Sunday, 4 December 2011

'When do you think his commitment waned?'

Well i just finished a piece last night that i've been working on for i don't know how long. I'm trying to train myself to stick with what i started and not leave pieces half finished. So far i think i'm succeeding. Am i learning anything tho? Patience maybe... But it nearly drove me mad in the end! The hair took so long that i might not have put as much effort into the last section as i did in the earlier parts, hence the title to this post: 'When do you think his commitment waned?'. As any Father Ted fan can answer, 'towards the end' of course!!

Seeing it posted here makes it look a bit starker than it looks on the wacom monitor... but it will have to do!! Heres a link to the reference pic used from

Next week i think i'm gonna spend time doing quick sketches, before i knuckle down and do another long piece. May or may not post the results, may or may not actually do the sketches! Cause it's going to be a mental week in my 'other reality' ie my day-job. I expect there to be a lot of screaming and shouting tomorrow morning on the floor.. 

Since i last posted i was in London in merry old England to see a few friends and relatives and also to go see this great exhibition in the Tate Modern: Gerhard Richter, Panorama Really, really great works here and i would recommend anybody going to visit London in the next while to give it a look, the 'realist' works on display are particularly interesting (for me anyway, i like abstract work too but wasn't too taken with some of his abstract work). He calls it 'Capitalist Realism' which i think is a great way to describe it! 

Anywho, was trying to find a link there to the Father Ted episode i was alluding to, it's called 'And god created woman', it's the one where he meets a novel writer who is going to become a nun, 'Best of luck with the book' and all that. But youtube wont allow me to watch it without setting up a seperate channel so i can watch it on 4od or some such malarky so i'm not going through all that nonsense. 

Comments always welcome...

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Non-Abandoned Work

Yay i've (more or less) finished a new piece!! Took a while tho...

There's still probably a little bit of work left in it but i gonna let it rest for a bit. I'll do a longer blog on it in a day or two but for now just wanted to throw it up there. 

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Abandoned Work

I've just realised that i've lined this work up wrong! The houses on the left are supposed to be higher up than the ones on the right... Kind of annoyed. But i get so bored with measuring out where things should be that i always jump into things without making sure all is correct... Got to stop cutting corners!! Anyway here it is:

I think i was being a bit ambitious with it tho, i should maybe draw some individual houses etc and not a whole scene. 

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Blue landscapes

Often times i tend to paint pictures based on somebody else's photos, so i went looking thru my holiday snaps to see if i could find some inspiration from some of my photos, and lo and behold it turns out that Italy is 'inspiring'.! I know, who'd of thunk it? So i painted this one of the mountains across Lake Garda looking west from Malcesine i think, or maybe it was a bit further to the south... Anyway, we stopped for Michelle and Dara to have a swim in the lake and i read my book on swarm intelligence and took a few photos and enjoyed the  evening sunshine. Sun-starved Irish people need as much sun as they can get!! 

It's not 100% accurate but it's more painted to convey a mood. The style is also new to me, a little less focused on 'realism' and a bit softer too. And painted pretty fast as well, over two nights or three. Also i don't recall painting a landscape before either. Or at least one that looks like the thing that it's supposed to look like anyway.

Sunday, 4 September 2011


I'm trying to get back into painting again after a lull during the summer. Summer was hectic really, work does go mad busy, and we went on a great holiday too, to Lake Garda, which was just fantastic. But now it's back to school time again, and i want to get painting but just can't seem to find the motivation.

So in the meantime i'm gonna post up a few bits that i've done in the recent past, mostly unfinished practice stuff, with a brief explanation.

This one is called 'Plastic Trouble', i can't remember why now. It was nearly the very last of a series of abstract circle based pieces i was doing around May/June of 2011. Some of the earlier pieces i've uploaded here already. The backround colour started as black and gradually got lighter as i went along.

