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  • Writer's picturePascal Lagesse


Experimenting with different painting techniques has always been very important for me. The “Zafer” style that we see today is the result of years of more or less conclusive tests which slowly forged my knowledge of painting. I don't think the Zafers would have appeared in my life if I hadn't practiced the diverse styles that have made my artistic adventure rich. I learned lessons from practicing these different techniques that are extremely useful to me in my artistic life today.

Among these techniques, we mainly find oil painting, watercolour, watercolour and pastels or ink, acrylic, “rub-away” and engraving. The Zafers borrow  pieces of all these techniques. First of all, in 1986, I painted my first oil painting which is a view of Mahebourg and Mouchoir Rouge Island, I was then 18 years old.

I am already very interested in landscapes, but oil painting seems very difficult to master. With time and a lot of observation, I will persevere on this path with the help of Roger Charoux who allows me to watch him paint during his outdoor sessions.

In 1989, I left Mauritius for South Africa where I began studying graphic art. For three years, I did not paint in oil, but I learned some illustration techniques which familiarised me with watercolour and "rub-away". Here you can see a “rub-away” portrait made in 1991.

When I returned to Mauritius, I tried my hand at watercolour which I mixed with pastel and I created large paintings. I also work on mixing watercolour with Indian ink:

I also do ink drawings and this technique requires control and patience.

At the same time, I continued oil painting, inspired by the French painter Maurice Ménardeau, and my paintings became more and more realistic.

After a visit to the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, I was fascinated by Van Gogh's paintings and the idea of ​​the future Zafer style began to germinate in my mind. Here in this painting, I try to adapt Van Gogh's style to a landscape of Rodrigues Island.

For the last thirty years, I have also been passionate about engraving. Engraving is a technique that requires a lot of patience and dexterity. This is a technique that, like the Zafer style, is extremely time consuming.

It is all these techniques that give life to my first painting which will become the Zafer style, here my first Zafer painting in 2003.

Experimenting has never been a waste of time. For me, this was the foundation of the style I practice today. For a long time, I had the dream of creating my own style of painting and the road to achieve it was very long. It was necessary to control the drawing, the perspective, the painting styles, the use of the brush and the knife, the knowledge of colour and its mixtures, the different supports going from paper to wood then to canvas. We had to overcome impatience and accept that nothing happens without work. Between my first painting from 1986 and this painting from 2024, there is a beautiful path that I had a lot of joy walking.

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