Featured 2D Artist of November 2007 – Bernard Dumaine

Below you can read the interview with 3DValley Featured Artist for November – Bernard Dumaine. Bernard is an artist from south-west France. He has been drawing and painting for many years. Since the late ’90s the computer and the use of digital imaging software given him the opportunity to explore new ways of creation. Since recently also the making of short 2D animations. Still the pencil remains his favorite tool. He has won various awards with his work and is also published in “Digital art for the 21st Century” and “Metamorphosis”.

3DValley Featured 2D Artist for November 2007 – Bernard Dumaine. Bernard is an artist from south-west France. He has been drawing and painting for many years. Since the late ’90s the computer and the use of digital imaging software given him the opportunity to explore new ways of creation. Since recently also the making of short 2D animations. Still the pencil remains his favorite tool. He has won various awards with his work and is also published in “Digital art for the 21st Century” and “Metamorphosis”.

Gallery album of Bernard Dumaine
Website of Bernard Dumaine
MySpace of Bernard Dumaine

Can you tell us a bit about yourself: Who you are and what you do in your daily life?

Bernard: I was born 1953 in Angoulême, south-west France, I still live and work there; I am married, and have two children.

My outside job consists in making pencil reference backgrounds for new TV episodes for the cartoon serie Monster Allergy.

Which software packages and/or traditional tools do you use for your artwork?

Bernard: I like it a lot to explore many different mediums, cause each technique has its own particularity which gives a special inspiration, depending on this medium. For traditional materials, I like to use inks, oils on canvas and pencil. The pencil remains my favorite – despite, or because of its simplicity.

I enjoy to work digital in Photoshop, assorted with a graphic tablet. I have done some trials in Poser and Bryce, but I think I did not explore all the possibilities that Poser and Bryce has to offer. But they are helpful to rework pictures that I obtain with them in Photoshop.

Do you remember the first time you knew you wanted to be an artist?

Bernard: I think I was 21 years old when this happened; I have been drawing since a very young age – my parents told me I was 2 or 3 years old – but, in my childhood, I never thought I could grow up to become an artist.

Exquisite Corpse “Psyche” with Ben Pearce.
Sans titre T – Drawing / pencil on paper

Did you attend a formal art school?

Bernard: I had art classes every Thursday afternoon from the age of 11 till 15 at the Fine Arts School of Angoulême, painting still-life’s in gouache or copying classical sculptures in pencil. When I was 21, I came back to the same art school in order to prepare for a sculpture diploma (Diplôme National des Beaux–Arts) fulltime courses for 3 years. I received my diploma in 1977 with a mention for drawing.

Can you tell us a bit of the way you work on your art?

Bernard: I have no rules here, my drawings start… and ends, such as in the Sans titre drawings series. I also like to prepare sketches or work with finished pictures in Photoshop, which I use as models once they are printed. I use this process mainly when painting.

Do you have a favorite piece of your own artwork and why?

Bernard: I would prefer to speak of favorite series, such as Le fond et la forme, Magical Mystery Tool, and the Exquisite Corpse pieces. They were each nice periods of creation.

Le fond et la forme IV – Oil on canvas
Magical Mystery Tool IV

Who or what would you describe as having the most influences on your work/ style?

Bernard: I had two main periods, one being close to hyperrealism, using photographs and colour slides to draw or paint from. I did mainly landscapes and portraits in this style. I can mention Chuck Close as a painter I like, but I really started with this style after having seen a local exhibition of French painter Jacques Damville.

On the other hand, Surrealism and painters such as Yves Tanguy, Max Ernst and Dali to name a few, had a major influence on my work. I’m also very fond of the hyper realistic-surrealistic drawings of Gérard Titus-Carmel, he had a large influence on me with his former works.

Is there a painting or illustration out there in the world you wish you had painted/ created?

Bernard: This painting would be the triptych “The Garden of Earthly Delights” by Hieronymus Bosch.

What is your goal as an artist?

Bernard: Fame, money, women…. More seriously, I would like to be recognized as an artist.

How did you become a surreal artist? You must have started out with regular drawings of persons, landscape, etc. as everyone else. How or when did you started to create surreal art?

Bernard: Yes, as I said above, I began to draw “copying” nature, people, objects. I think that all my time and interests regarding Fantastic – pictures, stories, movies – drove me naturally towards Surrealism, although Surrealism is not essentially about fantastic…. I discovered and explored this cultural movement mainly at the Fine Arts School.

Tic tac – Oil on canvas
Nature morte – Oil on canvas

Did your online portfolio and accounts on site like Renderosity & DevianART help you to promote your own art?

Bernard: They do! A short time after having joined the Renderosity site, I was lucky to be asked by the former director of Renderosity, Audre Vysniauskas, to have 12 works published in the book “Digital art for the 21 st Century”, and I receive very supporting comments from the members of the site on my work.

