AUTUMN with Patrick Masson

Hello everyone,

Today i will speak about a very special project we have achieved with my friend Patrick Masson. It is an original idea from him, that he has in mind since a long time. It's a poetic scene, far away from the barbarians or monsters we are used to see in our little world. After the MSS 2014 and driving our way back home, Patrick explained me his idea and asked if i would like to paint it... I felt really honoured because he is such a great sculptor and i always loved his works. I couldnt say no :) .

So the basic idea is an autumn thema based piece, with a little girl dancing in the leaves, creating a whirlwind that reveals a spirit. The final result looks very simple, but the work involved behind was very complicated. Patrick will explain the sculpting process himself (probably on Facebook), so here i just show you the finished green. 

To be honest, when Patrick gave me this i was scared. So many leaves on a pretty big base and the spirit is sooooo delicate. I wasnt even sure it was paintable without destroying it. That made two major difficulties: how not to break it and how to make it easily readable to the eye. 

First and fortunately, the spirit and the girl were removable from the base so i could paint them separetely. Both Patrick and i agreed the girl had to be the focal point of the scene, it's quite obvious. As during autumn the leaves turn to browns, reds or yellows, i decided to dress her in turquoise. I love those "simple" contrasts of complementary colors. As i said before the scene isnt complicated, it's basically a little girl and a lot of leaves. That's also why i decided to stay sober in the color choices. I thought it would help to achieve a readable result.

Chronologically i started painting the focal point, the girl. I first gave her some basic colors with the airbrush (on the jacket, skirt & face), before working with the brush. It's not the kind of piece you can paint a lot of freehands on and anyways it wouldnt have added anything to the final result (in my opinion). The only minimal freehand was on the beetle boots that Patrick wanted :) . Here are some WIP's, sadly i didnt photograph more steps with my phone :

Time to start painting the base, i mean the leaves. Some of them had to stay in the shadow when others had to pop out. So i mainly focused on the ones that create the whirlwind around the girl. The leaves on the ground will remain dark, as if they already started to break down into the soil. The watchers have to see the girl and to understand the wirlwind and the spirit, the rest doesnt matter so much and can be left blurred. Sadly i just have two early wip pics of it :

Finally it was time to paint my biggest fear, the spirit. As i said before it's very very fragile, because it's only made of resin leaves glued together. There is no armature in it. So on the first try when i wanted to basecoat it with the airbrush, it bent so hard that i was afraid it breaks. I had to stop and build an armature around it, so it supports the aibrush breeze and the upcoming brushstrokes. 

Once done (as you can see on the pics) i could finish the priming and start adding colors. The first colors have been airbrushed and then the leaves have been painted 1 by 1 with the brush. Once again i had to be very careful with it to not press too hard while painting. Being extremely focused to not make a awkward movement was quite tiring.

After multiple hours, there is the final result :


In the end, it was the most interesting and difficult piece i ever had to paint. And also the first one to really scare me... Thanks again Patrick for your trust :) .

If you have any questions about the process, feel free to ask. Cheers!


2 commentaires :

  1. Fantastic, I will never tell you enough how much I'm happy to have done this project with you.
    Thank you

  2. So amazing. Makes me want to paint a piece for my children.