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Pas d'Ange
Oil painting on canvas - 70x165cm

Pas d'Ange was painted during the year 2008. I hesitated a long time before releasing it here, for its obvious change in style, and the harshness of its theme. Crude, frontal, humid, profane, not the kind of imagery you want to hang in your bedroom; I was not in a fancy mood actually! though the painting gets the merit of being here.

It has been visible on my personal website for a little longer, so extra information can be found there:

Details and close-ups

Remember: he's not a Christ.

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Honestly, I'm somewhat apprehensive about giving you a critique - who am I, with my silly doodles, to points out potential imperfections in the execution of this piece. But commenting on it is too tempting.
Let me first speak of what I really like: the color scheme of sadness and desolation; the teetering angle, as if the world is about to overturn; the gesture - small, almost like a beginning of a question; certainly the concept - drawn angel wings, dripping ink, the roots - as if in at attempt to reestablish his identity, he froze in an eternal inquiry (although I guess the roots were supposed to be more indicative of his being grounded vs. able to fly?). Love the dying pink tree and the tablet - even though don't really understand it. Bow down for the detail on the cathedral.
Good art has more to it than just the visual. And as far as I remember, you've always produced good art.
To the things that seem awkward (perhaps to my eye only, though):
- it's been raining, or is raining - but the bricks in the distance, and even close to the tablet are moist, very visibly so... That isn't the case by his feet - the only reason one feels they're wet is because the rest of them are wet, and thus one assumes.
- the atmosphere is interesting... Mostly, it's melancholy, but still. However, the clouds at the top (which are a good complement in terms of composition) suggest something more active and incoming - suggest that there should be a storm (the feeling in that manner is somewhat contradictory). Also, those clouds are much more haggard than all the other ones - and even though they still look perfectly like clouds, the styles seem to differ within the painting. It's somewhat distracting.
- Some people commented on the anatomy of his arms; even though it does jump out at you (mostly the connection of his shoulders into the arms), I don't think there's really anything wrong. After all, perfectly drawing the anatomy of a human is not the same thing as drawing the anatomy of a perfect human.
By the way - his left foot is amazing. The whole foot. The thigh especially.
What do you think?
The Artist thought this was FAIR
42 out of 49 deviants thought this was fair.

Hi Zancan,

Firstly, I just want to say that I tend to focus on the negative things in a piece because those are the things you learn from. I do not dislike this piece by any means, just in case I come off that way.

Anyway, the first major issue I notice here is anatomical... discrepancies. The nipple to the viewer's right seems a bit too far to the left. The angle is good, it's just a matter of placement. Similarly, the eyes seem slightly highly. (Just SLIGHTLY) but enough for it to be noticeable. I want to say that the indents around the eyes should be a little darker and deeper, however, the light source is a little ambiguous. I know it's coming from infront and above him, but that would mean his chin and cheek bones would be the lightest part of his body (since they're closest to the light source, protruding away from his body).

I really enjoy the kind of vein/root like "growth" on his body, however, I feel like it stops short. It would be nice to see hints of it coming up onto his chest from his back. Likewise, it would be nice for it to be emphasized slightly through contrast around the hips. It's such an unusual sight, it would make a good co-star in terms of visual importance.

I really enjoy the colours here, also. It's very reminiscent of James Jean in the subtle uses of discord. With that said, It would be nice to have seen a more pure, almost full intensity orange or yellow orange on his body (probably on his chest, chin and cheek bones, since they'd be the brightest.) The bones are there, they just need some more meat, so to speak.

I have nothing bad to say about the background. The detail work is stunning and the slight shift of horizon line plays well with the lost and confused look on his face. I don't know how I feel about the darkened corners. I know they're used to keep emphasis on the main character, but I feel like just the involvement of a face is enough to keep our attention.

