Open the door to unexpected


12 seasons in music

Artistic trio to color the months of the year

Olivier offers a cycle of 12 songs (1 per month) using the symphony orchestra. Each illustrates, at the end of a short film soundtrack, one of the months of the year.

The music is an album called Emoi et mois which you can download .
Loriane and I have undertaken to produce the illustrations for this album, listening to each piece to capture the imagination and transcribe it on a square of 26x26 cm.
Loriane does the concepts, in line with his Contrasts graphic designs, which you can find on her own site.
For my part, I move the drawing to watercolor, bringing the colors and the style of the watercolor.

Clip on Youtube


December, winter is coming


On this first drawing, of which you can see the draft at the beginning of the article, we have settled the principle of the series. To suggest without being figurative, to vibrate by contrast an emotion, born of music.

I find myself well in the alliance of cold tones (blue gray) melancholic, which complements well the warm tones (red brown) which vibrate more. By examining the progress of your versions, I confirm that the color and textures of watercolor are a plus in my eyes.

Likewise the combination of a body folded on itself, but which could deploy, following the ascending lines for example ...

This is the idea of my series: a time, a combination of emotions associated with it.

18th April Olivier


Draft December, Loriane


January, Ice Queen


In this second drawing, we have kept the principle of checkered contrast, but the lines represent the glass, and the tones are softened to resume the reflection of the snow. The 1st version was very pastel, I had to revive it to keep the momentum.

The voices, the solemn, radiant music, but also the lens of the flute and vibraphone, and the softness of the clarinet, the melancholy of the cello, the horn and the oboe...

19th avril Olivier

Draft January, Loriane


Draft 2 January, Loriane


February, the mountain


In February, we struggled. Loriane's essays on the right to represent the mountain and the forest. But the drawing does not appear clearly. Then the watercolorist rushes into space, and describes an imaginary and multicolored forest.

Contemplating the series of the first 4 months, I regret for February, which I love: not having kept the graphic thread of the lines and the checkerboard (even if it can be very adapted, as in the ice queen ). Keeping the principle for 12 months can be very restrictive, but abandoning it completely as in the current version of the mountain makes the series lose unity (as the symphony orchestra is the constant of these different pieces).

26th April Olivier

So we made version 3, left.

Excellent mountain / forest fusion. I like the color treatment on the peak (blue with surface effects). The graphics give the complexity that suits the mysterious side.

5th MayOlivier

Draft February, Loriane


Draft 2, February, Emms


March, The warrior awakening


The warrior awakening was obvious to Loriane. The drawing came to the first sketch. Hooker's green, cadmium orange, pale yellow and a touch of blue winsor green shade for watercolor.

A centered composition, the silhouette in the foreground, assertive, the green… it corresponds well to the assertive side, posed, the slow and marked rhythm of the music.
And the ascending curves, the yellow, the flames or the leaves on the sides… correspond well to the brass, to the violins or the clarinet. Despite the title and the intro, very martial, I had in mind a positive, clear track (the alarm clock). Graphics and colors express well the combination of these sensations. Another success!

18th April Olivier


Martial character, Loriane


March grid tests


Avril, Spring is hopping


April is a jig played by the violin. We knew we were going to represent a violinist, and for the round we were influenced by Matisse. For the characters, after seeing the work one taking a pose, the other crobbing it, we took 3D software to take care of the positions and the perspectives.
For the colors, I thought orange and blue, but to stay in the spring season, I switched to green (emerald, hooker) and permanent pink (enhanced with aureoline yellow).

What a whirlwind! The eye hesitates between the dancers' drawings and the abstract patterns of the colors. It has the dynamism and the rhythm of the song, both assertive and light.
The shapes of ellipse and the theme of the round go well together, and make everything spin and skip, like the jitter of the music.

16th MayOlivier


Digital sketch, Loriane


April dance trials


May, How sweet the air is


For How sweet the air is, I immediately thought of dandelion pistils flying away. It's a fairly classic subject, but it had to be adapted to the series. We discussed with Loriane if the dandelion should remain whole or not, how to give the oscillation of the air.
The bottom is not completely white, but yellow (without cadmium) - pale orange. Green is made up of winsor blue, red shade, hooker green and yellow.

