Kids teach you humility.

A year ago, I met two young fans at my friends Terri and Peter's home, in Glen Rock.

Well, to be honest I must admit only one out of two of the wonder twins was a huge Spider-man fan. I sat at the table - we were having dinner - and a little before the end of the meal, I saw two lovely blonde girls entering the room.

Not even impressed by the French ( Can you believe it? my charisma has a limit and it's cool that way. )
I was told it was Sylvie ( football Tee shirt ) who was a Spider-man fan. So I started to work my magic.

Hah! She didn't seem impressed at all! Ooooh, the irony...

Nevertheless, I know from experience how decisive a moment like this can be, when a grown up comes to you and says : " I remember when I was ten and you did that drawing in front of me..."

So I made sure I wouldn't crawl under a stone, should that piece show up in a few years on the internet. That's when little Michelle ( pink stripes ) granted me with a " Yeah, he's not too bad! "

Hahah! A good lesson in humility.

It's been a year almost day to day now, and I promised those little Angels I'd post the picture. I am so proud and happy to have you as fans, girls!

Oh yeah, here I thought I had made such a poor impression on the girls and I just learned that they met with Terri this week end... asking what had become of the comic book artist.

BIG HUGS to Sylvie and Michelle, and Terri!

Okay Peter, Big hug to you, too!


Dejah Thoris Part 4

And ...it is complete! Ready for NYCC, right on time.

A close up view, for the technicians...

I call this one " Marching Martians ".


Dejah Thoris Part 3

Here is a commission that will be available at NYCC. It IS NOT DONE, but I can't resist the opportunity to show it here, as a work in progress, since the pencils are already on that blog ...

Voici une autre des commissions preparees pour la convention de New York. Alors oui, bon, elle est pas finie... Mais je la presente quand meme parce que je ne resiste pas au plaisir de lire commentaires, toujours aussi nombreux et constructifs sur ce blog! et puis le crayonne etant deja la, je me suis dit que vous mourriez d'impatience de voir la suite... Sisi, je me suis dit ca...

La grosse commission de l'automne, part 2

Nothing beats going back to traditionnal painting. So so much fun, struggle, pain and fun!
Rien de tel que de remettre les mains dans le cambouis! ca a ete dur, mais je me suis e-cla-te!

It is done. Now I can get myself prepared for NYCC.
Bon maimtenant, faut se preparer pour New York!


Autumn commission/ La grosse commission de l'automne...

Hi guys,

Here is a work in progress of a commission long awaited. I wanted to wait for the last week before delivery to show it here. Ze tease in me, again...
It's always very tricky for me to get back to traditionnal painting, because I am not very patient when it comes to see what the piece is going to look like.
I guess I got used to the quick result a blend of fancy computer FX and textures can do on a scanned line art, as opposed to a piece like this one, which takes time if you want it to reflect your level of skills as well as the different moods you were in throughout the whole process.
My only hope is that it doesn't show too much of the struggle I went through with the likeness, the lighting, the textures, etc...

Make no mistake, I'm struggling on a piece like this!
Not because of the foliage - so many tiny leaves to avoid when painting the different layers that help define the volumes and shape of the body - but more because of my impatience.
As it happens, way too often, I didn't do any prelim.
It is my curse, that impatience.
I feel I would get over so many obstacles - anticipated or not - if I DID what I keep suggesting any aspiring artist to do. Spending time on prelims, to solve possible composition struggles, to anticipate the possible wrong message this color conveys, associated with this other.
When it comes to being alone at my drawing table, with anyone else but me to work with, I just don't feel like going through the whole game of prelims. As much as I like it when I work with a team - let's say, in the animation industry, for example, where it is more of a team effort - I have no problem exchanging views, drawings, ideas, concepts, before getting to the final work. Well, the final work doesn't reflect your personal touch too often, either, in animation, but that is another story...
So anyway, what happens is I'm usually too aware of everything that is already brewing in my brain, ready to spill on the piece i'm doinf alone, in my studio. Alone. with no one to talk to me and say: " Look what I sketched. You might want to go and start again from what I did, since you seem stuck!". Stuck.
Alone. But I can't help it, when I work ( alone ) it feels like: giving it away beforehand, on a prelim, would be lost.

At the same time, it'a a subtle and complex process, because I don't HAVE the image clearly there, in my head, before I even start drawing it. Of course I get a sharper view of what it's going to look like, as I get more shapes, and then details, layed out along the way, but I also try stay opened to what my mood will throw in - at the last minute - to keep the whole object very " alive ", almost on an organic level...
As the piece is going through its very unique full growth, the expansion of it is as much the result of a thought-out subject, as it is of a " go with the flow " philosophy.
Again, it's something I try to keep in balance through the whole building process. But it takes a lot of energy I KNOW I should put somewhere else, sooner, in the whole creative strategy, to achieve a greater piece.

I am just afraid I might get bored putting the finishes on something that misses the raw energy I put on the prelim, or the attempt to render this part of a piece with subtlety or shyness - a quick color wash and voila! - that I might achieve on the color study... I feel like I won't be able to reproduce it or make it as great!
Let's face it, I am a coward. And I'm lazy. I know people wouldn't say or think that of me ( What? Come oooon, Guys! )... But it's there. Just on a deeper, more concealed level.

I rely too much on my memory, and my growing experience, but I can tell it's taking so much of the focus I could use to achieve greater images. Lazy coward.

I am not saying at all I don't like a piece like this! It has a special meaning for the person who commissioned it and I try to make it a personal thing too, everytime. Don't get me wrong! This one is no exception. I just wish I could fight more efficiently that old bad habit o' mine ( Lazy cowaaaaaaaard! ) and deliver a greater piece.

Hopefully, this piece not being finished yet will allow me to change that.

Sometimes, laying it all down, putting words on it, makes it all a bit easier.

So yeah, this blog is my therapy ... So what?


Ca fait un bail.../It's been some time...

Hi faithfull followers!

Hard to deal with a jet set lifestyle, a daily job AND a bunch of web sites to update! Even worse when you lost the passwords...

But I ain't complainin'! Jes hope the goodies I'm bringing here will satisfy yer appetite. A little work in progress for you guys, whether you're pervs or prudish ( are there any here, really? )

This here work in progress of a commission is from a character I am asked to draw more and more these days - Dejah Thoris, a princesse of Mars, love interest of John Carter, a confederate captain that is magically transported to Mars...

Dude, I dunno what this Edgar Rice Burroughs was smoking back in 1912, but it was the real deal!

Okay, let's cup ... errrr... Cut! Cut! CUT to the chase, and remind the visitor that a Dejah Thoris piece was already posted some time ago, on this very blog! Aaaaah technology, my friend...

So I like to tease! So what? This Dejah Thoris piece, once completed, will be available at NYCC in a week. along with a few other stuff, such as a Red Sonja or a Vampirella, as well as a Magdalena.

Hope you like the art!

Salut les fideles,

Dur de gerer une vie de jet-setter et une activite professionelle ET trois ou quatre sites en meme temps! Pire encore quand on a perdu les mots de passes!
Mais enfin, je ne cherche pas a me faire plaindre, j'espere juste que le biscuit que j'apporte calmera la faim de tous ceux - et ils sont nombreux, je le sais! - qui guettent avec une assiduite qui force le respect, la mise a jour de ce blog, que les americains nous envie ( en fait, ils s'en foutent! )

Anyways, comme on dit dans la langue de Cervantes, voici un petit " en cours de fabrication " qui ravira les plus obsedes d'entre vous et fera pousser des cris d'orfraie aux plus pudibonds ( Ah bon, y'en a ici? Dommage... )

Ce dessin represente un personnage qu'on me demande de plus en plus souvent - et quand on ne me le demande pas, je le dessine aussi, la preuve! - Dejah Thoris, une princesse de Mars, interet amoureux du heros des aventures martiennes de John Carter, capitaine de l'armee confederee americaine assez bizarrement transporte la bas...donc.

Je sais pas ce qu'il fumait, Edgar Rice Burroughs, en 1912, mais apparement c'etait de la bonne came!

Bon, pour revenir a nos mel... moutons, precisons juste qu'il y a sur ce blog un post plus ancien relatif a une edition personelle de ce meme ouvrage ou apparait Dejah Thoris pour la premiere fois.

Ceci est un avant-gout des commissions que je compte proposer a la convention de New York, dans une semaine.

En attendant, " Enjoie! " comme on dit encore en castillan!


Tiger Queen

A commission I did some time ago. Will be completed in colors sometime this year, by the model herself. How cool is that?

Une commission que j'ai fait il y a peu. La version finale, en couleurs, sera disponible dans un prochain recueil de dessins, principalement mis en couleurs par le modèle elle-même. Elle est pas belle, la vie?


catching up on doodles...

Hi there, long time since I posted doodles. A little something from the Parisian subway, one from fellow artists Mike Choi and Eric Canete in Chicago, time off from the Convention, and the last one on my way from Tahiti to Moorea... Enjoy!


Deja Thoris Sketch. Part 1

THIS f.....g made my day! Will Allred, a collector of ( character ) Deja Thoris art and his lovely wife Stacey, made me a very special gift: a hardcover limited edition of ( only 6 of them Earth and Barsoom included! ) Edgar Rice Burroughs' "A Princess of Mars " with a sketch he got from me! Of course, Expert in Martian Arts Adam Hughes' in it too, How could it be otherwise? The bottom line is, we delivered art to someone who's so appreciative of the talents he wanted to thank us for the good work... Well, That's a helluva great gift you did to us, Will! Thank you so much for coming up with this great idea and granting me with such an honor!

Alors celle-là... Si c'est pas la classe! Un collectioneur de dessins basés sur l'univers créé par Edgar Rice Burroughs - le Papa de Tarzan- est venu me voir à ma table pour m'offrir une édition limitée du roman " Une Princesse de Mars ", mais contenant les sketches que certains artistes ont fait pour lui. Et j'en fait partie! Déja Thoris est un de mes personnages favoris depuis que je l'ai decouverte ( et plus d'une fois, devrais ajouter - ma modestie dusse-t-elle en souffrir... ;) au debut des anées 90. J'ai toujours eu deux énormes raisons de la dessiner avec plaisir. Enfin voilà, quoi... tout ça pour dire que ma representation d'une de leur plus sublime ambassadrice figure a présent dans les chroniques Martiennes...


MockingBird origins pencils.

Pencils for an Origin page of a Marvel character. Fun to work on. Especially the Skrulls. I like it when I get to reshoot a scene that readers light have seen in the actual story with the characters. As on panel 4. This was made after Leinil Yu's secret invasion version. Trying to stay true to the original art and bring my own stuff in it. Hope I succeeded. I got Julien Hugonnard-Bert to ink this for Marvel. Not a new-comer but that is his first assignment for the House of Ideas. Watch it, True Believers, this guy might as well become the next great inker for the upcoming decade!

What's cooking?

Had this one in my mind for a long time. Jason's idea to display a fake menu for the rates was great but I wanted to push the design a little bit further. I'm glad this is ready right before flying to Kansas City. A good way to test it...

Ca faisait un bout de temps que je voulais modifier un peu la bonne idée que Jason avait eu de faire un menu pour les prix des sketchs en convention... Mais on avait fait ça à la va vite. Je pousse l'idée un peu plus loin, en espérant que ça ne sente pas le réchauffé...

Scarlet Witch Con Sketch... Done at home!!!

Didn't have time to finish those sketches in Orlando... I don't do that too often, but I had this image in my mind I didn't want to let go. So I fixed it on paper.

Je ne fais pas ça souvent, mais quand j'ai sur les bras des sketchs que je n'ai pas pu faire sur le lieu de convention, je les fais à la maison... tranquille. Celui là, j'avais l'image tellement inscrite dans mon esprit que je ne voulais pas attendre trop, de peur de la perdre. Alors je l'ai fixé sur papier.

invitation. part 2


Con sketches from Orlando... Des crobards de la convention de Orlando.

I did those in Megacon, and decided to play a little bit with the textures I gathered or made myself, to give the usual worn out look.

This one just had a blue filter layered over.


Des petits trucs faits à Orlando...Little doodles in Orlando

This Darth Talon is one of the first con sketches I did at Megacon, Orlando, just today. Didn't get to do many, but I had a great time on the piece. As always when Gary comes to me with those Star Wars characters to draw, it's something I know I'll really enjoy drawing.

That Batwoman for Darby is not too shabby either... Can't wait to see what tomorrow has in store for me!


Blazing Saddle!

Karine, mon premier modèle et la personne qui a cru en moi depuis le début, se prête - trop rarement - au jeu de la pose pin-up. Vous êtes comme moi, vous vous dites que vous voudriez qu'elle le fasse plus souvent, non?

Karine, my first model and the person who never doubted my art would lead me where I am now, kindly accepted to strike the pose for me one more time. I'm sure you'd love her to do that more often, right? Well, someone has to work, ya know? She's also my colorist, every once in a while. Might be colored versions from her, on some of my drawing for the Pin-up Girl Book. Quien sabe?

Zatanna comes to life. Part 2

On se rapproche de la version finale du costume de Zatanna, le personnage que je dessine depuis quelques mois maintenant pour DC comics. Avec un modèle comme Sandra C, la moitié du travail est déja fait, vous ne trouvez pas? Le chapeau de la Reine de la Magie lui va comme un gant - Si tant est que cela veuille dire quelque chose...
Une tête bien pleine dans une tête bien faite, Sandra la multi-casquette a plus d'un tour dans son chapeau... Allez donc jeter un oeil sur sa page Myspace en cliquant sur l'intitulé de ce post.

Getting closer to completing a comicbook-accurate version of Zatanna's costume for the next millenia!
Once you've found the right model for it, I'd say half the job is done! Sandra C. is a professional model, singer, perfomer that instantly fitted in the hat of the Mistress of Magic. Working with her is a delight. Go check her facebook ( Sandra Cardot ) or Myspace, by clicking on the title of this post.

Une vue avec la cape. Ce n'est toujours pas la version definitive du costume, mais on s'approche. Manquent les cuissardes et le gilet satiné/doré...

Here is a view with the cape. Eagle eyes may notice that the high boots are still missing ( but Hey! We have the fishnets! ) The costume is not completed yet.

Sandra est le modèle qui a servi pour le dessin du précedent post. Mais vous aviez remarqué, j'en suis sûr...

Sandra is the model for the Pin-up Art below. But I'm sure you'd noticed that, too..


Dessins, dessins! Tn'A stands for Table and Art...

De retour sur mon terrain de prédilection... Le dessin au crayon! Vous pensiez quoi? Bande de perverts?
Plus sérieusement, une des premières pierre a l'édifice de l'année pour moi: un projet de bouquin d'illustration de pin ups. Je retarde la mise en place de ce projet depuis des décennies! Sisi, je vous assure... Ceux qui me connaissent bien sauront de quoi je parle. Un peu de manque de confiance en soi, deux ou trois grammes de travaux alimentaires, un gros quintal de flemme... Mais la conscience du temps qui passe trop vite, les opportunités de mener à bien ce projet, les rencontres précieuses, la fierté qui en prend un coup, quand je vois les potes y arriver - simplement parce qu'ils s'y mettent! - me portent definitivement vers ce but, et avec de l'appétit, encore. Et vous, vous la sentez la faim de loup de Tex avery?

Back to basics, folks! I meant pencil drawing! What didja expect, ya pervs! Seriously, the mojo's back and this image can be seen as a stepping stone to this years' personal project: a Good Girl Art book. A project of decades in the making, no BS... My fellow french buddies who've known me for quite some time now, could concur on the following. Missing self-confidence at times, distracted by an interest for animation and its assignments that paid the bills, A fair amount of laziness...
And then you get mixed notions of time; the one that flies by, the one that bring great opportunites to actually do the stuff. Decisive encounters, too. Not to mention hurt pride, when you see your buddies who are already there - why not me? -, everything drives me to that project. And with Tex Avery's wolf's appetite! Can you feel it too?


Zatanna comes to life. Part 1

Hey fellas, long time no see, or read or whatever! Missed quite a few occasions to tell you more about li'l ole me, but, as always, I'll catch up sometime. Anyhoo, here is my latest field of interest: creating, on my spare time, an outfit based after the design of the character I'm drawing these days. The name's [Zatanna] and she's a super hero/magician in the DC Universe. I thought it would be cool to have a model don the costume and stand around at our booth during conventions, to promote my work on the title.
So let me show you the work in progress that will eventually lead us to a sexy girl in a costume that includes fishnets! ' nuff said!

First, of course, everything begins with a sketch, so that I can explain what I have in mind to my friend Marylise. She accepted to help me on this project by sewing the whole thing together. And man, thanks to her skills, this costume is going to be simply awesome!

A week or so before, we went to the fabric district in Paris, to get the right stuff for Zatanna. She deserves the best. Geez, those chicks don't come in cheap, ya know? Anyway... We had the silky black fabric for the outside and a red satin for the inside. You know when you've found excatly what you had come for. This was no exception for Maylise and I agreed on the rolls of fabric

So i drew quickly and handed the doodles to her, she made a few changes and suggestions to make the cutting easier, the folds more ample... That was my main concern: I wanted heavy folds on the cape so that it'd convey a sense of wider stature to the character.
Once we agreed on how long every part should be, we started measuring on the paper that would serve as a guide for the cutting. and drew a pattern.
As you will see later, the cape consists un two longer pieces in the front -so that idealy, the cape, when spreading over the shoulders, would be in the shape of a butterfly ( that's me tapping into my feminine side, now let's move on... ) - with a tail as in a tux, that would accentuate the butterfly feel... Here we indicate with different colors, what would be the extra fabric we need for the hem ( black ). The brim of the cape being indicate in red.

Marylise started to cut ( while I was still cutting... She's faster, no hesitation, no flaw of the hand... when I was shaking, afraid to ruin the pattern or later, the fabric! )

It's a task of patience... pinning the pattern to the fabric, in order to cut the exact shape you've just designed ( make that thirty minutes ago... I said I was slow, and afraid to miss! )

So I'm a joker, so what? Meet Zatanno, mortals... And cower!

We were so busy cutting the fabric that none of us thought of taking picture of that moment... sorry guys.

Just know that it went well... And that Marylise started to pin the four pieces of the back together ( two black pieces to red for the inside, shall I remind you... ) to get a glimpse at what it should look like, in the end... after all, we are only half-way done: there's still the whole sewing process! " It's the easiest part. " she says...

So here's what it looks like so far. Not bad... I can see we are on the right tracks. Note: the fabric is not as shiny as one would expect. Of course, fellas and fellettes! We work inside out, to keep the good side of the cloth protected!

After a fex hours in the afternoon, I had to run out and thought Marylise would wait for another session together to finish the cape... But she was so excited in working on sucha unique piece, that she went on with it! she kept sending me text messages on how much she enjoyed helping me with this! She sent me pictures in the evening, to show how it looked once completed.

On the back view below, you'll notice the tux tail.

We're gettign closer and closer to a pretty nifty Zatanna costume, wouldn't you say?
I told her to take a few pictures on the next day, with a top hat that I knew her boyfriend had. She also had a bow tie that fitted to a T!

Voilà, Ladies and Gents! More pics to come soon, for we are trying to have this costume ready for the french con in February! Not to mention these will hopefully be with the model who's actually going to wear it there... heheh. Behave, boys!