Sunday, January 25, 2015

Waterford Medieval Museum Sketches

12th century Inscribed Knife graphite drawing 

1495 Seige Canon Ink Drawing

Its been a while since I posted artwork here, so here are two sketches done today at the brilliant Waterford Medieval Museum of Treasures

Children's Poetry Character

This is the pencil work for a character Im designing based on a poem written by a 9 year old. I was commissioned to illustrate this poem by the Cork County Arts office. Ill have more details on the project next week and the finished artwork and poem but for now, here is the main character in pencil!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Big Cat

Chalk pastel and charcoal on canson 42x 30 cm

Some while back, until about ten years or so, I used to use only chalk pastels. 
I worked in this medium and nothing else for quite a long time
and then one day abandoned it, hardly ever touching it again.
Since that time I have been using a much wider variety of mediums.
But maybe everything works in a cycle and here I am again, back where
I started. Hopefully with a better and more thorough understanding 
of what makes a good design and how colors can work.
I must admit, it was nice to be back on familiar ground.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

The Judoka

Have you ever thought, I don't read enough books about martial arts and the very deep philosophy contained therein? 

The answer is almost definitely yes! 

In which case go here, buy the thing and read the thing!

And if you are feeling fancy, buy the terrible artwork too

P.S. The Japanese kanji was harder to do than anything, never try it, never move to Japan, it's to hard to write things.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

David Purley trying to save Roger Williamson at the 1973 Formula 1 Dutch Grand Prix

I've been following Formula 1 on and off for the last 20 years.  This painting shows one of the most horrific fatal accidents in the history of the motorsport.  On lap 8 of the 1973 Dutch Grand Prix, Roger Williamson, a young English rookie driving his second race, had a sudden tyre deflation on his car.  The car rebounded off a barrier, flipped upside down and the fuel tank caught fire.  Williamson was trapped in his overturned car.  David Purley had been racing just behind him and on seeing the accident, parked his car and desperately ran towards the blazing machine.  Williamson was still alive, screaming.  Later, Purley said he heard him plead, ''For God's sake David get me out of here''.  First Purley tried to flip the car right side up, but it was too heavy.  Then he got a fire extinguisher off a nearby marshal but it was hopeless against such an intense fire.  The painting records his second attempt to try and right the car, which didn't work.  After that, he was ushered away by one of the marshals.  The marshals weren't given fireproof clothing in those days so they couldn't assist in pushing the car over, although one did. 
           No other driver stopped, some misunderstood, thought Purley was the driver of the burning car.  Purley kept waving at them to slow down and stop and help.  Amazingly the race wasn't stopped.  The authorities thought that Purley drove the burning car not knowing Williamson was still in it.  Apparently.  The race continued so a fire truck which was fairly close couldn't get there straight away as it would have been driving against the flow of traffic.  It took several minutes for it to arrive.  Williamson had suffocated to death by then.  He was 25.  Purley, an Englishman, was given the George Medal for bravery a few months later.
           There's low resolution video footage of the crash and all the photos are black and white so there was a gap there for a detailed painting to fill.  I didn't find working off black and white too bad, using oils on this one, they blend well.  The car was ok to do too.  Then came the figure of Purley.  The pose in the main reference photo was not what I wanted.  He was leaning away slightly.  So I'd to construct a post of him leaning against the wheel.  The days doing the helmet and arms were tough, at the end of the day I'd be wrecked.  His right leg was improvised, it was hidden in the reference photo.  I had trouble with the overall length of it.  Once the figure was done I got through the rest ok.
           Purley died 30 years ago in a plane crash.  I think he deserves to be remembered as does Roger Williamson.  Depicting a real event where someone died horribly meant I had to try to be as faithful to the scene as I could.  It's up to the viewer to decide whether I've succeeded or not.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Deadly tunes bai!

It’s been great listening to the music you guys have put up, I love discovering new things to listen to that I can then to listen to until I absolutely hate it :D

When I listen to stuff for work, I try to get two things going.
  1.  Something that won’t really distract me while I am working
  2.  Music that fits the piece

Herein discover what makes my art go 

Be warned, listening to the following music will make men slaughter their enemies and cause women to fall pregnant with honey badgers

Need to create something hateful, Eminem is your man. I am not a big fan of rap, but he is at least original so I like it. 

