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)