The clouds, I am unsure about. I feel like they should be darker. Not to the point where it becomes a night scene, but just a little more body and... gloom. (Just like the clouds around his shoulders.)

I know it's a little late, but it would have been nice had the top edge of the image moved up about one head height to accommodate more sky (but not so much that it becomes distracting). On the other hand, I think the spacing from his feet to the bottom edges and the placement of stones to create a sort of S-curve composition is done beautifully.

Ultimately, I think the big issue here is proportion. There are some minor issues here and there but they are easy to look past.
What do you think?
The Artist thought this was FAIR
79 out of 113 deviants thought this was fair.

The Artist has requested Critique on this Artwork

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CulTona Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This speaks to me in a way i cannot explain... I understand it.
mpugh44 Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2014
A stunning artwork - a real pleasure to view
beachelf Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2013
:wave: Featured here -> [link] :woohoo:
Fullmetal-Hikaru Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2013  Student General Artist
There is something about the expression and colors that in this particular painting that evoke strong emotions in me. This one makes me feel more solemn and sad, but at the same time, it makes me love it all the more. The mood is very different from other paintings of yours, though your images of nature and the human form and their coexistence are still present. I normally do not like works like this, but again, there is something amazing about this one that really draws me in.
Xpotshotx Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013

The only part I'm curious about is the absence of anything on the left side of the cathedral whereas on the right side there is a silhouette of some civilization in the distance.

Is the lack of anything on one side of the cathedral supposed to symbolize anything?

Also, when I look at this I think of the pictures I saw when I visited Dachau and I also immediately thought of the Sistine chapel mural. Again, fantastic imagery.

Thanks for sharing.
SyallaArts Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2012  Professional General Artist
epic :)
ALTANART12 Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
A great idea is a great subject, combined with excellent impressiveness that is hard to avoid a masterpiece ,Congratulations, you really have an impressive master images
bdunn1342 Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2012   General Artist
I'm so pleased you decided to share this. The details are exquisite. Well done!
beachelf Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2012
:iconclappingplz::iconclappingplz: Bravo!
E-raserhead Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Beautiful. Breathtaking.
CanveySue Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
I don't know what it means but I love it
Entula Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2011
I love the ink dripping into the picture of a wing, it's very symbolic...
runedrum Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2011
Actually, this IS the sort of imagery I'd want hung in my room, simply for its honesty, the raw and feral essence of it.
N-rose5 Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
It is brilliant painting!!
What kind of colors do you mix to create skin?
gagi13 Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
i love the color scheme in this one :-) the detail is incredible
mithrialxx Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2010
To actually criticise your exact brushwork would be to complain about a missed 'g sharp' in a whole symphony. The deep emotions conveyed here flood right through.
I'm sad you felt this. Glad you allow it here now.

Tia x.
aquiles-soir Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
k3si4k Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
great painting, I like your website too, amazing work, the details about your paintings are greatly helpful - for example sketches, studies etc.
Angellese Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Amazingly beautiful work!
Beckerwith Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2010
Just, wow. Incredible. So dark and morbid. I would have never expected to see this from you, given the rest of your gallery is very light, with faeries and sprites and such. His nakedness and his arms spread wide open, give me the feeling of vulnerability. Like all the walls built up inside have crumbled away, and he is baring his soul. I also feel like confusion was a large theme in the piece; perhaps even spiritual confusion, due to the cathedral? I just love the ink wings which appear to have been spilled onto the ground, mostly because they remind me of Icarus, or a fallen angel of sorts. I can't for the life of me figure out what the fish carved into the tablet behind him mean, but thats part of the allure of this artwork! Amazing!
zancan Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I just read the comment, thanks for sharing those words... It was close to what i felt while painting this canvas.
Animefeiry2 Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
strong concept I love it
SamanthaLenore Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
The atmosphere and mood of this is incredible. I think it is my favorite of everything you have posted here.
Scarlett1313 Featured By Owner May 25, 2010
I think I lost my voice.....
I think I lost my jaw somewhere as well.
This is so may fall in the category of "dark art", but I am so stunned by the beauty of this work.
The perspective and concept is far beyond originality.