Feel the need to mentally support the lack of money you are making, look no further than the eighties for inspiration!

Forget who it was that brought down Spartacus, FOR SHAME, here, get educated with your bad self.

This is just because I love it 

Illustrating some ancient people (JG I’m looking at you) 

I don’t know much about this song, but I hum it alllll the time 

This song, is a song about nightlights… deal with it

And I like this one cos my Granda used to brew his own 

Well, that’s just a few of the millions as I’m sure you all have also, feel free to explore the full library of Horrible Histories awesome songs, way more interesting than some people we know who ramble on about old stuff

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Tunes to scratch a pen to

I have a bit of a schizophrenic taste in music..... ya ya suiting my schizophrenic personality :P I have tried to always be open to all forms of music, so I have found a bit of everything that I like. Music and podcasts are my constant companion in those long hours working on artwork, so my library is gigantic. So like the rest I have way too many favourites to fit into a single post but ill throw up some that jump to mind:

 John McLaughlin, Paco DeLucia, Al DiMeola- Friday Night in San Francisco
Still a favourite of mine after many many years listening to it, three of the greatest guitarists got together to do a tour but it was just one night in San Francisco everything just seemed to work

Rolling Stones- Paint it Black
One my all time favourites, it reminds me of my time in 'Nam ;) A great period in American music

Anam an Amhráin- Cailleach an Airgid
From a series of brilliant animations by Cartoon Saloon, where they were commissioned by a TG4 show which is about Irish traditional songs, they made a modern recording of some of them from the best talent in the Gaeltacht and matched that with animation, this one from Connamara

Kíla- Cabhraigí léi
One of my favourite bands, they are the best modern reinterpretation of Irish trad in my opinion, always experimenting and searching

Nico Vega - Beast
Discovered these guys recently, the album this song is from is the first album in a long long time I have heard that the whole thing is great

System of a Down- Prison Song
A really acquired taste, System of a Downs form of metal never gets old for me

Bob Dylan- Let me Die in my Footsteps
Probably my favourite song of all time

Seán Ó Riada-Marcshlua Uí Néill/O'Neills March
I love the marches in Irish trad, this is my favourite

Brian Hughes- The Ships are Sailing
Tin whistle rocks! So lively, great music to listen to while illustrating, Besides Mary Bergin, Brian Hughes is the best

Survival of the fittest Mopp Deep
I fell in love with Hip Hop in my teens and I have never been able to shake it off, it kind of reminds me of growing up in Limerick city, the mentality, the modern city environment. Mobb Deep were the best

Biggie & Tupac Freestyle
Another great one, not a huge fan of either of them by themselves but they really pulled out all the stops for this

Rachid Taha - Barra barra
I love Rachid Tahas music, a great mix of North African music with modern elements

Tannas - Sabbal Ia'n Ic Uisdean
From the Western Isles in Scotland, a Scots Gaelic Band, Tannas, have some great music

Louis Armstrong-A Kiss To Build A Dream On 
A great period in American music, the 1930-40's had so many great songs, something about wars that lead to good music. Louis Armstrong is of course one of the greatest voices in history

Saturday, January 10, 2015

The painter's musical choices

I always have music on when working, always have. I find it hard to work without it. Plus I find it keeps you company in a way. I've been a guitar player most my life so music has always meant a lot to me.

Like with my tastes in art, my musical tastes seem to mimic this. I like brooding, atmospheric, melancholic music the most, strangely. I do like happy music too, but find it less interesting.

So here is a small sample of what I like. Most people who know me know that I am a huge death metal and black metal fan. The sort of discordant melodies always ring true to me! As well as this I love classical and traditional folk music. From Wagner to Liszt, I love classical because of the variation you get. I love folk music because of the stories that are sung.

Here are examples:
Nasheim - En nyckel till drömmars grind
Bach's Harpsichord in Dm
Winterfylleth - A valley thick with Oaks
Bert Jansch - Moonshine

Music while you work... Whistle while you work?

