Tuesday, December 29, 2015



Continuing with the characters and switching up style. 

Monday, December 21, 2015

Goats in a Barn - After John Frederick Herring

After John Frederick Herring

A gouache study of  a piece by John Frederick Herring.   Really pleased with this one.  In part because I know what it looked like about half way through. I thought about ditching it at that point but pushed through.  I think I worked on it over 3 days going back in and reworking passages.  Thats ability to rework is what I find great about this medium but really I should be getting it right the first time.  

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Its a bit wet

Its a bit wet
A bit of a coincidence.  I had started work on this before storm Desmond.  This storm dropped a lot of water on an already rain soaked Ireland causing multiple floods and a lot of damage.  

Monday, December 7, 2015

Monday, November 30, 2015

After Jean Louis Ernest Meissonier-Gouache

This was a study to practice using gouache.  Meissonier was known for his detail work so this was a good one to practice with.  I drew the image out in pencil then went in with the paint. It was painted over a sessions.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Character sketches 7

Still a few of these to go but I will start mixing it up with some environments. Have no written much the past few posts.  That was down to my keyboard- the space bar stopped working and I was using the on screen keyboard to drop in the spaces.  Brand new shiny rig now.  Anyway I stuck with this exercise because it forces me to work in lines and figure out details before painting.  Something I would not have usually chosen to do but I can see the advantages and it definitely speeds things up. 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Monday, November 9, 2015

Character sketches 5- Duelists

A few more sketches. Still playing around with workflows. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Character Sketches 4

Another couple of sketches. A bit of contrast between them and more to follow.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Character Sketches 3


Before Sat nav
A few more sketches. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Character Sketch 2



A continuation of the character sketch exercise.  Trying out some more techniques. 

Monday, October 26, 2015

Character Sketches 1


Started doing a series of character sketches.  These were done changing the process as I went.  Trying  out different approaches moving more to line sketches. These are the first of a series. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Ink Sketch 1

Ink Sketch 1

Did not feel right to let inktober pass without making an effort. The dogs were done with a  pen.  The sketch of the boy is a study of at  school doors by Nikolay Bogdanov Belsky and was done with a brush pen.  More to follow.  

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Monday, October 5, 2015


Worked on this for a while trying to work out textures and lighting in between other studies. Glad I didn't abandon about half way through. It started out from this  which I  like because of the lighting.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Sketches 33

Sketches 33
Another round of sketches from pixellovely.  Class format so they range from 30 seconds to 1 hour attempts.  Did these while testing out the Twitch service for streaming here.  Trying to sort out my internet service so I will be able to do this more regularly.  

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Character Sketches -Gouache

Character Sketches -Gouache
After the portrait practice tried out some characters from imagination in gouache.  On the whole an ugly bunch. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Oak Grove after Shishkin

Oak Grove in a Grey Day after Shishkin
A landscape study after Shishkin. Lots of different temperature greens.  

Monday, September 7, 2015

Zebeck After Haag- Gouache Study

Zebeck After Haag- Gouache Study
 Tried another gouache study copying Carl Haag again.  Like the ease of establishing edges and unlike acrylic can go over dried areas and rework.  

Monday, August 31, 2015

City Hall -Gouache Study

City Hall -Gouache Study
 Another gouache study from a photo.  Did something architectural.  The photo is of San Francisco city hall after the 1906 earthquake.
 Looks like they rebuilt keeping some of the major features.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Mountain Top

Mountain Top 
A practice piece to try and get some atmospheric perspective going.  

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Portrait study 28

Portrait study 28

Some more practice.  Did these a while ago.  The reference was from pixellovely.  I did them just before the site went down -  a result  of an attack.  Glad to see site is back up.  I think these were from a 2 hour class. 

Monday, August 10, 2015

Archer -Gouache study

Archer -Gouache study

Another gouache study. This one done from photo reference.  

Monday, August 3, 2015

Study Gouache After Carl Hagg

Study Gouache After Carl Hagg 

Trying something different.  
James Gurney has been running a series of articles on his blog about gouache. As part of that series he launched a competition to paint a gas station using black and white gouache.  I bought the paint but missed that deadline.  I haven't used gouache before or watercolour so I thought I might study first before trying something more challenging.  

Monday, July 27, 2015

Servant and Master

Servant and Master
Another character study.  
When I started trying to practice more seriously resources to help were numerous - folks had started livesteaming, Conceptart.org was a buzzing place.  Seemed like there were lots of people learning together. Over the past few years it has got a lot more fractured and harder to get that constant nag to work and get better.  There are still lots of resources - free and to pay for but it feels like you have to pick your was through things to find whats useful at the right time.   
Someone who was active getting better backwhen I started and has reappeared streaming is John Silva- you can catch him streaming on  twitch
I was listening to his stream when I started noodling with this.  He gave some advice to someone he was critiquing - keep your values close.  That was what I tried to do here. Thanks John.

Monday, July 20, 2015


Not happy with this one but time to move on. 

Monday, July 13, 2015



Built this up from a photo base. Nothing much left of the photos except the colour scheme and some texture.