Behind the Winning Work at CAPIC's Double Vision

June 12, 2017


Dupuis's illustration of Cordner, left, and Cordner's photograph of Dupuis, right


CAPIC’s Double Vision contest, which randomly pairs a photographer with an illustrator to create self-portraits of each other in their signature style, wrapped up last month.


Montreal illustrator Simon Dupuis, one half of the winning team at the juried exhibition, shares some insight about how his submission with photographer Allison Cordner came to fruition.


The two artists had not previously met before the contest. Before their meeting, Dupuis cooked up a couple of ideas based on Cordner's Instagram feed.



Early concepts before Dupuis and Cordner met


But when Dupuis and Cordner finally met in person, they quickly were led in another direction after discovering their shared love of all things vintage.


“We did a [test] with her tintype camera and that’s when I discovered her antique environment at her studio,” says Dupuis. “So I proposed her we do a kind of ‘freak show’ project.”


Cordner's tintype test of Dupuis was 4" x 5"


Over the course of three weeks, Dupuis refined his sketches of Cordner to render her into “The Chameleon Woman.”


“I used a symbolist approach to portray the photographer, referring to her interests in work, her personal life and tattoos,” he says. “I told her that she was like a chameleon …always changing according to the situation. But one thing stays all over her body and appears everywhere she is—her tattoos. I accentuated the ‘creature’ feeling by changing the texture of her skin and putting her camera on her back as if it were lizard spikes.”


Dupuis also included a trompe l’oeil frame containing some of Cordner’s most important interests and hobbies. He produced a watercolour version before painting the final 40” x 30” tall acrylic canvas. Dupuis found the antique-looking typeface in an old Letraset catalogue and drew it from hand.


Watercolour draft version



Final version


Dupuis, for his part, eventually sat for Cordner’s final portrait called “The Headless Artist” (at top), a large tintype photograph that she made using digital film and traditional processing on an aluminum panel.


Cordner with her final portrait of Dupuis


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