Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Albino Deer Spitpaint

Albino Deer Spitpaint
Rattled this one off- a little bit seasonal.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Happy Christmas

Happy Christmas
Happy Christmas.  Wishing you and yours the very best of the season. 
As the year comes to an end I am fortunate enough to have a little time to pause, rest and reflect. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Still Life Snow Globe

Still Life Snow Globe
Long time since I practiced a digital still life. A seasonal subject.  This was done with just the monitor for light. 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Farmall Cub

Farmall Cub
Another small study in oils (8"x10") from a photo.  A Farmall Cub.  Used the same process as for all these most recent studies.  Did a drawing then mapped in the values in raw umber and then detailed.  Use a big brush for as long as possible. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Landscape- 2 trees

Landscape- 2 trees
Still practicing the oils (8"x10").  This was from a photo.  I actually did a photoshop study of this in 2011. Outlined in pen then did a values layer in raw umber.  Will have to stick to Photos for now really stormy here the past few days and more to come. 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Landscape -Four trees

Landscape -Four trees
Tried out a different approach for this.  Started with a photograph but it moved very far from it in the end. Worked on it for short spurts over a month. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

River Drowse -1

River Drowse -1
An oil painting of a local river (8"x10").  This was from a photograph.  Did grid it then put in a rough value map using raw umber. 

Then tried to keep to the larger shapes.



Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Landscape 14 Study -After Andreas Achenbach Erftmühle

Landscape 14 Study -After Andreas Achenbach Erftmühle
A bit of a fail on this one I feel. Started off trying out working with one brush.  Did not last.  This one suffered.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Landscape Study 13 -Glacier

Another landscape study.  Looking at the big shapes.

Friday, November 14, 2014


Messing with some photo bashing and then this happened.  A bit of fun. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014



Tried to stay with the landscape theme but being experimental. 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Landscape Study 12 -After Monsted -Glimpses of the Sun in Sæby Stream

After Monsted -Glimpses of the Sun in Sæby Stream
Biggest challenge when painting landscapes is handling green.  A classic way of breaking up all the green is adding red accents.  This is a symphony of red and green.  Image I worked from was on Elsewhere but links back to Jose Rosarios website

Monday, November 3, 2014

Landscape Study 11 After Andreas Achenbach-Wildbach

After Andreas Achenbach-Wildbach

Some dramatic landscape. The image I studied from is Elsewhere.  Had not seen any of this artists work before.  A lot of moody work.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Guard with spear

Guard with spear
Tried another character.  It came from the same set of silhouettes as cricket guard.  Not as successful I think - a bit generic. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Landscape study 10 After Shishkin - Small Oak Trees

Decided to do a few landscape studies.  This work is by Shishkin.   Did not spend a tun of time refining this as I just wanted to get the big shapes in  and then work from there.   There does not seem to be a lot of images of this online and the few that are there vary in hues.  This was copied from an image on a website  Elsewhere .  This has a  great collection of paintings of landscapes at good resolution and believable colours. The original is in the Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow.   Someday.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Ship wrecked

Ship wrecked

Trying some more enviornment stuff.  Put in some birds so I feel there is much progress here. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Cricket guard

Cricket guard

I did a set of silhouettes just to try some stuff.  I did these fast and loose.  This character was based off one. worked in grey scale first then dropped in colour then worked on some details.  Other than the rendering it went quite quickly. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Reflection Study 2

Did this study just after the previous reflection study.  I did these studies to help with another image but I got distracted and only remembered that I still had to go back and apply some this learning a few weeks later. 

Sunday, October 12, 2014



Trying out some other techniques. 
A really complicated home heating system.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Reflection Study 1

Reflection Study 1

Did a quick study to look at reflections.  Think this was done in an hour or so.

Sunday, October 5, 2014


Tried out a different method - using channels to add colour.  Results of that experiment. 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Oils workshop - still life pt 6

Still Life Final

Worked on the final piece for the last two days of the workshop.  It was interesting to try some new approaches and push the image as far as possible. It was the first time I used black on the palette.  I used the smallest brushes I think I have ever used.  Used the most number of paints on a palette ever.  Lots of stuff I had taken on board as hard and fast rules to work by are not.  
I think everyone learned a lot and pushed their work to the next level with Matts guidance.  
Hope there is another workshop next year. 

Final work

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Oils workshop - still life pt 5


Finally onto the final painting. An underpainting of raw umber and turps was applied adding pigment and rubbing out to give highlights.  This was a fast process but helped by obliterating the white canvas but keeping the drawing. 

Some more street art. 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Oils workshop - still life pt 4

Colour Study -Demonstration
On day 3 we got onto a colour study.  Matt did a demonstration of colour for the group. I was fortunate that he did the demo using the set up I was painting. It was great to have an opportunity to watch someone very skilled go through this process and be able ask questions.  This is Matts study finished.  This he referred to as a poster study.    Trying to the colours right without fussing over detail.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Oils workshop - still life pt 3

Value Study
The next stage was making a value study on a small canvas (5"x7").  Used lamp black. Yes lamp black.  The first time I have used black when working in oils.   

Matt did a demo first so we could all see the process.


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Oils workshop - still life pt 2

Transferred Drawing
After drawing the set up in pencil it was photocopied 3 times.  Size was reduced to fit two small canvases and size was adjusted for the final canvas.  To transfer the image to the canvases the reverse of the photocopied image was covered in a raw umber.  The outline and key information was transferred using a pen on the side carrying the image.  This is what I ended up with. 

The photo below is a shot of one of the Harland and Wolff cargo cranes I took from my hotel room one morning.  There are two, Samson and Goliath.   Shipyard is most famous for building the Titanic.

The second photo is of the black taxi terminal in town with some eye catching murals. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Oils workshop - still life pt 1


The scene doesn't look like much but I spent a whole week trying to capture it in oils.  As I mentioned before I went to an still life workshop for a week.  The workshop was part of the Draw In festival. Matt Weigle was the instructor for the course and it was a great experience.  Julie Douglas the organiser has a write up on the week on her blog.

First day was a set up and drawing day.  Shadow boxes were already set up by Matt and Julie and arranged so they each had a single light source.  Had to choose some props and arrange them.  Have to say I took Matts advice and kept it simple so I could focus on technique. Kept it dark and moody. Drawing was pencil on paper. Out of practice on that so I drew the set up three times.  Also marked in the terminator lines (change from light to shadow). 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Little fella

Little fella
After all the serious intense work of late did this just to relax and have a little fun.  Back to to the learning.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Roses After Abbott Handerson Thayer -Study

After Abbott Handerson Thayer - Roses
Choose this because of the palette and painterly quality.   A copy can be found on the Google Art Project site
I did a study of this still life for practice and to get me thinking about still lifes in general. I had signed up for a 1 week course of still life in oils.  A big investment for me in time and money so I wanted to get the most out of it. The course was followed by a two day drawing workshop all part of Draw in in Belfast.  In the next few post I will show some work and talk about what the experience was like. 

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Cloud Study -Lough Melvin

Cloud Study -Lough Melvin
(updated image)
Did a cloud study in oils (12"x 8").  Photo of the study is not so great.  Will try a take a better one and replace.  

Lough Melvin

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Landscape Rocks

Landscape Rocks

First landscape since April! What have I been doing? This went through a number of iterations and still not overjoyed but as ever learned some stuff along the way. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014



 Started off as a rough sketch but I wanted to try some different approaches so worked this one up to a better finish.  Started in greyscale then added some rough colour.