COLORED PENCIL Magazine November 2012 [Unlocked by] .pdf

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Art Competition

10 Commission Tips

A Portrait
in 7 Steps
Staying true to you!
FeAtUriNg: SANdy PhiFer
Platte Productions


November 2012
$5.99 USA

into the work of Xavier Pougnon
Self-taught, French artist, Xavier Pougnon, is making his mark in
the colored pencil community and shares with us his approach to,
not only his work in general, but speciically, the thought process
and meaning behind his teraptych “Cups” series.

lthough I have no feel for the material nor for
tools (though I admit the aesthetic interest of my FaberCastell collection, Polychromos), I have a particular fondness for
the colored pencil and am convinced that it is the medium that is
most suitable for my graphic projects. Generally, all drawing tools
are full of qualities but there are also disadvantages that cause a
lot of frustration and discomfort. When seeking pleasure in the
act of painting or drawing, the discovery of this can be found, not
in the act itself, but in those moments when the tip of a pencil is
suspended where a sheet is still blank; where we imagine the work
in progress and where the result is phantasmed.
Based on my experience,
the serious practice of
art is far from being a
mere distraction and it is
definitely not a relaxing
activity. Art requires rigor,
concentration, and a good
supply of energy, regardless
of the nature of the project.
Making a painting is like
putting one in place of a
film crew -- he is be both
screenwriter, actor, director,
p r o d u c e r, h e a d l i g h t ,
decorator, and logistics

and problems to solve. I have to wonder about the relevance of
my remarks on the consistency between what I say and what I
show on the efectiveness of my message. It is much more diicult
than it seems. Take the example of “Cups”. What is the meaning
of this series? What does it say? Why are the cups all centered
on the sheet when there are other options for elegance? Why
these colors? What is the relationship between these cups? What
should be emphasized? he cup? Its content? he surrounding
objects? he complete series should show when the objective of
equilibrium is reached and if the unit is preserved. his is where
the main diiculty in the implementation of a series lies -- to
remain faithful to your subject and maintain focus on the main
character (the cup, which is a little heroine of a series that saw new
adventures, but acts in a world deined and recognizable.)

Again, for me the tool
i s s e c on d ar y. Wh at i s
important is to have a
purpose, an intention, and
a process. I need my work
to be meaningful. I cannot
imagine making a table just
for a “hang out.” In any case,
I am faced with questions

COLORED PENCIL Magazine | November 2012 | 15

into the work of Xavier Pougnon

he other great diiculty is purely aesthetic. Controlling the composition is not easy. Like when
you enter a new place that and the eye is immediately sought by various elements. What you see
may cause discomfort. he composition of a painting, such as decorating the interior of a house or choosing an outit, is dictated by the concerns of capture or to divert attention; to make visible or invisible. A
simple detail can catch the eye -- color, volume, sharpness, a vacuum. . . We must be able to deine the
center of gravity of a work and be able to identify everything that is involved in balance and everything
that upsets this balance. he challenge is to intelligently assemble the creator of its forms and colors in
order to provoke interest in a subject that the artist himself deined. If the object is represented in a table
is as insigniicant as his model, then it is a failure. If, instead, the table magniies a subject that initially
seemed insigniicant, then the bet is won. But this is something subtle and is full of pitfalls. A table seems
to me successful when it reaches what can be deined as balanced, harmonious, elegant, and attractive. I
do not know if I have achieved this goal with four cups, but I have worked for it.

16 COLORED PENCIL Magazine | November 2012 |

I have never expressed the desire to take courses due to idleness, ignorance, or pride. Since earliest childhood, I have qualiied as an “artist” by those around me, without accepting the stereotypes that typically
deine what the meaning of being an artist is. I’ve always found a way to deine an individual by his profession, by activity, by nature, or an act. At what moment is a writer an author? Or a runner an athlete?
Rather than deine myself as an artist, let’s say that it is just my nature to ask questions and to relect on
the meanings of my actions, like control events, patiently, quietly, carefully. I like the idea of being able
to freeze and model a point-of-view or thought. What I ind extraordinary in the art of communication
is the mastery of a language. Of all the ways to verbalize what I feel must be expressed, I choose a visual
way; a way that leaves an imprint; a way that can show what I have to say today and can attest to what I
had to say yesterday. his year I thought of “Cups.”

COLORED PENCIL Magazine | November 2012 | 17

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