Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Art of the Brick: A Life in Lego

Nathan Sawaya is renowned for his incredible, sometimes surreal, sculptures and portraits--all made from LEGO bricks. The Art of the Brick is a stunning, full-color showcase of the work that has made Sawaya the world's most famous LEGO artist. Featuring hundreds of photos of his impressive art and behind-the-scenes details about how these creations came to be, The Art of the Brick is an inside look at how Sawaya transformed a toy into an art form.

Follow one man's unique obsession and see the amazing places it has taken him

This spring and summer, Nathan Sawaya art was exposed in Paris. And I was really curious and tempted to go.  Unfortunately, something was always distracting me when I was planning to have a closer look at his work.
And now, I deeply regret it! :-(

So when I've seen the book, after missing my chance to do it for real, I've decided to read it and enjoy his creations.

It's amazing since Lego is a toy, we all have played with at some point in our life. I've appreciated how the author explains why he has decided to build a skull or what he was thinking when creating Yellow and the way the meaning of this sculpture has changed over the time.

"Yellow is not about death at all, but about opening yourself up to the world without fear or reserve. It's about dropping the mask and the hundred of little compromises you make every day to show the world the true you, and letting life come at you as it may."

Nathan Sawaya's creations are impressive but in this book, i've really enjoyed the stories about his life, his depression, his work. It's direct, easy and really add something more to this art book. It's not boring, it's little bit of himself he is sharing to make us understand his art.
Cool artist!

The Red Dress is one of my favorite and Yellow too.

Don't hesitate to read this art book, it will do you some good to the heart and to your art. ;-)

*Arc provided by Edelweiss
I received this book in exchange of a fair and honest review.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Badly need a haircut!

Ok this girl needs a haircut! :-D

Was tring to work on the neck and the shoulder but still not good at coming with the shadows i want to add. 

Will try pastel next year as I'm starting to get frustrated with watercolor. 
On some stuff, it's nice and smooth, on others it's hell. 

Something is not working for me with this medium. Maybe I need to distance myself, have fun and try something else and come back again.
Will see!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Woven Gold: Tapestries of Louis XIV by Charissa Bremer

David, Pascal-Francois Bertrand (Contributor), Arnauld Brejon de Lavergnee (Contributor), Jean Vittet (Contributor)


Meticulously woven by hand with wool, silk, and gilt-metal thread, the tapestry collection of the Sun King, Louis XIV of France, represents the highest achievements of the art form. 

Intended to enhance the king’s reputation by visualizing his manifest glory and to promote the kingdom’s nascent mercantile economy, the royal collection of tapestries included antique and contemporary sets that followed the designs of the greatest artists of the Renaissance and Baroque periods, including Raphael, Giulio Romano, Rubens, Vouet, and Le Brun. 

Ranging in date from about 1540 to 1715 and coming from weaving workshops across northern Europe, these remarkable works portray scenes from the bible, history, and mythology. As treasured textiles, the works were traditionally displayed in the royal palaces when the court was in residence and in public on special occasions and feast days. They are still little known, even in France, as they are mostly reserved for the decoration of elite state residences and ministerial offices.

This catalogue accompanies an exhibition of fourteen marvelous examples of the former royal collection that will be displayed exclusively at the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center from December 15, 2015, to May 1, 2016. Lavishly illustrated, the volume presents for the first time in English the latest scholarship of the foremost authorities working in the field.

Interesting and impressive work of art!

Since I'm interested in art and its different representations, when this book has come to my sight, at first I was afraid it will be a boring one. Because who really want to read about old carpets? o.O?

When in reality, it was a very great read.
This textile art is impressive for its size and often very well detailed that you can ask yourself how complicated it must have been and how much time it must have taken. I have an attachement for realistic drawing and some of Louis XIV tapestries are just fantastic piece of work.

The French King, during is reign, has gathered 304 differents tapestries and was only rivaled by Henri VIII, King of England, in the amount of his possessions.

Coronation celebration and ceremonies, hunting scenes, Old Testament, Mythology or Alexander war stories, angels, nature...

You will discover a lot of amazing scenes as well as some drawings that were made to help the artist to create his masterpiece. Most of the tapestries under Louis XIV brought the art of Renaissance from Rome to Paris and throught the art, you learn a lot about the French history.

It was a great combination between art and history. I'm very glad I've been able to appreciate this awesome collection.

A very good surprise!
Arc provided by Netgalley. I received this book in exchange of a fair and honest review.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Game Art by Matt Sainsbury

"Game Art" is a collection of breathtaking art from 40 video games and interviews with their creators. Featuring major studios like Square Enix, Bioware, and Ubisoft as well as independents like Tale of Tales and E-Line Media, Game Art explores and celebrates the creative process that turns a video game into art.

Art from: Akaneiro: Demon Hunters Alice: Madness Returns American McGee's Alice Atelier Escha & Logy Atelier Meruru Atelier Rorona Atelier Shallie Atelier Totori Bientot l'ete Bladestorm: Nightmare Child of Light Contrast D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die Dead or Alive 5 Deception IV Dragon Age: Inquisition Dynasty Warriors escapeVektor Fairy Fencer F Fatal Frame II Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn flowmo Gamebook Adventures The Graveyard Hyperdimension Neptunia KILLER IS DEAD LOLLIPOP CHAINSAW Luxuria Superbia Malevolence: The Sword of Ahkranox Monster Monpiece NaissanceE Never Alone Ninja Gaiden 3 The Path Samurai Warriors Shadows of the DAMNED Sorcery Saga: Curse of the Great Curry God Spirit Hunters Inc Sunset Tengami

Interviews with: Peter Budziszewski and Tamara Schembri Amy Fredeen and Alan Gershenfeld Auriea Harvey and Michael Samyn Yosuke Hayashi Keisuke Kikuchi Makoto Kitano Mike Laidlaw American McGee Naoko Mizuno and Tsunako Alex Norton Yoshito Okamura Jean-Francois Poirier Guillaume Provost Neil Rennison Jennifer Schneidereit Mavros Sedeno SUDA51 Hidetaka Suehiro Akihiro Suzuki and Hisashi Koinuma Nic Watt Naoki Yoshida"

Not only do video games provide a complete visual and audio experience that rivals any other form of art, they also put players at the center of the action with the ability to control what happens.
Larry Goldberg

Strange and cool!