Ha, this one is called 'Plastic Furbie', i think because i was watching or listening to something about how the Furbie toy mimics intelligence and 'learns' or mimics learning. It's nearly the last piece of the circles, looking at it now i'm not sure if i like it or not, one second it looks great, the next second it looks like pepperoni slices falling from the sky...

This is called 'Plastic Fade', and i like this one, tho it is the end of the series. Perhaps i'll go back this direction, they are very enjoyable to create, and look at too maybe?

Well the title on this one is 'Metalseries no smoking text', catchy eh? Anyway it is the text on a piece of a metal sign at a filling station warning people not to smoke etc.

The text above is to be written on this sign. At the time i was looking a lot at metal and rusting metal and signs and things like that. This is unfinished, and is really, looking at it now, not much more than a colour sketch.

'Wings'. This isn't quite finished either, it's a 'study' (hate that term) of the remains of a seagull i think, that i took a photo of down on Streedagh headland. I put it on a black backround, and i like the look of this one, abstract but solid.

It's funny, the name i have on this one is 'Kabuki-Style Sketch', and i think i called it that because i was trying to mimic the David Mack pen-and-ink style he sometimes does. But of course i'm really terrible at that kind of thing and i always end up doing tonnes of detail, hence it takes me bloody ages to get anything done!! And also i end up with a lot of unfinished bits...

Like this one, 'Practice Face'. The mouth and chin clearly need a lot of work, as does the hair and in fact the whole thing!! So i don't know where to re-start this autumn, a new piece (suggestions please), or tip away on something unfinished to get me moving? Answers on a postcard to tomnipresent... Your feedback is much appreciated.

Monday, 30 May 2011

4 new pieces

Have a few more abstract pieces here, not sure about titles yet but i'm sure something will spring to mind! Lovely evening here, sun is shining and the weather people say it's gonna be hot later in the week. 'Hot' meaning 20degrees C....

I might call this one 'Pigs In Spaaaaaccccceeee' 'cause they look a bit like cute little piggys... i think.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

More cosmic bubbles in space

I was trying to DIY block mount today... Not the easiest thing in the world to do i might add. The results were mixed to say the least, tho i do remember back to the first printed canvas i stretched, that was pretty pretty bad! The trick is getting the mdf cut straight, then orienting the print onto it, well, duh!! Anyway the reason i'm looking at this angle is cause the abstract stuff i'm doing right now is fairly sharp looking, so a canvas print will deaden that sharpness, a high gloss print is whats needed. But there is no way in hell, (hell, i tell you) that i can afford to get stuff professionally block mounted. So it's gotta be DIY. So maybe if i start out on some small prints and get them right, then i can maybe get a large sheet of mdf cut professionally, like A3plus or even A2 or go totally mental and get an A1 cut, then print a massive photo print and paste it on, i think it would look pretty pretty pretty good!!

Here's the two latest psychedelic freak-outs:

Monday, 23 May 2011

Being driven to 'Abstraction'

Hit a bit of a wall painting what was on front of me, so i started spacing out and drawing circles, which i love doing. Then i tried to mess a little bit with perspective, remembering some lessons from Piet Mondrian, trying to confuse myself, is the canvas a surface or is it '3-dimensional'. So here are 3 experiments:

I'm thinking of something like 'Plastivs' or 'Plcastivs' or something like that for titles...

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Cracking up...

I've finished the garlic more or less, my mind has been slightly elsewhere, and i've been trying to book a holiday for the summer. Listening to Stereolab now, 'jenny ondioline' from 1993, class band!! So here's my garlic sitting a-top 'Orbital' (Brown)...

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Intensive wip

Found it a bit slow getting back into painting after the easter break, so this one is kind of finished, tho it could do with a bit of a touch up here and there, and i could even add in more text, but i might leave it.

And here is the WIP 

Not sure how the wip is gonna look, but sure you get the idea!!

