Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Art of Iaido

Disposable pen on recycled cartridge 30 x 25 cm

A quick sketch of the art of Iaido with my favorite cheap pen

thanks for looking :)

Friday, September 26, 2014

Some more sketches from the ruined mill

Returning today I had once again a chance to study some different areas around the ruin..
The first being another roofless building deeper into the trees

 Charcoal and white chalk on canson 40 x 30cm

Charcoal and white chalk on canson 40 x 30cm

The second was a study of one of the now overgrown canals 
used to manage the waters for powering the mill system.. it was 
really enjoyable and quite peaceful.. I must return with oil 
paints as the weather gets cooler.

Thanks for looking :)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Drawing of part of the old "Gunpowder Mills" ruin

Hi, I've been missing for a bit from the blog but I just thought I might post this and try to keep it a bit more regular in future..

Graphite on 120lb press 90cm x 60cm

This is a sketch of one of the remaining blast walls from the old gunpowder 
mills in Ballincollig Cork. I have the opportunity to visit it over three
 days ending tomorrow. It was an extremely fun piece of ruin to sketch
..by the way the little figure on the bottom left is not me but someone 
else engaged in a similiar pursuit.

Thanks for looking :)

Friday, July 25, 2014

Churchyard Cat

Graphite on 150lb press 30cm x 20cm

 Every so often I get lucky enough to travel around the countryside with an 
art group that go by the name of Sceitse exploring different locations 
and their aspects of interest. This last trip was to the lovely seaside town of Youghal.
Always lots to draw on these trips, but what really caught my eye that day was this 
friendly cat happy to pose in the church yard. Unfortunately he wouldnt pose for long 
enough. But I was able to get quite a bit of camera reference from him and work this
little piece up in the studio later.

Thanks for looking :)

A pastel sketch from the island..

Pastel on tinted canson 30cm x 20cm

Another impression from the island of Illauntannig, the island itself is surrounded 
by quite a bit of rock, having only one short beach where a boat can be landed.
Rockpools of course are an endless source of sketch material.

Thanks for looking  :)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Island impressions.. abandoned

Pastel on tinted canson 28cm x 20cm

Another island impression, this one in pastel painted inside an old outbuilding there while standing in out of the wind. The old gas cooker left to decay still sitting under the remains of a huge fireplace.
It made for a nice study and very different from what I would usually attempt.

Thanks for looking :)

Shoreline impression.

Oil on Foamex 25cm x 20cm

Recently I was lucky enough to spend some time on an Atlantic island called Illauntannig
off the coast of Kerry. Four days were spent in the company of 12 other artists on this otherwise deserted outcrop of sand and rock drawing, painting and generally enjoying the beauty 
of it's bleakness.The work above is an impression of the waves as 
they break on its western shore.

Thanks for looking :)

Monday, May 19, 2014

A Six Minute Sparrow

 Here'a a quick little demo of a painting of a Sparrow. The video is sped up here so the whole process can be viewed in six minutes.The surface is foamex and the medium is oil.The video quality is the best I can get using my small face cam. It was positioned right in front of the easel so I had to paint up under it to get this to work.  So while the viewer can see the painting progress the artist was looking at the back of the camera trying not to hit it with the brush, funny but true. For the most part this seems to have worked.

Thanks for looking :)

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Small painted bird

oil on Foamex 20 x 16 cm

It's a grey rainy day today outside the studio and there is little sign 
of my winged modeling companions. Hover there is an odd glimpse between
showers. Enough at least, for this study in oil.

Thanks for looking :)

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Another Sparrow sketch

Pastel on tinted canson 30 x 25 cm

I managed to get in another quick sketch of my noisy companions.
Once again using the dry pastel and charcoal mix. This one is less detailed
due to the speed of these little guys and even at this level it's mostly from memory :)

Thanks for looking :)

Old Tim fixing the weather vane

oil on Foamex 34 x 27cm

An oil painting of my friend and neighbor Tim as he fixes his weather vane above the chicken coop.
A task for which I was volunteered to help with and payment received by Tim modeling momentarily
on the ladder while I did the sketch. The painting was completed later from reference and memory.

Thanks for looking :)

Monday, April 28, 2014

Guests in my attic.

Recently I have had two pairs of sparrows take residence in my attic, These non paying guests are making quite a fuss in settling into the nests they have built between the ceiling and roof. I can hear them flapping and chirping while I work and every so often I can see their cheeky presence just outside my skylight windows. They make fine drawing models. I thought I might post a speedy pastel process for quickly getting them down on paper.

