just to the center of my little town, to draw this old coffee that is not longer a coffee, but an old farm converted into a house. These coffees were quite common in the region over the last century, you can check a bit of its history here: