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?

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