Friday, November 02, 2012

Pastel demo PSEC 2012

This is a pastel demo done at Ogilvy's in Montreal. About over an hour of work. Model is PSEC president Reine Goodrow. Denis jacques, Ann Rochefort and Juan Cristobal also did a version.
portrait of Reine Goodrow
Juan Cristobal's work (left) and Ann Rochefort (right)
Denis Jacques (left) and myself (right)

Practice and Process by Armand Cabrera

I remember writing the quote from Bouguereau in my sketch book after reading it in the museum catalog of Bouguereau exhibit in Montreal, 1984. Oh I wish I was in Montreal when that exhibit was on! There is a Bouguereau on display 'seated nude' in the exhibit Once upon a time...Impressionism in the Montreal Museum of Fine Art.

Practice and Process

"Theory has no place in an artist's basic education. It is the eye and the hand that should be exercised during the impressionable years of youth. It is always possible to later acquire the accessory knowledge involved in the production of a work of art, but never -- and I want to stress that point -- never can the will, perseverance, and tenacity of a mature man make up for insufficient practice. And can there be such anguish compared to that felt by the artist who sees the realization of his dream compromised by weak execution?"
William Adolphe Bouguereau

People are always trying to come up with new ways of learning how to draw and paint. Mostly to sell a book or some other block of information to put money in the authors pocket.  This produces an endless stream of media garbage about drawing and painting in two weeks or how to draw trees or horses or smiley faces. It is usually a scheme to remove the long hours of practice from the equation.

Students spend their time seeking the magical pencil or brush that their favorite artist uses. They are looking for that one brand of paint or canvas to solve their problem. They believe that with the right materials they will be freed from the drudgery of miles of repetitive work needed to succeed.  

The real process of drawing and painting is learning to see in a way that strips away preconceived notions and symbols we accept as truth but are not. It is also learning control of a chosen medium, hand eye coordination and a keen observation of the world and people around us. It is part memorization and construction of known quantities of visual information we have collected.

 Representational art has been around for about two thousand years or more in its current iterations and the best systems of training encourage lots of practice combined with curiosity and experimentation. Practice focusing on small tasks and problem solving leads to a synthesis of ideas and craft toward the formulation of the abilities needed to create a work of art. It is a balance of construction, observation and imagination. Too much reliance on any one part or the exclusion of any one produces inferior work in my opinion. In my thinking, art is the synthesis of fact and symbol, each artist mixes those ingredients in their own measure to arrive at a recognizable truth for the viewer of their work.

I remind people of this because lately I see a lot of younger people interested in art get caught up in measuring. They measure their ability, they measure their aptitude, and they measure their perceived talent. They worry their process is not like someone else’s or their work is or isn't (fill in the blank). All this navel gazing is counterproductive in my opinion and just delays the important work needed to be completed to achieve a level of professionalism as an artist.  I think it is better to just work as hard as you can. Keep your heroes and villains and think about how you will accomplish your goals but stay focused on practice and let process develop naturally.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Les Pastellistes 2012

I will be participating once again this year on the annual exhibit of the Pastel Society of Eastern Canada (PSEC). I will be doing a live demo together with master pastelliste Denis Jacques and Ann Rochefort just before the vernissage on Friday November 2, around 4 pm. And my portrait of Andrée was chosen for the poster this year! How cool is that!? Anyways, the exhibit is at Olgilvy's (top floor) from Nov 2nd to 18th. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


I finally dropped off Tex Lecor's portrait at his studio. He was very happy to have it and said he will put it in his dining room. I also met a couple who purchased a work from Tex. They kind enough to take a picture of Tex and myself. In return I took a picture of them together with Tex.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Monday, September 03, 2012

FPM 2012 cont'd 2

with Lynda Schneider Granatstein, this year's honorary invited artist
Tex Lecor in person!
with  Tex Lecor and Martin Blanchet

with Martin Blanchet and Chantal Beauchamp

This is a portrait demo I gave this morning using a limited palette. (T. white, yellow ochre, alizarin, raw umber and burnt umber)

Sunday, September 02, 2012

FPM 2012 cont'd

This is my spot at the symposium. I  won an honorable mention with the female nude pastel (3rd column from right).

We had a visit from PQ leader Pauline Marois this afternoon.

Life drawings FPM 2012

Yesterday's LDs from the parc. What a nice day!

one of the model's poses

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Monday, June 18, 2012


I painted a portrait of my father in law at the AAAVT this past weekend. WIP.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Saturday, March 24, 2012

the Hunger Games

Yesterday was the opening of The Hunger Games which is an adaptation from a bestselling novel by Suzanne Collins. Hybride did (I think) over 200 shots of vfx.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Old drawing

This is an old drawing of a good friend from high school Gus Papoutsis circa 1990.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Silverpoint stuff

I prepared a bunch of boards for silverpoint. I used matboards and illustration boards. I used Golden brand gesso for silverpoint and used a 2.5 inch brush to apply it.

The brush is a cheap brush from the hardware store so I had to keep an eye for falling bristles. The gesso dries pretty fast so I had to work fast too.
I did several different sizes. 8x10, 10x12, 16x20.

I started working on a double portrait of my aunt and uncle's wedding picture. I started using pencil and eraser to draw out the placement. After erasing the pencil, it gives a shiny finish to the gesso so I decided to abandon the pre drawing thing. Ok, Kawabunga here I go!
Here are the first marks. You cannot see it very right now but I just start placing the head on the right side of the double portrait.