A comic page Moebius style
Based on an original song by Benoît, available on Youtube . The project lasted 3 months, it is explained in blog section. Music and clip can be downloaded from this page .
You can watch the song (6 mn) on this link .
A modular page
You have the final rendering opposite. It is large: 1 meter 20cm high, 90cm wide. Yes, it's very big, bigger than a poster.
And the page is modular: the 3 lines that compose it can be arranged horizontally. We then go from the comic book page to a large fresco 2.60 m long and 40 cm high. It is according to the desire.
The story told
Of course, it is better to listen to Benoît's song, with his music.
In a few words, it is a dialogue between 2 people who set out for a long journey, on an ocean of life sometimes unleashed, but also dark and motionless. The story of an adventurous couple who brave the storm, sink into the abyss or float among the wreckage of proud, quartered ships.
There are several common threads in the comic book representation:
- The couple, who disappear in the first 2 paintings when leaving to embark, and who return after the shipwreck, by sinking into the depths of the sea, then in close-up in the last painting
- The boat, cheerful and quiet on the 2nd table, then brave facing the waves, and broken at the start of the 3rd module
- The sea, represented in each painting in different states, and according to the text of the song
- Daylight, starting from the first rays of the sun, to arrive at night after a whole day
- Venice, from where the adventurers leave and where they return .
Black & White
All drawings are prepared on the digital tablet. I like to know where I'm going before I take my brushes
In the previous series (Ricochet, Mecanat), I honed the technique of composition on digital drawing, by hatching dark areas, and placing my drawings, which I can then adapt to the size of the sheet of paper.
On this project, I also pre-composed the whole series, to have a general view on the pagination and the unfolding of the story. While moving to the final realization, each drawing was adjusted and taken again, but the unfolding remained faithful to the original intentions.
Before painting the first painting, the flow of the entire page had been defined. The fact remains that going from a preparatory sketch to a realization changes the point of view.
What was decided was the layout: a couple on a gondola, which we see on 3 occasions, disappear towards the horizon, until the frigate of 3 masts which awaits them at the end of the Grand Channel.
It was also planned to leave Venice, because Italy was speaking to us, and the costumes had to give a characteristic silhouette to the 2 characters. A tubular hat for the gentleman, a triangular headdress for the lady.
During the realization, I was interested in the luminosity. Everything starts from the sky in watercolor, and I designed a backlight that would bring an orange and mauve sea, with the buildings in a slight backlight.
On the left, the sun floods the windows with gold and purple rays. The rays of the sun make the junction of the first 2 images and accentuate the perspective. The sea is treated differently, polychrome on the 1st painting, melted on the 2nd.
The position of the young woman tells the story of the couple: first at the front of the gondola, as a figurehead sucked in by the adventure, then seated facing the gondolier, and finally at his side, hugging him. These are different representations of an adventure that begins between 2 people.
Winks: They are present in every image. Here, a cat on the left, and a mandolin player on the right.
Once the couple have boarded, they set sail. In the text, "We opened the routes we drew the maps / Of the unknown continents that nobody trod / Throbbing chest and eyes open wide"
A beautiful morning light, with a cloudless sky, synonymous with hope and optimism.
The 2nd painting is in reverse color of the 1st. This can be seen on the dome of the Church of Salvation, whose blue roof turns white.
Winks: seagulls of Richochet.
And then the sea: "We loudly braved the hurricanes
When the sea was proud
When she was shaking us
When she was splashing us
Remember how we loved her "
The sky, the boat, the ocean. No wink, just the 3 elements.
To stay in the comic book style, I broke the water into 2 big waves, taken up by mountain silhouettes, and drawing very fine drops.
The waves are painted in winsor blue-shade and ultramarine blue. The sky is heavy, painted in winsor green-shade blue, darkened by Van Dyke brown, and which I have further shaded with violet quinacridone (to arrive to black).
In the previous drawing, the boat was breaking the waves. Now the sea takes over
"We have seen so many ships that capsized
Dragging to the bottom tons of regrets
And we poor sailors
Have still the sea to drink and our eyes to cry"
This painting is the hinge of the board. In the last 3 paintings, the boat was represented alone, there were no more characters.
Note that the boat is presented from a different angle each time: seen from the front when leaving Venice, from below when it breaks the waves, from behind when it is swallowed up.
Pivotal drawing because the characters return. I spoke with Benoît for a long time, and we had this idea of placing a character emerging between two images. accentuate the transition, the aspect ratio of the bottom image is very stretched (the proportion is 6/29). And to transcribe the bottom of the ocean, the colors tend towards the blue.
Coming back to the sinking boat, the painting is very detailed, but the composition is simple: an immense wave that submerges the frigate, under a sky that turns from gray to light pink. The most detailed part is the wave itself, especially behind the boat.
Wink: the name of the boat, Ellipse.
This part of the song is the tragic moment, you can read the text. When she leaves you exhausted, naked on a sandbank / Beside a beloved one devoured by crabs / What hassles us so hard to want to start again ?
I came across this photo of boat people, I grabbed the positions and put them on my board.
For the composition, the elements are quite simple:
- A fiery sky, painted comic book style: the outlines of the main shapes are marked with the liner
- The sea, in very soft tones, bordered here and there by barely sketched rocks
- The silhouette of the boat in monochrome and cold tones. In fact, the boat is very detailed.
- The characters in the foreground, against the light, and leaving the frame.
You and me
We end with the characters. The text :
When life silts up and becomes stagnant
When she's only got the wave left of what she can sing
Some say then that life is disenchanting
I would rather say that we have to forgive her
When at night my life comes haunting my dreams
She never comes alone, you're standing by my side
I had organized a kind of hide-and-seek throughout the board with the characters. They appeared but not completely.
The teasing ends with a kind of Selfie , like you can take in the evening. It is the game of the narrator "I do not show you, and then there".
The woman is lightly leaning on the man, who is in the background. They hold hands, on the right that of the woman embracing that of the man, on the left vice versa.
The painting is quite large (31X40 cm). This allowed me to texturize each area of the painting to represent this nocturnal light, with a sky that was ultimately very clear, and a darker city in the background (Venice!).
The painting is very vertical, with the 2 characters caught on foot. I added diagonals, taking the perspective and putting two other protagonists next to each other: a cat and a rat. The rat is a wink in reference to In the Style Of. Another wink, the mandolin player who returns to the left of the table.
Thanks to Benoît for lending me his song, the project was fascinating for us 2.
To follow, perhaps, a remix of the song.