As a traditional artist, I’ve realized that art has its own rules when it comes to color. The creative process, in figurative work at least, requires a methodical interpretation of what you see, and knowledge of how materials and mediums will behave as you work to represent your ideas. The theories presented in optical sciences, some of which I have learned years after I started painting, offer a different approach to the analysis of visual phenomenons. As I understood physical principles behind what I saw, I perceived reality in a different way and, as a consequence, it affected my painting process. This portrait posed a challenge in that it involved the transition of one light source to another; The sum of many to that of others, as is seen when the color additive theory is applied. For instance, as the lighting shifted from red to blue in some areas, color transitions needed to be understood from the perspective of light rather than material.
The unusually dramatic lighting made certain details of my long-time friend appear strange to me. The subject is looking away, seemingly lost in thought, and refusing to connect with the viewer. Yet the close-up framing, candle, and lack of details in the background, which suggests an enclosed space, give a sense of intimacy to the portrait. Although my childhood friend is a familiar figure to me, my prior observations of her did not help me while painting; instead, careful study was required to represent her in this peculiar context.
Félicia Gagnon is a freelance illustrator from Montréal, Québec, who studied art, as well as 3D animation, at the Cégep du Vieux Montréal. Self-taught in oil painting and at ease with realistic rendering, she does not limit herself to a particular style or technique. Her work makes use of different styles and mediums, either digital or traditional.
Cégep du Vieux Montréal, DCS in Arts (pre-university studies), 2013.
Cégep du Vieux Montréal, DCS in 3D Animation (technical studies) (not completed).