Aerial and vegetal, the dandelion graphics are brilliant. Just as while keeping the unity of the series, the checkerboard effects are no longer geometric; it's organic, very in tune with the music.
Likewise the variety of tones in the colorization (from the deepest green to light green,…) responds well for me to the orchestral palette (from the bass clarinet on the flute). The whole is airy (the air is soft) while being structured and assertive, which is the case with music.

11th MayOlivier

Grid tests, Loriane


May digital model, Emms&Loriane


June, Parties and birthdays


June is the month of music day, mother's day, and also the birthday of several family members. We greet the summer with bright and warm colors, the music makes a fanfare swing in the open air. Ultramarine blue, Permanent pink, Orange Winsor, pale yellow.

What a flash of emotions: The tenderness and the intimate of the piano, the fathers and mothers day, birthdays with the characters, the child as a gift ...
And also the pleasure of the party, the brass instruments , with these tones so warm and joyful, the ellipses and the garlands in the sky like fireworks.

22nd MayOlivier

Grid tests, Loriane


Tuba version, Emms&Loriane


July, Honor, Fatherland, values, discipline


July is a national month. With a martial subtitle, Loriane sets off on a parade in front of the Arc de Triomphe. But what does music tell us? Choirs, a growing double bass. We twist the parade to transform the Arc de Triomphe into an opera house. We had 2 versions of double bass, an Internet survey told us which one had the best audience.
Winsor Blue, Winsor Red in solid colors, very national but technical.

Flat colors for July, but bright! the graphics, full of perspective and ascending diagonals, rectilinear, are perfectly in the spirit of the piece. In front of the Arc de Triomphe, I can't help seeing either a concert hall or the bridge of a Royal building seen from the bridge! Like what the work is also in the eye of the beholder!

24th MayOlivier

Military version, Loriane


Concert version, Emms&Loriane


August, One day at the beach


A relaxed atmosphere, a touch of romance; the crescendo / decrescendo suggest waves. In the middle, the piano accelerates everything, like little crabs or children on the beach. The end takes on a more romantic tone like a sunset or a moonlight, a barcarolle at the edge of the water.

24th MayOlivier

For August, we stayed very design (simple, refined), but the gradients are coming back to liven up the shapes.

Loriane had detected the sunset, but with the large white areas, not easy to render. So daylight works better.

Blue: ultramarine blue and manganese blue.
Yellow: pale yellow darkened by violet quinacridone (some pigments also in the deepest blue, pale yellow, a little Winsor orange).
The character: purple quinacridone + ultramarine blue + permanent pink.


Watercourse, Loriane


Grid tests for the month of August


September, Tell your holydays


Color change for turner yellow, quinacridone gold, quinacridone purple, ultramarine tip and permanent rose. Yep, it's fall.

Back to school is the return to school, socialization and ordinary life.
This is an opportunity to embellish it and share it through the story: Tell your vacation, in writing, to your friends and colleagues.
The pleasure of narration is the possibility of declining events in its own way, like each instrument in the orchestra: English horn, cello, horn, flute, and of course the autumn warm-tone clarinet.
The story is expanding, dialogue, branching out and growing with the help of the violins. What stories!

31st MayOlivier

Clarinetist on paper plane, Emms


Preparatory sketches for the month of September


October, Pink


Permanent pink and quinacridone purple to celebrate October.

Obviously Edith Piaf for this cover of Louigui's music!
Strength of character in the face of the trials and feelings for this more feminine piece: The piano, the female voice choir, the English horn, the sliding violins and the clarinet for the key theme at the end.
The pink that pulsates towards the violets, the drapes, and of course the pink October ribbon ... Everything is there for an autumn of emotion and life!

31st MayOlivier

Figure on the stage, Loriane


Sketch for the month of October


November, et lux perpetua


This piece is a requiem sung by choirs. Perhaps this is the reason why Olivier started in December: to be able to finish in November.
Eternal light and perpetual movement, how to put this in pictures? With Loriane, we worked on several concepts: the genre prism The Dark Side of the moon , the endless stairs.
Dominant green (blue shade) and violet Winsor, gold highlights + quinacridone violet.

Shadow and light, perpetual motion and geometric shapes, centered radiation and ascending triangle,… that's the idea of the song: eternity, death, and its paradoxes. On an asserted graphic design, the color completes with nuance and vibration: are we in space, dazzled by an endless sun ... or attracted by a black hole? Here are still visual and auditory emotions well in phases, bet met!

21st JuneOlivier

Drafts of November concepts


Digital sketch for the month of November