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Gerard DuBois
May 2012
Wall Paper
posted:
One meter by one meter strip - rough positioning #1
Couple of months ago I've been approached by a french company to see if I would be interested to work on a wall paper for children. 
The idea was to build a collection of classical type of wall papers, pretty much inspired by toile de jouy, (or toile), each of them would have a classical book as main theme, and  illustrated by different artists; the kind of wallpaper you'd put only on one wall only.
The company owner, Simon-Pierre Herman, a true litterature connaisseur, wanted an italian artist for Collodi's Pinocchio, a spanish one for Cervantes, etc, ... and a french one for Charles Perrault's Donkeyskin.
The funny thing is that I had given this XVII century story as a subject to my students a year before. A kind of practise what you preach.
The first thing has been to discuss a bit the project since I was not familiar at all with the technical aspects, the printing, how many colors, the size of the «motifs», strips, etc...
Then, like for an illustrated book, I decided which parts would give a good lecture of the whole story and would be interesting to illustrate. That being done I've started to sketch 5 scenes so I would have enough material to work for the wall paper but also for the two friezes. 
I tried different positioning to see if it was working as a whole. I decided I could draw extra clouds and other details to fill the empty spaces from one usage to the other, so it does not look too mechanicaly pasted.
These are the tighter and final sketches.
This is the version with the house, to work with the frieze.
Frieze one
Frieze two
Rough position before starting the final paintings
Once approved by my client, I waited a bit before I go to colors. I have to admit I liked the outline aspect of the images and I was worried colors would kill what I liked in the drawings. 
After a while, I got more at peace with my feelings, so I was able to start painting with a «good attitude». I hate when I have to rush on something I do not feel or agree with, most of the time when it happens it all goes wrong.
I've tried to work with a small palette so the images would stay graphic and as bold as possible, so they would not lose what I liked in the sketches. 
For the frieze
For the wall paper
Color test for background 2
Color test for background 1
Once the motifs were done, I painted the two backgrounds on different sheets and made some photoshop changes so there would not be any problem when pasted on a wall, one after the other.
I've tried some extra postioning; there are so many possibilities.
Second positioning
 
Anyway, right now the wallpaper and friezes are going to press.
I can't wait to see a wall covered with it.
A kid bedroom anybody?
Two Posters
posted:
Poster for a biennale in Paris. «Home and Design».
Two nice recent projects I've really enjoyed working for. It's not so often i got to work on big posters.
The first one, was some kind of carte blanche around the Home & Design theme for a Biennale in Paris starting in June. 
The image will be blown on a huge banner inside the biennale along with other illustrators and photographers projects.
I do like being able to do more graphic images sometimes. It took me years to feel confident enough to try it.
I'm working right now on doing a limited edition for sale of this poster.
Poster for Thinktopia.
 
The second poster was for Thinktopia Company; I know some of you on Drawgers have also done one in the past; Gary Taxali did a great one.
The poster will be a limited edition for Thinktopia's clients.
It was also a carte blanche or so, around the theme «Better thoughts through thinking» wich is Thinktopia's baseline.
 
I've just tried to have fun on both projects and not be too serious; to lighten up a bit!
South Sudan
posted:
A year ago I was called by XXI magazine, a french quaterly publication that is filled with great articles and reportages, and only. Each of them is illustrated.
No photo. No ads, not a single one.
Cover, illustrated too.
Their business plan was a risky one, but after 3 years, they run 50 000 copies per issue.
Anyway, I just mention it now because of the sad news coming from Sudan, just a year after this article (written by great author Jonathan Littell) about  South Sudan's vote for its separation and desire to create a new country.
The refugees camp. People were coming back now that the country was at peace
My images had to be really narrative and close to the story.
Jonathan Littell stayed  in Sudan during this period and the days the vote took place.
We can only wish for Peace, again.
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DuBois is teaching at TutorMill, an online mentoring site for students of illustration!