This weeks themed suggestion threw me, not because I don't listen to it but because I'm always listening to something. I have a bit of a phobia of silence, so the radio is always on, or I have my iPod on random shuffle ( it assures me it has over a week before it starts to repeat anything) that means I honestly couldn't tell you what I was listening to for any given artwork. 

I have types of music for different things I suppose, for example, when I am concentrating its a French Jazz channel. Beautiful music and chatter, however since I don't speak French it doesn't distract me with news reports. I get a lot of watercoloured work done that way. 
General sketching and brainstorming would be the iPod on shuffle, music I know & love but no DJ. Sometimes when doing very repetitive tasks such as priming boards or scanning animation frames I have to resort to Audio books, Sir Terry Pratchett by choice, mainly so the job gets done & I don't wander off. 

Currently listening to Chris Rea and painting comic pages. (Studio is freezing so I had to compromise with my Ma in the living room. She disapproves of random shuffle)

As an image for this post I have a fan art of dancing baby Groot. 


...Bouncing off the walls.

 So. I pondered putting up a list of my fave artists and tunes but that would be too hard to call and make for far too long a post! So instead im going to post the soundtrack for the week (well, some of it at least) which probably gives a taste of my tastes!

I used to listen to radio a lot in mornings but found it too distracting, id be drawing and then a interview or something would pull me out of it. These days i mainly consign myself to Spotify and a large collection of tunes on my hard drives. I don't ever put on anything specifically keyed to any image i work on, so I'm not sure how much the background tune can be informing the ideas etc as i work, but it probably does a little...

Chelsea Wolfe-Feral Love
Great artist i discovered via this track that was used on Game of Thrones Trailer in 2013.
U2-Every Breaking Wave
Love them, hate them? I like a lot of the music though like most i wish Bono would talk less, sing more. This tune is gorgeous though. 
Plastic Rose-Move Islands
Some friends from Sligo and this is there new track. Its savage.
Discovered this recently and its been on replay a lot. 
Broods-Mother and Father
Another recent find. 
Pearl Jam-Black
Basically my favourite song (probably?). Still my favourite band and this tune is just masterful.
Talking Heads-Once in a Lifetime
Always gets me in a good mood.
Disposable Heroes of Hypocrisy-Television the drug of a Nation
Old track but a relevant message, even more so in this day of Iphones, Internet and social media. 
Gil Scott Heron-The revolution will not be televised
Just damn cool! And says something real too..
David Bowie-Heroes
Got into Bowie late, but damn hes great...
Old track, College years and memories!
Stone Temple Pilots-Pretty Penny
Loved their earlier stuff but Weiland is meant to be a bit of a difficult chap. Still, good tune! 

Friday, January 9, 2015


Like the others who've posted, music would be a constant companion for my painting days except when outside doing plein air; then I don't bother with it.  Like Eva, I would have a wide mix of stuff gathered over the years.  Unlike Kevin, I don't mind vocals, for me, a familiar voice keeps concentration.  I'll post a few faves.

Nirvana 'Drain You' from a John Peel session
They never sounded better imo.  All-time favourite band.

Tom Waits 'Hang Down Your Head'
I've gotten into his stuff in the last year, unique artist.

Captain Beefheart 'Plastic Factory'
From his amazing debut album, 'Safe as Milk', again unique sound.

Roy Orbison 'Goodnight'
The big 'O'.  One of the greatest singing voices of the 20th Century.

The Ronettes 'Baby I Love You'
The best pop song ever imo.

Blind Willie Johnson 'Nobody's Fault But Mine'
Highly recommend this, nobody else sounds like him.

Stiff Little Fingers 'Rough Trade'
Punk band from the North.

Nigel Kennedy 'Hungarian Dance No. 5' by Brahms
I like some classical.  He's an amazing violinist.

Leadbelly 'Tell Me Baby'
Great performer.  I like how he tells the background story to the song at the start.

Woody Guthrie 'Baltimore to Washington'
Folk music.

Lou Reed 'Wagon Wheel'
Was saddened when he died in October 2013.

Neil Young 'Thrasher'
One of his best written songs.  The lines 'But me I'm not stopping there, got my own row left to hoe/ Just another line in the field of time' are dear to me.

