Saturday 17 December 2016

Home from the Hill

Home from the Hill - Acrylic on canvas - 20 x 28 inches
This hunting scene was painted using wonderful Interactive acrylics. They are most like oil paints in their handling with the advantage of drying quickly. Another advantage is that there is very little colour shift compared to some other acrylic brands.


Thursday 8 September 2016

Portrait of my late aunt Ursula

This is a portrait of my late aunt Ursula. The reference photo is nearly 40 years old but always reminded me of Franz Hals paintings. This is how I remember her.

Aunt Ursula - Acrylic on canvas - 14 X 18 inches


Monday 29 August 2016

Abbeyleix House

Small acrylic sketch painted at yesterdays Lions Club open day at Abbeyleix Estate. I ran out of time to finish it.

Abbeyleix House - Acrylic on canvas board - 10 x 12 inches

Friday 5 August 2016

Glenbarrow Plein Air

Our 3 day Plein Air painting event at Glenbarrow has come to an end. Thanks to artist Jock Nichol for leading our motley crew and also to Laois Arts Officer, Muireann Ni Chonaill for organizing such a successful event. It was nice to catch up with friends and also to make some new friends. I cant wait for the next Plein air event.

Despite the mixed weather I managed to complete a painting a day. Here are my three offerings (apologies for the glare of wet paint in day 3 photo):

Day 1: Waterfall - Oil on canvas - 40cm X 50Cm

Day 2: Waterfall - Acrylic on canvas board - 12 X 16 inches

Day 3: Forest view - Oil on canvas - 40cm X 50cm

Friday 22 July 2016

Latest commission

This oil on canvas commission was nearly abandoned during the plein air stage (I have an acrylic version on standby just in case). I wasn't happy with the meadow towards the front and at a loss how to resolve it. Still, I stuck at it and eventually got something of the look that I wanted. Lots of fine detail work in the studio made me realize how much of a shake I have in my hand (must cut back on the coffee).
I am at a loss as to what to call this painting, maybe something cliched like, 'Moyanna Meadow' though perhaps the client, Melissa Duncan, might have something to say about that.

Moyanna Meadow - Oil on canvas - 50cm X 70 cm


Wednesday 13 July 2016

Plein Air 2016 at Emo Court

I have just spent three days painting en Plein air at Emo Court which was organised by Laois Arts Office. Once again, Artist Jock Nichol lead the group of twelve artists in drawing and painting the landscape of Emo Court. Here are my efforts. Despite mixed weather I am pleased with all the paintings.

A huge thanks to Laois Arts Officer Muireann O' Connell and all the staff at the Arts Office, Jock Nichol for his patience and good humour and all the participants for a most enjoyable few days.

Day 2- Emo Court - Oil on canvas - 20 X 28 inches
Day 3 - Autumn - Acrylic on canvas board - 12 X 14 inches

Day 1- Emo Court - Oil on canvas - 22 X 26 inches

Saturday 2 July 2016

Plein air sketches from St. Helens Bay area, Rosslare, Wexford

This group of sketches were painted while on holiday in the St. Helens Bay area of Rosslare.
The paintings were mostly painted during the early morning using Golden Open Acrylics on 10 inch  X 12 inch canvas panel. The exception is the watercolour of the kids searching the shore for seashells at Greenore Point. I sold a couple of the sketches while painting so happy days (thanks Eileen).

Carne Pier- Early morning rain out to sea

Greenore Point - Watercolour

On the rocks St. Helens Bay

Tides in, St. Helens Bay

St. Helens Bay towards Greenore Point - SOLD

Cove looking towards Tuskar Lighthouse - St. Helens Bay - SOLD

St. Helens Pier

Wednesday 22 June 2016

Best Buddies - Oil on canvas commission

Here is an oil on canvas commissioned piece of James and Buddy negotiating a tricky jump. Painted from a reference photograph.

Best Buddies - Oil on canvas - 16 X 20 inches

Monday 6 June 2016

Elsie - Aubrac Cow

I'm risking being typecast as an animal painter, oh well, one more portrait might not do too much harm.