Monday, 18 April 2011

Easter break

I'm taking a few days off for easter week, so here is a wip of what i'm working on at the moment.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Those wonderful men in their flying machines

Non-digital art people that i talk to, (thats most people really) seem very confused by the idea of painting digitally, so i thought i'd post up some pictures of me painting on my Wacom Cintiq12. I've also been looking for some youtube clips of it in action, but they tend towards two ends of the spectrum, A: The dry flat approach or B: The trash metal 'rocking out with my cintiq' approach, so i think i'll go with it and post two links. Here are some pics of my hand and the cintiq:

And here's the finished painting:

Here's the first youtube video:

And here's the exciting one:

Yes, watching people digitally paint is alot like watching analogue paint dry...

Monday, 11 April 2011

Things on my CD's

Did two fairly rapid pieces today and yesterday, more like colour sketches rather than finished pieces, tho it might be just that i'm getting faster at painting. I cleaned up my desk, that is i took all the rubbish off it so i can see my cd collection again! I got the idea of using the stacks of cd's as a platform for small little objects that are sitting around the house unappreciated, and i can paint them still-life style. It means that i'm not relying on photographs, which given i'm not a great photographer, tend to loose colour a bit, or look not quite right, yet anyway, until i learn how to take a good reference photo. Anyway thats another days work.

The main benefit of setting objects on top of cd's is that i can get to paint text, without the text being the main object of the painting. I am really enjoying painting words!! Also it means that in one small piece i can appreciate an object be it a fruit or a vegetable or box of something or whatever as well as looking closely and appreciating graphic design as well. Although i always say this, i think i'm going to explore this angle further, i think i really mean it this time!!

Here's the two pieces, both left a bit sketchy and both could be improved a hell of a lot but i kind of like them as they are so far. The pear one was drawn first, and the cd's were at a slight angle, and yeah the pear does look a bit like it s sitting squashed down on the cd, but hey, enjoy the colours!

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Get your measurements right!!!

I started off this week painting a take-away coffee cup, but i had to abandon it after about 5 hours, cause i didn't get my  initial measurements right. It probably wouldn't have been a big problem except there was a lot of text involved and a curved surface, so the details had to be spot on and they weren't. Here is what i had got done...

I'm sure that i could probably rescue it, but i'm better off just start again from scratch. If i was a traditional artist using a canvas i could have just smashed the thing to pieces in frustration, but if i was to pick up my cintiq and whack it off the ground, i'd never forgive myself!! Anyway i did a very quick sketch last evening, took about an hour which is very fast for me, and i'm happy enough with it considering it didnt take long. And i will more than likely do a bit more with it, like add some more cd's to the pile.

The print out of it is a bit dark tho, gotta get some lessons on how to use a printer better.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Ok already!!

I did a little bit of , what would you call it, 'text' art?

Its a little button on a card reader that i got when i joined Postbank a few years ago, they have since gone bust like just about every other bank in this country!! This was a very relaxing piece to paint, cause i really like circles and i really like text, tho i dont recall painting text ever before. No WIP for this one either cause i did it on just 3 layers, namely 'backround' 'button' and 'text', in all about 5-6 hours work.

I decided to paint this after reading about a woman in the back part of the sunday times magazine who paints 'naive' art, i forget her name, but i kinda liked the idea, it helped me relax a bit and paint something i thought was fun.

Ive now started a new painting, its a take away coffee cup...

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

This week i shall be mostly....

This week i shall be mostly doing, nothing. Very slow and unproductive week. Was feeling very tired after work on saturday and this continued into sunday. And then in general felt very unmotivated to do any art work at all monday and tuesday. But i did buy a bike!