Joni Mitchell 'Little Green'
From her amazing album, 'Blue'.  Female songwriting has rarely been equalled.

Mark Lanegan 'Wish You Well'
A veteran from the grunge scene in Seattle.

Rita Connolly 'The defence of Hen's Castle' from Grainuaile by Shaun Davey
There's be a gap if I didn't include something Irish.  'Grainuaile' is an amazing landmark record, based on Grace O'Malley, the 16th Century pirate queen.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Eva's Playlist of Chaos

Really love this week's theme, so I'm just leaving you all here with my playlist of chaos. I have been collecting music for so many years and I went through some phases during my life, my music library is a big colourful patchwork of different tunes from many genres - and I have it all set on random play.

This playlist here is just a small percentage, I just randomly picked a few all time favs. Some tracks you might like, some might make you vomit a little in your mouth maybe :P Anyways, enjoy and create!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Kevin's Playlist

Glad to have a chance to post here again, been a bit busy lately so missed a couple. However I liked very much the idea of this theme and couldn't resist joining in. I have to admit that when I work I do continuously listen to music, ipod in the pocket and headphones in the ears. To such an extent that even when working in company I often ask if others don't mind if I plug my ears with my discordant choice of refrain as I am convinced that only in doing so can I untie the particular arty knots I am grappling with. I listen mostly to instrumental pieces and stay give a wide berth to anything with recognizable vocals as I find that I have a tendency to focus on the words of the song rather than the art at hand. Of course music containing a language which I cannot decipher is just fine too.
One of my current favorites is Nils Frahm, he is a German musician and composer based in Berlin. Here is a piece by him called "Toilet Brushes" where he plays the inside of a grand piano with a pair of the same. It may seem a little odd but the guy deserves a listen and this goes to show what he can do with a keyboard... the only person I have seen playing two pianos at the same time with either hand.. both hands playing a different tune.!!

I have done a lot of art to Frahm's music, it works well for oils and I find myself easily caught in it's rhythm and flow allowing me to produce paintings without thinking too hard about what I am actually doing. It was a Frahm piece called "More" started the work below and the rest of that album finished it.

Next on my list is Max Richter. Richter is a German born British composer largely involved now with soundtracks but is also responsible for an immense amount of standalone work. Richter's work is a great companion to producing visual pieces. Here is one of favorite works by him called "Maria the Poet" a piece done in memory of the soviet poet Marina Tsvetaeva. You can find an english translation by yourselves, I wont bother you with it here.

I'd also like to give a mention to Johann Johannsson. He is an Icelandic composer born in Reykjavik.
Johannsson is my man for drawing. I'm not at all sure why I feel different music suits different mediums it just works that way for me. This guy is responsible for some of the best drawings I ever did and he will never know it :) Here is a track from him called "Melodia" from the album "Fordlandia".

I hold him personally responsible for this piece.

I am also a huge fan of Philip Glass, I don't think I need to say much about him as he is quite familiar to everyone. Here he is performing a piece I really like called "Mad Rush"

While I don't listen quite as much to glass now, once or twice a day maybe, there was a time that most of my listening during work was his music... there's just so much of it and it is so varied. It never gets old and is always welcome.

My last entry has got to be Sigur Ros, easy to work with as they are intentionally not making any verbal sense whatsoever. I have been a long time fan of these guys and always find their music easy to push a brush to. Absolutely great guys for pushing out landscapes, so here's a track from them....

Here's a plein air splashed out in the wet while my brain is being fed by these guys.

Now I'm going to leave you with just five selections, like everyone else I could go on and on, music being such a huge facet for me in the production of my art.. but I think this is enough for now.. hope you enjoyed my choices.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Themed week: Raúl´s playlist


long time without posting XD, I think I´m the first one with the themed week, this time the topic was the music we listen to when we´re working, more concretely the music that inspire us during our creations.

First of all I have to say that in my case the music I listen to is not really influent on what I draw (at least the link is not so evident I think), plus I listen to many diferent things. If there is a link in someway between my work and the music I listen to, is that I have caricaturized many musicians I admire. So taking this point to acount I will start my themed week from there. Also I will do many other recomendation about music I listen to and maybe you will not know.


