Ever since his first painting, Brugeilles has believed that he must make everything himself – his stretchers, plaster and paint. The creativity of the painting begins as he constructs the frame, canvas and paint.
Brugeilles begins canvasses by making the plaster with “colle de peau” (animal cartilage) and natural plaster, using the techniques of the Middle Ages. The process includes purifying the plaster, cooking it with colle de peau, pasting hot layers of it onto the canvas, and sanding after each layer has dried. Brugeilles makes the oil paint using a recipe from the 15th century. He keeps linseed and walnut oil in the sun for several years to purify it, and mixes it with resin Congo copal and Venice turpentine, and pigments, which gives the color an extraordinary brilliance. Sometimes, he applies 22k gold leaf on his paintings, again using ancient techniques. He loves the techniques of the Middle Ages, because he believes it is the time when oil painting techniques were at their peak. There is a depth to the painting that is close to enamel. Brugeilles tries to relive this forgotten world through these techniques.
When he creates his paintings, he starts by making at least one drawing in sanguine and a pastel, watercolor, or engraving, and then finally a painting in oil. As he goes through this process, he receives flashes of visions that inspire changes, so the images are usually somewhat different from the original drawings. He draws geometric forms (n’ombre d’or) on the canvas before painting, for harmony in the composition of the painting.
After seeing an exhibit in France about twenty years ago, Brugeilles became interested in making engravings. He met a Swiss artist at the exhibit who began teaching him how to make etchings. He has his own press and does the entire process himself – engraving on the copper plate, preparing the paper and ink, and printing on the press. He does individual engravings in limited series and has also done engravings to illustrate books of poetry by Pierre Albert Birot and François Norguet.
More recently, Brugeilles has been doing pastels and watercolors. This helps him create a work in color before beginning a similar large painting in oil.