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PAP'ABOULE

A short selection of Papaboule's favourite shots. Many more illustration, fashion, packaging, logo and type works here.
Hulvalthun

 

​​Following up with comics, i've always found interesting how female characters can be physically strong without loosing the feminine side of it. Power rules in the comic world, and here i wanted to show three potent characters, with solid but still alluring bodies (ok, there's a matter of taste here), just like the rocky background with the upcoming storm: Mother Nature, so beautiful, so powerful. In this self comission i was imagining a cover for a hypothetical comic of these three: Hulka (left), Valkyrie (top) and Thundra (and you just found out were the title comes from). The challenge was to make a nice cover with a traditional taste, avoiding the comic typical inked outlines and shadows (as in previous illustration, for example). I wanted to make a quiet atmosphere in a moment preceding the imminent power deployment of the trio against a mysterious rival that has just been revealed in front of them. As in the background, a fierce storm is about to be unleashed and this is the calm right before it.
 

Ride the lightning.

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Hulk and Thor were always among my favorite comic characters, and given the powers they both deploy i've always wanted to depict a scene like this. Given that Thor is actually a God, it seems that Hulk hasn't got a chance, but against this green beast you can never be sure, the angrier he gets the stronger he becomes! Here's the deal: I wanted to suggest that Hulk's strength could eventually really get boosted by the lightning that he's actually trying to hold, making the very Mjölnir melt in an unusually powerful electric blast. Hulk's next punch would be pretty epic then... To give a more dramatic effect, the scene is taking place high above, with the rainfall and the city background both with a strong perspective. I think this one would make a nice cover for a comic book.

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M

 

​​In this private commission the challenge was to create a digital portrait that wouldn't look like it, but rather at a fresh early stage of an unfinished traditional painting. The key was in the texture richness combined with the grading attention points and the different brushstroke qualities. This is one of three different portraits (you can see them here) made deliberately with different approaches according to the personality of each of the portrayed while keeping a realistic flair.
 

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Monochrome scarf

 

​​I was asked to make a black and white design for 2 richly detailed (thanks to the 1 x 1m size) silk monochromatic scarves following a fashion collection launch. Briefed to consider a diamond brooch as the main shape of the design, i created an eight armed star where i mounted 8 narrative illustrations depicting the russian legend that originally brought the inspiration for the fashion collection, a story of love and hate, war, revolution and vengeance. The complete illustrations and more detailed pics of the scarves as well as the front artwork for the show invitation can be seen here.
 

The secret sword

 

​​As you can see, i really love character design and anatomy, but this time i wanted to take the challenge of making an imaginary mountain landscape where i could play with light and textures. In order to bring a deeper meaning to the artwork, i decided to add an element that could hold a story behind the picture. I like History and Mythology, so i found the legends of magic weapons (like excalibur) perfect for the purpose: in a silent  corner of an unexplored mountain range awaits a magic sword for the one who dares to go beyond the limits of the known maps.

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Colossus

 

​​The brave (or rather thoughtless) horseman 

standing on the bridge is looking for trouble. Apparently he is no match for the colossal guardian of the mountains of fire, who barely takes the trouble of turning his head towards him. But who knows? Everyone is aware of the David and Goliath's outcome. Following up with fantasy art, I decided to create an epic scene in an aggressive environment, with a brutal giant character. Something that could eventually make a good album cover for a heavy metal band.
 

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How ya like that?

 

​​Here I wanted to paint a modern rock and roll pin up in a cool pose, with a touch of urban atmosphere. And of course, full of tattoos. I like tattoos very much indeed, specially the old fashioned ones. But I just like to see them on the people, for the moment, it's something that it's just not for me, I couldn't get stuck to a single design for the rest of my life and as an illustrator, i'm very self-critical, I guess I couldn't stand it for a long time.
 

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Pin up wars

 

​​Talking about pin ups, how about a blondes vs brunettes face-off? Everybody knows Marilyn Monroe. But what about Bettie Page? While Marylin was a vip, Bettie was mostly an outcast. Yet she was a a notable pop icon too, who influenced a few trends by the way. But she has been forgotten for most of her life and I thought that it would be fair to put them in the same picture for the first time in a great imaginary rivalry, where she could finally fight for a well deserved space in the popular culture. After all both had quite a similar story, freaks of nature swallowed by the greed of old showbiz and its devious means to superficial ends. 
 

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Calydonian run

 

​​The brief was to make an illustration based in ancient greek mythology depicting any recent fashion garment. I picked the legend of the calydonian boar hunt led by the huntress Atalanta. Left to die in the mountains as a new born, a she-bear took care of her. Having grown up in the wilderness, she was a fierce hunter and a quick sprinter who made an oath of virginity to the goddess Artemis and was always happy. So I painted her having fun during the hunt of the giant wild boar, which she actually became the first to hit. I made her "running wild" except for the sophisticated sandals and belt that can actually be found in modern fashion collections.
 

Under water love

 

​​I made this one as a poster and postcard for an art shop I used to have with an artists collective. The subject was free so I decided to make an unreal illustration full of details for the viewer to discover. The picture is actually turned upside down, being the water line on top of the image, where a mysterious fisherman is trying to get a very particular prey with a very particular bait. I wanted the viewer to be curious about the picture and pushed to flip the poster/postcard and interact/play with the image.

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Bearskin scene 5

 

​​This is part of a narrative sequence (watch it complete here), depicting a particular episode of a tale by the Grimm Brothers. The importance of these illustrations is the aim for innovation and creative growth while enjoying the process. I mixed watercolor textures digitally to build shapes and colors in a deliberately more schematic way to illustrate, bearing in mind that less is more. 
 

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Better than flying

 

​​"Better than flying" was made for an illustration competition back in 2010, organized by The London Transport Museum and the Association of Illustrators. On the occasion of the new TFL's cycling programs, the entries should demonstrate the environmental, health and/or recreational benefits of cycling. I suggested that in big cities, bicycles can be for people as efficient as wings are for other living beings. So I imagined a cheerful bird enjoying the freedom of moving on such a clean and gratifying mode of transport. With more than a thousand submissions, it was a great honor to be among the top 50 entries that were displayed in an exhibition at the London Transport Museum.
 

Battleground

 

​​Originally made for self-promotion purposes, this is a massive drawing (150 x 230 cm) made with ink and acrylic on white paper. The idea was to create a massive surrealistic scene with a chaotic confrontation carried by a great number of characters in different situations. I wanted to let the imagination fly free and see what would come from it. I hoped that the viewer would enjoy discovering the different parts of the drawing. After a long process of digitalization of the original paper, I gradually started to add color, I was curious to see what would come from it and that's the result, I hope you like it.
 

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(design + illustration) x creative direction