At islander art I´ve already shown many caricatures about musicians, my first post was for the Dubliners (very known specially in ireland), and I´ve talked about Peret the father of "Rumba Catalana". Here they go annother two artists who are very related to the basque contemporary music and I´ve already caricaturized:

Mikel Laboa:

This man is without doubt my favourite songwriter not only in basque language but any other language I can understand. Also I consider this man one of the best expresions of the basque art.    

Mikel laboa (1943-2008), started his career during the Spanish dictatorship (an age where the basque language was pursued and prohibited in the public area). He founded the basque cultural group "Ez dok Hamahiru" ("there is not thirteen", refeering tho the number that brings bad luck) which its been a reference to the next generation of the basque artists and identity who where emerging in the last years of the dictatorship.

 Mikel Laboa besides being a pioneer in this basque  artist movement, he also shows an experimental side with the music and the language that I consider sublime. Even he mainly sings in basque he also sings in many other languages like french, english, italian or portuguese, and many times he simply invent random phonems, "a not understood language", which maybe reflects the condition of the basque language but at the same time express a clear message.

You can found a great example in the song called "Gernika", where the topic is, like in the famous picasso´s painting, the bombing of the town Gernika in 1937  by the german air force.

Nacho de Felipe (Oskorri):

Nacho de felipe is the vocal of the band "Oskorri" (that means red sky), probably the most renowned folk band from basque country since they started in the 70´s. Among their themes we can find rescued and reconverted basque popular songs, singed disclosure of famous basque poets and many own songs where social criticism and humour go equally. They´ve invited foreign folk artists to their concerts like the  Martin Carthy from U.K, Liam O´flynn from ireland, Gwendal from france and more. A very cheerful band with memorable lyrics. 

Here it goes their most famous theme called "Furra Furra" played with the orchestra from Bilbao during their 35th birthday. 


Christopher Tin´s Calling all Dawns: is a masterpiece of the videogame composer Christopher Tinn (Civilization 4 and Dante´s Inferno). This album represents the earth cycle during the year, each song is sung in a diferent language around the world and many of the songs are epic.

Mama Ladilla (mother crab louse): It is a spanish punk rock band, their lyrics are really acid and elocuent at the same time, and they are followed with a really empathetic melodies

Limbotheque: A cabarette style band from Valencia, their last album called "folkcabaret" covers popular songs from many countries. Here it goes the cover they made from "Ochi chernye" a popular russian song... 

Juan Luis Guerra: A famous Dominican Merengue singer.

Luar Na Lubre: A renowned folk band from Galicia (they sing in Galician, a language very close to portuguese).

That´s all for the moment, hope you feel interesting any of these bands.


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Killers! Killers everywhere!

So I have been doing commissions for a couple of lovely chaps in London that do the Jack the Ripper tours in Whitehall. LINK TO THEM

I have done... loads now, I can't remember how many, enough to feel like I actually know Jack, but I thought I would share the most recent two I did.

One of Jack made to look like similar to this a nightmare on elm street poster

The large blank at the top is for texty goodness

And also this one, a repaint of an old book cover of the good Dr. Crippen, a lovely chap that supposedly murdered his wife and buried her in the basement around the same time Jack was active.

"it's a new treatment, I swear"

I even did a gif of the process of this one for the giggle

Hope you all had a great christmas and enjoy the new year :D

Monday, December 22, 2014

Whiskey Jim

A commission I had recently to do a portrait of a character, this is Whiskey Jim


 "The Witch and The Apple"
Not much to say really, drawn in Corel Painters Ink set, I've been kinda embracing this style of work lately. Been tied up in a larger project so these simple starker images are the perfect antidote.
On an aside, to the Islanders and the Blog readers, Merry Xmas 2014! Have a great one!  