Be proud....very proud!
Erirr Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2010
Hey friend, long time no words!

Deeper and higher.
What a very expressing image!

ps.: and beard... you forgot some reference to beard, wich don't stop growing and remembering that we are not there yet...:) ...perhaps some dry flowered bush on his jaw...

still, something not primitive can be felt, right!? some presence that do not comes from substances, matter.

Yep, human BEINGS!
so, let's enjoy being.

Only the best friend!
RitaFosterArt Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
great imagination and skill. I'm impressed!
lovingthedark Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2010   Traditional Artist
I'd hang it in my bedroom, but I'm weird like that.
Sketur Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2010
I really love how the water shines on the surface of the road behind him! Awesome!
TomasDiaz Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2010  Student General Artist
wow... is dificult to say something about this piece... so powerful mood
TaureanRuler Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2010
I dont know if any one one else has commented on this but the thing that really got my attention the most beyond the figure was the detail you put into the cobble Stone
H2plus Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2010  Student Digital Artist
blackhorsewhispers Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
I particularly love the blossoming branch to the right side of the painting. Would you share a little more the the symbolism in the piece with us? There seems to be so many layers to this.
blackhorsewhispers Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
I particularly love the blossoming branch to the right side of the painting. Would you share a little more the the symbolism in the piece with us? There seems to be so many layers to this.
LACYDRAWERS Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2009  Professional Writer
There is so much hidden emotion that makes us who we are. It is not a sign of weakness to show, to others, our need, be it spiritually or mentally. I have found that sometimes, those who society looks down upon as weak, are actually the strongest of us all....:iconhrtplz:
Luximus Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2009
Such a beautiful painting :heart:
By the way, is that the Notre Dame Cathedral in Chartres in the background?
ArtOfEdge Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
This is stunning..
t-m-sama Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2009
how long does a painting take to finish??
zancan Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
About six months, but I have very too little time each week to work out the paintings... I can't really say how much time it needs when working fulltime.
ladyfloe Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2009
Beautifull.. is this self-portrait? :)
Gothicmama Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2009
this is wonderful and I would hang it in my bedroom :D
3randon9othizm Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
i really admire your work!! and the ideas you have are all just too out of the world!
EBENEWOOD Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2009   General Artist
i am troubled by this picture " pas d'ange"
I fel like you wanna say that you don't believe in angels or religion anymore for having waiting to long something that didn't come (bloc with barred fishes and those wished wings)....maybe i'm wrong...
Anyway, it's a strong and talking picture! cold and sad... good job!
AliceFell Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2009
This is so beautiful it almost made me cry. I love it.
slocik Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2009
hs penis looks creepy ;/
ChildofIluvatar Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
I like it
I would hang this in my bedroom...but then again I'm perhaps not as happy as most ?
Elfin-Grrl Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Powerful, compelling and moving. Another masterpiece :love:
zancan Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Many _belated_ thanks for this comment, coming from someone who is a true specialist of people looking upward!
zananeichan Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2009
beautifull work and very interesting and emotional, and I love the message in the work :-) people forget that the emotion of sensuality is an emotion and is very important to all beings :heart:
tonica Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2009  Professional Interface Designer
I think the root growth was placed well, I think that spreading it around his body any more would have taken away from the agony of what I comprehend to be his asexuality. It's definitely a piece that makes me think.
zancan Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is right. The roots are grounding him from elevation because of his defined sexuality. Letting them grow higher, up to his chest for instance, would have made sense, but a different sense.
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Submitted on
June 25, 2009
Image Size
307 KB
Mature Content


796 (who?)

Camera Data

Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Shutter Speed
25/10 second
Focal Length
58 mm
ISO Speed
Date Taken
Aug 23, 2009, 4:33:50 PM