I know my introduction may be confusing but this book was not at all what I was expecting. I was thinking about a retrospective of the video games. Instead, I got the vision about gaming and how it would evolved from independant artists.
It was interesting and pretty cool to discover other stuff than the usual best sellers.

I'm not a gamer but I've always been attracted by animation and the art behind the programming. So this book was also a good way to have a glimpse into the gaming world without being too scary. ;-)

I've enjoyed the different perspectives about art, inside a game, given by the interviewers. Like Jennifer Schneidereit's vision of a game that should be more about details and beauty than a commercial story. I've also appreciated  her Japanese approach in "Tengami". It’s beautiful.

Like the title of "Purveyors of Beauty and Joy" or the way Auriea Harvey and Michaël Samyn describe themselves and their vision of a video game. The difficulty of joining art and programming and creating a game that will please the gamers and the non-gamer too. Frustrating for them as much as for the people outside the video industry.

So even if it was not what I was expected, it was a cool way to spend an afternoon in company of talented artists.

Have fun reading this book!

*Arc provided by Edelweiss
I received this book in exchange of a fair and honest review.

Friday, December 18, 2015

The duality of silence

The duality of silence

Some nights, all is still and calm
The mind savors the absence 
Of music, of noises, like a balm
You cherish the sound of silence

Clearly thinking, creating, 
No humming, no madness
Gives you wings for dreaming
Without borders, without darkness

Silence can free your soul, 
Heal or smooth your doubts, 
Make you feel wonderful
By coloring your blackish thoughts

Some nights are not so blessed 
Your core dreads loneliness, absence
The mind is acidly stressed
You fear to suffocate in silence

Choking with anxiety, sinking, 
Unable to smile, talk or sleep
You rock back and forth, you’re shaking
Collapsing into a silent hole fast and deep

Since nothing stays still, beauty of the evolution 
You can choose the quiet or the cacophony 
Just don't use sound as a weapon
Too loud or mute, it creates agony

Silence is beautiful when made of gold
Proof of trust and acceptance
Sinister and cold when turned into coal
Can bruise a soul with indifference, words untold 
Don't replace its comfort by silent distance. 

Art: Malo And The Whale. Found on Pinterest.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Coffee break

These are my friend's hands.

I wanted to practice on drawing male hands and without blinking or thinking I was being silly, my friend agreed to send me pictures and being my model. :-D

As the exercice is not easy, especially with a curved surface. Was having trouble while adding the shadows, on the one that is flat on the mug, to make her alive.

The outcome is not bad. Probably some trouble with the proportion but I like it like that.

At first, his hands made me think of a tree.
They are huge, knotty and strong but also nice to look at and very gentle while holding the mug.

Exactly like my friend.
He has a funny temper, a full mouth and a cool personnality. It's never dull to be around him even when he is pissing me off and behaving like an ass.

That's why I like hands, they are telling you a story when you watch and draw them.

And what's best than sharing a coffee with a friend?

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Cheetah Stare

Big Cats
I have a fondness for big cats since I'm a teen. When I've first started to draw again 5 or 6 years ago, their hair, furs and eyes soon have become an obsession.
It's hard to find the texture, to play with the light when working on the moustaches and the beard.

And I remember the amount of time i was spending on them, trying different techniques to succeed.
Then, I became bored as working on it 10 to 15 hours was making me crazy, especially when the outcome was still not what I was looking for.

And even if I still browse and store pictures of lions, tiger on my compturer, because I'm attracted to them the most, this Cheetah has caught my eyes. I wanted something different.
So not Black and White.

A frustration since I would have loved to work on it just with different shades of grey. But I was interested in the color of its eyes. With all the watercolor I've done lately, it seems that colors are growing on me! :-D

I've spend between 6 or 7 hours on it, speeding at the end so I messed up the chin and bottom of the fur. But I was starting to get tired. And since it was an obsessive drawing/meditative one, I couldn't put down my pencil before it was over.

Why do I call it meditative? Since it was based on a pic from Pinterest, I was not into trying to create or imagine something. I was just focusing on the colors, the hair. It was like coloring a mandala or running. You soon find a zone where you are just enjoying yourself without paying attention.

And I can forget my surroundings easily...Burnt my lens for lunch and completely forgot it was dinner time, so end up eating at 10pm. :-)
And it was exactly what I needed since I've slept like a baby after this session.

The drawing have flaws, is empty of emotions since it's more about copying but I like the feeling it has given me. Emptying my mind and living me with contentment. :-D

Thursday, December 3, 2015


Nightmares, memories, I feel empty
In the dead of the night, I call your name
From my sleepy lips, the echo is loud
Bouncing on the walls, bringing me shame
Knowing I’m vulnerable and you are just a cloud
Tonight in the obscurity, your absence is heavy.

Funny how you try to pass an emotion and the reader will see and read something completely different. All the comments I've received where about unrequired love or longing. I was very surprised.
Because there is only one person I call and scream the name out loud when I have nightmares since I'm a child. Someone I still hope I could be comforted by.