Monday, December 15, 2014

Three Blue Glass Containers on a Mirror

So this is the latest piece.  There was a time I wouldn't have gone near still-lifes but in the last year I've found they're good for sharpening observation skills and experimenting with colour combinations.  My sister bought these at a pound shop a while back.  I like the various shapes and the different tones of blue in each.  I used a mirror underneath to give greater depth.  The surrounding conservatory is reflected on the slim container on the left.  Here's a photo of the scene when the pic was finished:

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Bantry Blossom Pencil Sketch

This is my pencil work for an illustration I did of the character 'The Bantry Blossom' for an art exhibition being held in Camden Palace in Cork next week. The exhibition itself is for a short film called 'Comic Potential' that was made last Summer in West Cork by Emmet O'Brien and Ross Carey. The main character in the film being the Bantry Blossom. The film will also premier next Tuesday evening at 7 PM in the Camden Palace... so come along and see some art by local artists and also support local film makers!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Hare Amongst Corn Stubbles

This adventurous fella and a companion came close to my home last September.  Unusual, because hares normally keep their distance.  The field outside had recently been harvested and they travelled the whole length (400m), going back the way they came.  This was difficult to get through, especially the stubbles in particular.  Hares are native to Ireland.  They differ from rabbits in their enormous back legs, built for speed.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Full Moon over Knockadoon from Garryvoe

This came together pretty quickly, in five days.  Painted with water-mixable oils.  On the sky I painted wet on wet, painting the illuminated clouds against the dark sky, which helped to create a glow in the clouds.  Using magenta around the fringes of the light parts made the light more dynamic.  At the end, I went back to the moon and the clouds immediately around it, to make them brighter.  This took about 20 attempts to photograph; I used a lot of medium in parts, medium reflects light easily causing a devil of a sheen.

Thursday, December 4, 2014


My Way of Working

I start off a painting like any other painting, usually in this cluttered hovel of a studio. I start paintings based on seeing something inspiring, either in real life or from a photo or even music. Something that triggers that process in my brain that makes me have somekind of "artistic vision".

My ever growing clutter. From half built furniture to finished paintings ready to be sold or framed or burnt at the altar of failure. 

I listen to lots of music, I love music. Can't do much without it!

I also create really crap sketches before hand that only I can understand. I don't like to spend much time on sketches. I do them to help figure out composition and whatnot.

If all goes well, and the painting turns out half decent, I will perform a ritualistic dance with my candle and praise the art Gods.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Pen Porn

My main pens in front and my basket of various pens in the background
My post for this months themed week about process etc. Ill just make this post about my tools and the way I use them in my work, as I did an Islander post there recently about the overall process of working, kind of jumped the gun there, I probably should have waited till now but naaaawwwwwh :P <- (sound of sticking out your tongue and making a face). So in other words, ill make this about my tools ways of working. Oh and I hear ye ask why porn in the title? Well since the time Mike made a post called "sketch porn"  a while ago and it was our highest viewed post OF ALL TIME, the value of the word porn should be obvious :P

Right, my main medium is pen and ink which at this stage I think I have tried every ink pen imaginable in the last 6-7 year of inking, but I mostly like fineliners/multiliners etc. My main pens would be microns and uni pins for most work as they give nice solid lines, but for fine work I use the Copics multiliners as they have a felt tip which is so delicate, great for layering of values and small texture and detail. I also use staedtler Pigment liners.....which I just realised I forgot to include in the photos............ when I need to create a more duller black, can be nice to add more variety in your blacks or greys.

In the last few months I have taken to using a uniball white pen over black to hatch over blacks as well as correct mistakes. Sometimes I then use a stanley knife to hatch over the white to blend them more, kind of like mini etching. I also use this white pen at times to create different shades of white in an image.

Recently I have taken to using calligraphy pens, since they have a nice flat top, which gives interesting lines and shadows but also makes it easier drawing more technical modern buildings. My brush pen is there for creating thick blacks and interesting lines and shapes. I also starting playing with markers like the Staedtler Lumocolor, which I love, as they make fun shaped blacks and lines too

Pen PORN!!!

Anna's WoW

My WOW - Ways of Working

pencils_watercolour paints_black pen_AdIll_music _tea_snacks

I used to paint with oil paints a lot but I stopped after college. I decided to focus on dry medium, life drawing, illustrations and learning.

When I had studio I was working sitting, standing by easel or putting paper up on the wall and drawing like this...which is for me most comfortable, strangely enough. Sometimes, I was even spreading sheets of paper on the floor and laying or kneeling while drawing; whatever was best way to finish a large scale drawing. These days I don’t have that much space, so I just sit or draw on lap or in bed.