Elsie - Acrylic on canvas - 30cm X 40cm

Friday 3 June 2016

WOT YA LOOKIN AT? - Oil commission

This is an oil on canvas commission of two Aubrac cattle painted as a birthday gift. It might not look it from the photo a lot of work has gone in to the texture of hair on these two.

Wot ya lookin at? - Oil on canvas - 16 X 20 inches


Saturday 14 May 2016

Centrepiece of School Mural

This is the centrepiece of a School Mural. My idea is -  through education children can achieve all that they wish for in this world.

Original concept watercolour sketch

The finished centrepiece. A small bit of tidying up still to do. (More to follow).

 Centrepiece on 3.5 metre wall

Finished Wall

Wednesday 20 April 2016

Donaghmore Village - Watercolour

I love the feeling of time stood still that you get in Donaghmore village. Here is a watercolour painting of the village in autumn that I hope captures something of that timeless charm.

The Green, Donaghmore - watercolour - 10 x 14 inches


Wednesday 13 April 2016

Watercolour study for a large oil painting

Often it helps to do a quick drawing or watercolour study to establish proportions & perspectives prior to undertaking a large oil painting. Here is a watercolour study done to investigate these elements that also happens to make a good picture.

Watercolour - 16 x 12 inches


Sunday 10 April 2016

Watercolour for a miserable April afternoon

Such a typical April day today, cold out with lots of wind and rain. I decided to give put a watercolour wash or two on paper and stay warm inside. Here is the result of my efforts.

The Green Castletown - Watercolour - 42cm x 30cm

Monday 28 March 2016

Commission No. 2 of 5 - Nore bridge at Castletown

I think that most artists have one particular scene that they paint many times. I could almost make a living making paintings of the bridge, weir and mill in Castletown. Here is another commissioned acrylic painting of the river Nore bridge at Castletown village. This is the second commission in a series of five.

Nore view at Castletown - Acrylic on canvas - 50 x 70cm


Tuesday 22 March 2016

Commission piece - De La Salle Monastery, Castletown

This acrylic on canvas painting is the first of a series of five commissioned pieces (all 50cm x 70cm) of local landmarks. I struggled with how to handle the large amount of flat painted gray walls in this work but think the end result is not as insipid as it might have been. (The large expanse of gray also makes it difficult for my digital camera to focus sharply).  I've now started on the next painting in the series and hope it causes less problems than this one did.

Monastery Castletown - Acrylic on canvas - 50 x 70 cm

Thursday 3 March 2016

Near Moyanna - plein air watercolour sketch

This is a watercolour sketch painted in about an hour yesterday afternoon during the kids swimming lesson. I tested a small Sennelier watercolour half pan sketch box this time on Canson Vidalon paper. Having Buddy intently grazing the paddock added some life to the overall scene. The Sennelier colours are not as vibrant as the St. Petersburg White Nights (see previous blog entry) but they handle really well and are very transparent. By building up multiple layers you can get good depth of colour.

Near Moyanna - watercolour - 8 X 12 inches

Here is a little bonus, a quick ink sketch of the same location from an previous visit.

Buddy grazing - Ink on cartridge paper - A4 size

A sketch of Buddy on Vidalon watercolour paper.

Buddy - watercolour - 9 x 12 inches

Sunday 28 February 2016

School days & some White Night watercolours

Lately I have been testing watercolour paints & papers from different manufacturers. For a recent significant birthday I was treated to a set of St. Petersburg White Nights paints. Here is my first real effort using them.

School days, Castletown - Watercolour - 10 X 14 inches

 For the most part the painting was done en plein air with just the finishing touches made in the studio. I used 140lb Canson Vidalon cold pressed (NOT) watercolour paper which is a joy and can take some rough handling.

I love the tinting strength of the White Nights watercolours and was surprised by how nicely they handle. I think St. Petersburg watercolours will become the paints I pack most often in my plein air kit.

Thursday 21 January 2016


Here is a drawing of Liz using Cretacolor Monolith graphite crayons on  watercolour & shellac toned cartridge paper.

Liz - Graphite on Paper - A3 size