The first task is to draw the little guy, they are fast movers but sometimes tend to sit and doze on a branch when the sun comes out. So taking advantage of this I quickly work up a charcoal sketch of the bird just focusing on the values and proportions. When I have it down I  spray it with a little artists varnish as I dont really want the charcoal to mix with the upper layers of pastel I will be using later. This short wait for the fixitive to dry is useful too, as it gives me time to start another sketch.

 My next step is to lay in the basic colors, I am using a mix of pastels here and I am just getting an average of the color. As my model has since woken and flown, I am making my color notes each time he passes and lands outside my studio window.

 Once I have made a simple color fill I must then become concerned with detail, for this I am more inclined to use pastel pencils as they are easier control and they work well on top of the colors already laid in. I can take my time at this point as between my models and some photo reference, I'm pretty sure I can get the important details down. 

Finally then I have my finished drawing, I have used some very soft pastels on the top layer.
This has been a pretty fast sketch overall, just for fun.

Thanks for looking :)

Sunday, April 27, 2014

My first illustrated short story.

A little while back the islander art group gave me the opportunity to share in their group publication "Black Night" with a short illustrated story. I have to admit this is a first for me, while used to writing stories as a personal activity I have never actually tried publishing one. Until now. The islander art group have quite a bit of experience in this field, all being artists and illustrators of a very high caliber themselves. I found them really helpful and supportive throughout this process, an exercise about which I knew absolutely nothing. Their patience being such that I have begun to believe that it may be next to impossible to annoy any of them at all... no matter how hard I try :)

 The magazine is a collection of stories and art created by JG O'DonoghueEleanor Reilly, Mike Nolan, Marian Noone, Alan Corbett, Wayne O'Connor, Sara Otterstatter, Raul Fernandez and myself

My own contribution is just an illustrated short story of about a little group of people trying to make a living in the far reaches of the solar system. I guess I have always been a sucker for sci-fi and see no reason not to entertain this weakness. The magazine will launched at a special event in Cork, at the haunt of the Cork Sketch Group, the Franciscan Well Brewery. The event will take place on Saturday May 17th at 4.00 pm and there will be copies there available for purchase. If you are around and are interested then hopefully I will see you there.
Thanks for looking:)

Life drawing at the Fourth Floor Studios.

Some more life drawing today at the Fourth Floor Studios.. Sometimes it just does not work, today it just seemed to be stuck, no likeness, proportions out of whack, just about everything wrong. I guess my muse had the weekend off or found something more interesting somewhere else. Whatever it was I was on my own :) So after a few hours frustration and in desperation, I switched to red conte on tinted sheets, rather than my trusty old pencils on bare white cartridge. All of a sudden things started flowing again. I suppose then, it's true, one small change is often all it takes.

Thanks for looking :)

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 :)

Friday, April 25, 2014

Sketching with the Cork sketch group..

disposable pen on recycled paper 30 x 20 cm

A quick sketch I did from the Cork sketch group event "Drink & Draw 
last thursday 24th of April. Once again I have used the incredible records of
Edward S Curtis as an inspiration.

Thanks for looking :)

Portrait under strong light,

Charcoal and colored chalk 30 x 24 cm

The other evening while the web cam was on I leaned in toward the computer screen.
At the same time I had the fluorescent light I use at the desk for sketching switched on. 
The lamps I use are old salvaged medical spotlights similar to the lights you would find in a dental surgery. Very bright.The dark light contrast I saw in the cam display was far too tempting not to draw so I completed this little work with dry pastels based on it. While I'm not too sure about the likeness as a self portrait, not being quite as lean faced as the work appears, I still felt happy enough to post it.

Thanks for looking :)

Monday, April 7, 2014

Portrait Study of Artist Jeremiah Galvin

Minen lead and oil pitt on cartridge   28 x 42 cm

A pencil sketch of artist Jeremiah Galvin. 
Done with kind permission.

Thanks for looking :)

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Trees in Spring

oil painting of trees in spring by kevin gough

Oil on canvas 40 x 30cm

A quick oil painting of trees in the spring light.

Thanks for looking :)

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Study of a Native American

Red and Black oil Pitt with white Charcoal on Tinted Canson 30 x 20 cm

Thanks for looking :)

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Some life drawing at the Fourth Floor Studios


Managed to get some time to do some more life drawing studies last Sunday.
All in all it was a productive day as I managed to get over a dozen pieces into 
the five hour session. Six of those of which I have posted above.
All drawings are about 40 x 30 cm and completed in carbon and 
oil pittwith the poses ranging from five minutes to fifteen.

Thanks for looking :)


Thursday, January 16, 2014

Quick Figure Study

Graphite on Cartridge 42 x 30 cm

A quick excercise to draw the figure study using mostly line.
I have to admit, I find this a much more difficult excercise than 
just drawing using light and shade as the areas. Here I just wanted 
the line alone to describe the volumes and masses. 

Thanks for looking :)
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