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  • Pascal Lagesse

The Zafers (part 2) – The choice of subject

Updated: Nov 26


Before starting a painting, it’s obvious that the choice of your subject is paramount. A painting is a communication window in which the painter hands out a message and/or an emotion. Like all communication exercise, the message must be clear and so does the painter’s intentions. I often compare a painting to a film where the hero must be identified at the start and the director must see that no secondary role steals the show. The same principle applies to a painting. The main subject must be clear to the viewer. I often see paintings where the artist introduced too many primary subjects. Example: A painting showing Le Morne mountain seen from a beach, a sunset on the horizon, some sega dancers around a campfire, a sailboat passing by, a couple as shadow puppets next to the sea and a flower arrangement in the foreground. As soon as there is too much information, the message conveyed by the artist loses power and the viewer is lost.


When I create a Zafer painting, my intentions must be crystal clear. Sometimes I make sketches before starting a painting but most of the time I visualize the drawing before putting it on the canvas. It’s a magic moment where the drawing appears on the white cloth, and I only must trace it.



It is possible to define a main subject by its size or colour. Thereby, a small subject in red in the far corner of a bluish background becomes a centre of attention as strong as a big tree in the centre of the canvas. Colour can be an incredible attraction magnet.

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