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Corpus Delicti by Serge Birault (book review).

July 8, 2020 | By | Reply More

I can’t really recall how I came across Serge Birault but googled his art, jaw dropped, saw he had a book out there and ordered one up. It’s also a bilingual book with text in French and English. Birault looks like he turned all of his sketches into paintings on PhotoShop or at least enhanced them there. He notes he treats the layers as tissue paper and sees nothing unusual in having 100 per painting.

I try to keep my layers down to 6 but that’s only to make things easier to keep track of. From how he describes his art creations, he sees this as giving him greater control when correcting things and to remove errors which does tend to suggest not all layers stay visible until the end of the painting. He frequently uses his wife Chloe Vandecramps for his model although not keen on painting her tattoos all the time.

What is of particular interest for this book is Birault showing how he builds up his faces from sketch to realistic which is certainly going to be of interest to you digital painters out there because he tends to avoid plastic-looking flesh, adding spots with an airbrush which no doubt avoids a hard look to them, although samples show both sorts. You have to admire the way he puts a veneer on teeth.

His art varies from a normal-like appearance to exaggerated, no doubt depending on his commissions. He also likes to prep by drawing/painting for fun and his samples here are quite exotic.

If nothing else, you’re going to come away from this book ambitious to see if you can catch face shapes like Birault paints them and makes the eyes, well eye-catching. A fun book to browse from time to time.

GF Willmetts

July 2020

(pub: CFSL Ink Éditions, 2012. 143 page illustrated large hardback. Price: I pulled my copy for about £21.00 (UK). ISBN: 978-2-35947-047-5)

check out website: www.cfsl-ink.com according to the book but after 8 years doesn’t appear to be there anymore

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Category: Books, Illustration

About the Author ()

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 15 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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