Research is the most important part of my workflow. It gives me if not inspiration then at least library of information. When I had more space I always surrounded myself with sheets of paper with some existing artwork or landscape, texture, old graphics anything that triggered my inpiration was sticked to the wall or layed on the floor, close for me to see it.

Tea is second most important part of my working proces.. It just has to be by my side. Same with some snacks, it saves me time going to the fridge.

These days I work in silence, as I am often tired. Also, at work I listen to music without any break, as you can imagine it can gets tiresome and all I want after work is to relax. If in fact, I get to play some tunes while working on art projects at home it’s mostly Beautiful Mind, Lady in the Water, Underground ost’s or bands like Morphine, Coco Rosie, Daab, Goran Bregovic, Artctc Monkeys, Einstürzende Neubauten some rock or blues.  . . it’s all very eclectic. If I am bored of what I already know I play music recommended to me by friends, then I have my own little radio of tunes I have never heard before. 

Micheal did a great job walking us though all his steps of working on an illustrations from scratch. My ways are quite similar. I always start from a fast sketch as it’s the easiest way to put my thoughts and vision on paper. I was trying to draw in PS but it never worked as fast as sketching on paper for me as I don’t have much experience and I found out that this is really not my cup of tea. Software I really like though at the moment is Adobe Illustrator and all it’s funkyness and layering and fun stuff.. possibly I will change my mind in the future? Time will show.

After doing a lot of sketches and choosing the best one, or the one I think works best I redraw it and then usually use black pen or watercolour.. I wouldn’t have any examples to show, now. And then after hours or minutes of working it’s done.

Later this week I will try to finally share with Islander artists what I have done for work and my own projects etc. 

That’s all folks!


I am attaching few pics from my old sketchbooks as a part of the last cool theme week that I didn't get a chance to do. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Themed tea party

Marley was dead, to begin with.

Just getting ye into the Christmas mood, it is… late November after all. 

So, Islander Art themed week, a process of a particular medium I use. Well as I have a commission for an inked piece I thought to myself “ooh how suitable” and proceeded to take many terrible pictures with my phones camera, so apologies for those. 

The commission is a simple one, which I was, much to my delight given pretty much free reign with. Create a slightly dark version of the Mad Hatters tea party with the clients sister as Alice, all she said was it could be nothing like Disney’s version and more like Tim Burton’s, at which point my overly developed geek bone wanted to say “but Tim Burton started out at Disney”, but in an attempt to avoid alienating and inspiring the hatred of the client, I refrained. 

Tools of the trade

One kitchen table.

White gel pens, ink brush, white out brush, dip pens (assorted nibs) black ink, white out, tip ex, a pencil. 

Sketch pad and 200lb watercolour paper cut to size.

One human finger.
For smudging silly

Coke/Tea with ice.

For drinking

An ipod full to the brim with Johnny Cash set to full volume and random. 

For listening

I start out with the idea, thumbnail it and if the client is happy then I work on that.

I build up the drawing and design of the characters until I am happy with it, this is the only really hard part, designing everything, this is where all the thinking is done (limited though it may be in my head)
I considered the wise old goldfish, he rejected me though

Once all that is done I get to do the fun part. I do the drawing first and make sure it’s right, holding it up to the mirror to see if looks ok backwards is always a fun trick and you don’t look crazy at all.

I then cleverly forgot to take a picture of the drawing on the watercolour paper before starting the wash

I work from the back forward. Building up trees and so on with light washes.

Attack of the dip pens. Being left handed I run the constant risk of smudging so I try to work from the right to left.

But having giant clod hopper hands like mine… sigh.

Sign of a pro

Descent of the brush

Black black black, fun fun fun, the crow was the best part

Ok so I decided to add a little colour, a brown and violet wash (I add ink with some water to a water brush) and a metallic gold and silver sharpie. 

Labeling is for smart people

I added the wash over the clothes of each character just to have them stand out and I put the gold on her dress although it doesn’t stand out in the pictures or scan. 

And that’s it! Not as thrilling as you may have hoped, but haven’t you learned so much, SO MUCH! 
Hope ya like it, but if you don't... I won't care (please like me)