Sunday, April 27, 2014

Portrait workshop with PJ Lynch..

Yesterday I was lucky enought to attend a portrait workshop at the Kennedy Art shop in Dublin. It was given by artist / illustrator PJ Lynch who has been illustraing children's books since 1984. He is an excellent tutor also as I discovered on the day. PJ helped simplify many of the problems I was encountering with my approach giving me tips on color and form where I had erred. Often he would step in front of my easel and while explaining, politely make the correct adjustments with his own brush. Avery expedient method of correction I must say. 
To get to the workshop I took the early train from Cork with my friend Eva Widermann another illustrator with phenomenon talent, both of us carrying easels, paints and scribble books in hand. Traveling with my art gear is one of my favorite things. The ability to set up fast and carry wet canvas back to the studio for later work is always a great advantage. One of the things I like so much on train journeys is of course scribbling and yesterday was no different. Either out of the imagination or from the landscape going by, it's always fun to get ideas down in this way, the vibrations of the train adding significantly to the fast scribbles. When drawing the landscape from the train, what you see is only visible for a moment so you have to stay focused and scribble as fast as possible. It's an activity that eats up the time of any rail trip.

Of course you can just draw out of the imagination also. Sometimes I get lucky and pull a usefull design out of all these extra fast drawings that even ends up as a landscape painting. Anyway the day went quite well, as well as being an excellent tutor PJ is a complete gentleman and it was easy to be comfortable and learn in his presence. Here's the work I brought away on the day.

 oil on canvas board 30 x 25

 I will leave it for the moment until it tacks up a bit, in a while I will follow PJ's advice and run a glaze over the shadow areas of the work. I would highly recommend this demo if any of you reading this get the opportunity it is well worth the effort.

Thanks for looking :)


  1. Great result too man! Well done. Sounds like it was worth the journey!

    I also am a big fan of drawing on buses and trains, do it all the time, the way a bus or train bounces around alot helps one be patient when you wait for the right moment to lay down the mark and also makes you less precious and sketch quickly!

    1. Thanks JG, that's it exactly and if you are on a good rough road or track you can even use the vibrations to add to the expressiveness :) Besides, it beats just waiting impatiently to get to the end of the journey :)

  2. Great blog Kevin!
    It was such a great pleasure to meet you and Eva, and a pity you had to head back to Cork so soon. Regards PJ
    Super portrait....I look forward to seeing it after the glazing

  3. And a pleasure to meet you too PJ, thanks for checking out the blog :)


Oh wow ! a comment, I just love comments :) thanks very much.

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