Un navet ou presque.

Sometime, or maybe all the time, a part of making art is no more than learning to transform accidents into expression.  It's called technique.

These days I was testing ways to make my art as clean and sharp and as defined as possible. I'm doing vector art on illustrator, I was trying to find an efficient workflow. If you wonder what vector art is, the illustration above ( grasshopper) is an example. It doesn't come easy to me. I want to keep as much as possible the accidents and the messiness of my drawing style, in a clean, defined shape. It's an enjoyable conundrum. 

I draw with alcohol based markers on a paper with very little tooth and coated to avoid feathering. It makes clean, defined shapes that are easy to extract for vectoring. What I didn't realized is that the paper wasn't coated the same way on both sides...I turned the page and suddenly my markers went crazy. It was like switching to watercolor . It was messy and possibly ugly.

I panicked for a second, then drew the rest of this little turnip, and scanned it, hoping I could fix that in Photoshop. The scanner actually accentuated the effect instead of toning it down. It was a bit unnerving. Then I realized this unfortunate accident was exactly what I was looking for years, when trying to create textured art. I tested numerous papers with tooth and feathering, imported sketchbooks from Italy and watercolor from Japan, and I was never really happy of the result. I got my very special effect while looking for something else, and possibly exactly the contrary.

So I went for it and added a bit of texture here and there in photoshop, and accentuated the grain, too.

Et voilà : an accident turned hip.
Not bad for a turnip!

I will continue with both techniques, and both sides of my paper! 

Pour les copines Francaises : 
grasshopper : sauterelle
turnip: navet
conundrum : un problème difficile ou amusant
tooth : rugosité ( pour du papier seulement)
feathering : bavure, dispersion