I found the peace lilly painting really slow, so i have hardly done any work on it:

So then i started a quick sketch on top of a DAZ3D model head which i sometimes do when i'm bored or cant seem to get focused on a bigger piece. But it nearly annoyed me more than what i was supposed to be working on! Here it is:

So i'm not sure where i'm going to from here, maybe i need a break from painting, or just a holiday in general. I'm back again thinking about 'objects' again. Like spark plugs or take-away coffee cups etc and drawing them centered on a coloured backround, similar to my AK47 that i did last year:

Now this piece took a LONG time to do, and i used an initial 'tracing' at the start to make sure it all held together nicely. I tend to not use this 'tracing' device anymore, but i had started a few other works using this system, one being a 'plan view' of a red onion, the other being a water overflow inlet from a household bath, and a 'plan view' of a small brass screw:

These three pieces also took a long time to do, but i like them! So i might return to painting these type of single objects, but i have to try and find a way to do it a bit faster yet still keep the detail. So should i finish the peace lilly? Or should i leave it sit for a while and start painting spark-plugs? These are the questions that keep me awake at night...

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Peace frog

I've started a new digital painting, a pretty hard one too. It's of a flower called a peace lilly, which is sitting on the kitchen table. I'm using a photo of it as reference, as i draw stuff on my cintiq 12 which i have plugged into my pc in 'the computer room' upstairs. The cintiq is really great, and i would recommend anybody with the cash to buy one. I'm drawing this time again using the hard edged brush only, so far anyway, i might use the airbrush for sections of the leaf. There is a lot of detail in this one too so it is very slow work, about 5 hours so far, and i reckon it'll be up on the 20 hour + mark if i manage to stick with it! Also it is back to the more 'realistic' style, previous piece was meant to look slightly 'cartooney' or 'illustrated'. And i'm working at the 100% level, which means that instead of drawing fast large strokes, i'm zooming right into full view to draw the detail, takes a lot longer but should look better, provided i don't go mental during the process!!

Here's what it looks like so far...:

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Fairly quick drawing

Spent about 5 hours on this quick portrait, not really a portrait, i was more trying to get an 'illustrated' look to it rather than a 'realistic' look. I didn't want to spend to long on it, so it took about 5 hours i think, and i used the hard-edged round brush this time rather than the soft-edged airbrush i usually use, and i think the result is a much sharper image.

I suppose a combination of the two brushes would lead to the best results. Here is the WIP, much smaller than usual as i did this painting over 2 days:

The mouth to the far left had to be re-drawn cause it was in the wrong place! The ref pic is from a stock photo artist on deviantart called Miss s stocks.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Major Hostilities Are Over

Ok I've finished the Caravaggio piece, learned a few things along the way, namely, detail detail detail! The more patience you have and the more time you have the better, hence i could have kept on improving this one but it would take another week or so and my head would be well and truly wrecked!

And here is the WIP for the piece:

Sunday, 13 March 2011


Well i wanted to get out hill-walking today but the weather was like something out of the apocalyptic end of the bible so instead i stayed in and did a bit of work on the Caravaggio piece. 

Having lots of trouble with it but i might be learning a thing or two maybe as well. The hair is really difficult, and im using the airbrush so it looks alot smoother than the original which has obvious brush strokes. Anyway...

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Not content to fail just once...

Yes it seems i'm not content to fail just once this week, after not being able to paint a little bird, i have decided that i will copy a small section of a Carravagio piece. Logic? No logic involved. Here is what ive done so far, note the disastrous attempt at the lips:

I hope it will look better later on... Its taken from this painting:

It is really good practice tho, the shading is really subtle and difficult. Hopefully i will fail better with this one..

Monday, 7 March 2011

Fought so poorly and gave up so easily...

Perhaps its my mood or something, but i'm getting slightly bored and a bit annoyed with this bird study, so it's starting to feel a bit like work, unpaid work at that! These two pic's will illustrate how far i've got in the last few days:

That's right, not very far.. So i'm gonna look for something else to draw. 

Thanks to Nick for putting me on to a guy called Frank Reilly, i'm looking at his method at the moment :
Not sure if i can follow a lot of it tho, i remember as a teenager buying books along the lines of 'How To Draw Amazing Comic Book Characters In 7 Days!!' and they would seperate the body into balls and rectangles and things like that, i could never follow it. Tho i really like his ideas on light and planes and shadows and so forth, so i'm gonna do my best to understand them. Wish me luck!