A Lobster


I had this painting knocking around for quite a while.  It was almost complete and other things got prioritised and it got left behind.  I needed a short break from the computer this week so worked on it a little more.  If I remember it was just going to be watercolour but I added some ink.  

This kind pattern of work symbolizes how things have gone this past year.  Balancing working on projects to get more profficient versus making a living .  Some stuff will enevitably get left behind as priorities shift. Some will get picked up again as a sort of normal arises out of the eventual control of pandemic.  Some will be left behind. 

For now I am budgeting on this year not being normal and not planning too far ahead.  Controlling what I can and trying to keep moving forward.  

Tree with friends


Tree with friends

A recent commission from before Christmas.  This was painted in watercolour.  I had not painted in watercolour for a while and I mapped everything in Photoshop and got client approval before I painted it. There were a few smaller watercolour practice runs.   I liked the Photoshop take alot.  This was painted on very heavy paper Waterford 300 lb cold press.  I think the better you are in this medium the easier it is to paint on lighter paper.  

Photoshop preliminary sketch

Stay Safe


Stay Safe

Stay Safe

I worked on a commission a while back for https://beeganassociates.com/ and created an animation for it.  The brief was to prompt people to think about their health and safety at work in broader terms.    For time reasons I ended up using a protion of it. I worked on it afterwards to round it out.  

The hazzard signs were in illustrator.  I imported them as .svg files and then animated the camera. They were the last addition. 

The stick man animation was done first.  The timing on it was slowed  for this version though it still moves along at a fair lick.  I used the lights to change scene colours.  

Music was CC 4.0  "Wants to know" by Soulsurfer.  


Off limit chips


Off limit chips 

Jumped back into illustration as a switch up from a lot of 3D I was creating.  Worked on these on and off for a month and then eventually called time.  They are chips, chips with garlic sauce, curry chips and curry chips and cheese.  They are off limits during lockdown (outside permitted travel zone) so this is all I have until restrictions are lifted.  

Clouds and rocks


Clouds and Rocks ( 9.5"x 7")

Oil painting.  Havent done one in a while.  

This was a practice piece to warm up after such a long break before I launched into a larger commission piece.  It was based on photo reference but I changed up the sky a bit.  I streamed some of the painting on Twitch but the VOD is gone now I think.   The more I paint these the more relaisation that 80% of the work is done before the brush touches the surface.  With composition, paint mixing and stroke placement all decided.  The only thing that happens at the actual painting stage is the brush mark. Important too but not everything.  

This painting is for sale on Etsy

Covid cases in Ireland 01 October 20


Covid cases in Ireland to 01 October 20

Something a little different this time.  The  impact of Covid-19  on every facet of life has meant that alot of data has been recorded and collected.  Correspondingly there has been a lot of information made available to the public.  In Ireland we as in most of Europe have been experiencing the start of a second wave.  Lockdowns have been reintroduced and their perimeters have been defined by county boundries.  
Here the data was expressed in 2 ways one the total number of confirmed cases per county but also of the proportion of population affected in each county corrects for different population densities. The whole thing was then examined per day.  It is easy to see the first wave peaking in April, every county holds steady in July and cases increase everywhere in September. Data released lags realtime by 2-3 days.  The next week look critical to gain control of numbers again.  

All the data from this source   

Lots of waiting


Lots of waiting

A 2D image for a change.  Wanted to get back to just creting compositions.  I didnt want to spend ages rendering to get an effect so I kept things loose.  Originally the composition was not going to have too much detail on the left hand side but as It got worked up the plan changed and in the end it feels the more successful part of the painting.  I did smuggle in a little 3D.  
    I have painted rain before and never got a a satisfying result. This time I did a particle simultation using a few different objects and lit it to get the drops to show up. I rendered it as a Quicktime movie to preserve the alpha channel.  I used a single frame of the render and added it as a layer to the PSD file.

As I had kept the layers during painting I was able to drop the completed layers, onto the animation in Blender. I rendered it again then imported the layers into Photoshop to create the Gif (cant do this in Blender, sigh).  

Most of the Photoshop work I streamed on Twitch and the videos are there


sci-fy landscape

Waiting - video  Youtube link

This was playing around with Photoshop layers and using Blender lighting and effects.  I did something like this going the reverese - 3D models and Photoshop layers before for Turbine.  

Sci fy buildings

I was able to quickly create the layers and then import them as image to plane in Blender.  

Photoshop layers

I seperated the layers based on effects. For this I turned off shadows for lights and layers.  

Layers in Blender

The stars(particles) were the most  fiddly.  I had to set up a cube and collision to contain them and stop them leaking into the foreground. 

Layers with effects in Blender

 The rest was balancing the lighting to keep the effects visible.

Everything was rendered in Eevee.

Tough times

Cop Sketch
Cop Sketch

Went back to where I started with some people studies.  Havent done anything like this in a while so it was nice just to concentrate on some basic stuff.   I did a line drawing and then just concentrated on shapes.  

The virus has stoped us from taken things for granted.  Its making us question presumptions about how stable society is.  The police have been one of the funadamental parts of that stability and they are now being asked to enforce restrictions of the civil society that in the Western world havent been imposed since the second world war.  


Data mining isometric
Data Mining

This started out as a commission but the client wanted to go in a different direction after the initial sketches. I think the fact I did the concepts in 2D threw them.  

For me if the final image is a still 2D image then the approach of using the photoshop sketches is stronger but I should have thought of the client who was invested in a 3D image wanted to see that format in drafts.  

Anyway I was left with a partially developed concept that I did want to finish.  

I had developed 2 colour schemes based on what I could see of their branding.  As the choice was now mine alone I went with the lighter one. 

I used a toon shader to keep the detail low for the data centre.  There is a toon shader built in for Blender but it only works with cycles.  To keep the lighting effects I wanted to stay with the Eevee renderer.  You can cheat a toon shader using ramps so I used a variant of MrTriPies method here 
I added some animations.  I added ripples following the tutorial by Gleb Alexandrov here .  This method uses the wave modifier, dyanmic paint and a particle system.  The major time investment here was in getting a material and lighting set up that would leave the data lake emissions  visible but still being able to see the ripples by reflection.  
The figures are on the basic metarig.  You can see the lighting ended up a little complicated but that is why I wanted to do the lighter scene as it is harder to control.