DeviantART is one of the best art sites I know, because of the very high interactivity between the members due to the excellent and very particular interface of the site. I am glad I get lots of visits, contacts and friends there! Maybe my publication in the book Metamorphosis happened because of my meeting there with Jon Beinart, the publisher of the book, who is a Deviantart member too.

You do a lot of collaborations with other artists. These collaborations are called Exquisite Corpse. Recently you and other artists had the pleasure of showing these collaborations in an exhibition in France. Can you tell us some more about the process of making an exquisite corpse and what it is that you like about it?

Bernard: Yes, I exhibited in a group show (July of 2007) two of the exquisite corpses I did with Deborah Valentine, who is also the creator and moderator of Theexquistecorpse club on Deviantart. It was the very first time I was showing this kind of drawings for real. During this show, I received a proposal from a local cultural association to share more of these collaborative works, so, I am currently working on a local exhibition which is going to feature each Exquisite Corpse I received.

The process to make it first consists in meeting people interested in making some. Then, the participants exchange their snail-mail addresses in order to send an half drawing, covered by an opaque sheet of paper, except for a tiny strip which is supposed to be completed by the receiver; the drawing has to be sticky taped on some cardboard to avoid him to be screwed up during the shipping. I like the fact that it’s a game (I still enjoy to play) and receiving packages from foreign countries is fun too! I also like the combination of new and old means to make this (the internet and postage services).

The process can work nicely in digital; in this case, the receiver gets by email a blank area including on one border a small strip from the sender’s picture. When he is finished the whole picture is assembled. It’s always amazing and a surprising pleasure to discover the complete work, whatever technique is used!

Digital painting: 3rd prize
MOCA art contest 2005
Exquisite Corpse with
Anne-Marie Bricaud (France)

On your website I read that you’ve been drawing since the 70’s and started to use the computer and digital imaging software in ’99. What made you decided to also try out digital imaging software and did it change the way you work on your art before?

Bernard: That is correct, in 1999, the prices of computers were slowing down and their performances were growing up. ’99 was also my first connection time on the internet, where I went looking for art sites and artists and I was really stunned by the possibility for everyone to share his works to the whole world! I immediately wanted to have my works on the net!!! At that time, I did some surreal collages in Photoshop but a short time later, when I received my graphic tablet, I was delighted for being able to paint digitally. Now, except on the first steps of the creation of a picture, where I use a lot the specific digital means, such as filters, rather rapidly, in order to get a rough sketch, the ending process which is much longer, is very close to the way I draw in traditional, cause I use my favorite tool, the airbrush, very closely to how I use a pencil traditional.

You also create surreal animations if you have time and publish these on YouTube. What kind of software do you use to create these animations?

Bernard: I have been using the imaging software Dogwaffle PD pro 04, Poser, and the freeware program Sqirlz morph to achieve these experimental animations. Many of my own pictures made in Bryce, Poser and Photoshop were included in the making of the animations. The soundtracks were done with Magix Music Maker.


Can you name a career highlight?

Bernard: 2003 was a great year, because of my first publication and real-life international exhibitions. The same year I won the first prize at the MOCA digital art contest, sold many drawings via the internet in England and even exhibited digital prints in New York city!

Can you tell us where you are currently working on?

Bernard: I am currently in a low inspiration period, the last work I did was a three-way digital corpse with Ton Haring (The Netherlands) and Rodney Gee (South Africa).

No explanation necessary – Digital exquisite corpse with Rodney Gee (top),Ton Haring (middle), and me (bottom)
Magical Mystery Tool

Christa: Do have tips for beginning artists?

Bernard: Work a lot and be yourself.

Christa: Besides 2Dvalley.com, which other graphic sites do you visit regularly?

Bernard: I enjoy to share my works at Sito.org and I participated with some pictures at Anexquisitecorpse.net, an interesting site dedicated to digital corpses. Jon Beinart’s surreal art forum has plenty of interesting artists, links and info. Another cool place I like to visit is James Sebor’s guest gallery.

Christa: Is their something you can’t work without?

Bernard: I’m kind of addicted to coffee, tobacco, pencil, & my graphic tablet.

Christa: What do you do when you are not working or creating something?

Bernard: I enjoy surfing the net and playing rock or blues on my keyboard or electric guitar… just for fun!

Search 02 – Digital painting – Photoshop, Wacom tablet/ Winner of “Surrealism Today ” MODA Art Contest 2005
Helter skelter – Digital drawing/ Photoshop, Wacom tablet

Christa: Thanks for your time and the interview Bernard!

Gallery album of Bernard Dumaine
Website of Bernard Dumaine
MySpace of Bernard Dumaine
Interviews with other artists

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