Cartes postales démodées

Sunday 24 October 2010

Here we are at the end of a long period of absence from the surface of the internet _ worse: from the world of arts_ although by searching thoroughly there could be some remnants of ancient craftsmanship that could get dug out in order to feed this abandoned blog.
If web pages would get covered by ivy, invaded by weeds, and conquered by lizards and crickets, then we would enjoy to forget them on purpose for a few months, so that they lose a part of their digital coldness.

To begin with the repopulating, we have to rewind back to July ( I will move this article to this date to avoid those blank months when browsing my journal! ). Claire and I had managed to block two weeks in a row to go backpacking around the greek islands. Among my spare belongings I was carrying a postcard-sized watercolor paper bloc, as well as a tube of ochre and another of black.

The first postcard is a view of Sifnos island ( Σίφνος _ just for the pride of showing my awesome knowledge in spelling Greek ). The old fashioned color scheme that I've chosen allow to stay in the continuity of some postcard drawings I did before, but it certainly doesn't translate the mood of the Cycladic Island which are thoroughly blue and white. Our room in the minuscule village Kastro had a bird's eye view of the amazing sea far below. Those dwellings on the postcard were on our left side facing the horizon.

100830 Postcards from Greece by Zancan

On the second postcard, we have some stones remnants lying in the shadow of a tree on the Asklepieion site, on the Kos island. It was sightly away from the impressive place were Hippocrates took his famous oath. The air was really hot and dry, and the midday sun was casting the brightest light all over the place. Under this ancient tree was a haven.

Here somebody caught me while drawing :)
100805 Michael drawing in Lindos, greece
Below is a view of a temple and byzantine church in Lindos, on Rhodes island. There again, a magical place, were one feels privileged, a pencil in his hand, to be able to witness from above both the bluest sea and two centuries of history. ( I didn't take the time to color this drawing yet )

100830 Postcards

The last one is our backpacks; I painted them on the ferryboat deck ( the place where you get thoroughly covered with oil). I didn't always have enough time to complete the postcards on the sites, so I used the often very long boat transits to continue with the inking and the coloring.
I also made a few other watercolors there, but nothing worth being shown actually.

Below is a last one that has nothing to do with Greece. This is a view of Bordeaux, its most famous square the "Place de la Bourse", when one looks up. The reason why I didn't finish it is that they turned off my model's lighting at 1AM. I guess I will have to go back to it someday.

100830_ bordeaux place de la bourse

... That's it, we're done ! :)


Oct. 24, 2010 23:47
Nice! These are some very beautiful postcards, looks like you actually spend some serious time drawing on your vacation. It's something I usually plan when I go on holiday but almost never succeed. I really love your art and your website.
Oct. 25, 2010 0:46
I know that feeling, always bringing every imaginable sketchbook and returning it blank ;) it's not easy to draw in holidays, and you also have to respect the fact that the one accompanying you doesn't necessarily have as much fun as you do while the time goes by. Here I did only pencil sketches on the site mostly, then continued each postcard on spare moments afterwards. I also took photo references to remind me some of the values for later coloring.
Jan. 3, 2011 21:03
Hey Zancan
Can you tell me how you paint? Do you use a picture or first set many pictures into one then paint it or do you do it from Imagination?
Please do answer im eagerly waiting for your reply
Im an artist as well im quite good but i think im zero if you do it from your imagination
Jan. 9, 2011 17:29
These postcards were painted on-the-spot. There's little creativity in those (except the rendering maybe) but it's excellent practice to draw from life. The oil paintings I do are done in studio however, mostly from imagination (i've learnt a bit of anatomy) but using references sometimes ( I use live references for people more often now). There is no 'pure' imagination, everything is based on references of things we've already witnessed. Imagination only stitches bits of reality together in a personnal order.
Oct. 10
24/10/2010 Cartes postales démodées