Thursday, February 05, 2015

2015-That is SHOCKING! (Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year Update)

Sheesh.  How bad is that.  God Almighty.  Just about a year since I last updated on the ol' blog.  BAD ARTIST ME.

I'm posting more regularly on Facebook and Twitter sites where you can drop by and say hello.

Anyway, here is a painting I had done for the second series of Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the year.  (I was in the first series, in the Dublin heats).  It's a success in that it was probably the fastest painting I have ever done.  I finished it in three weeks working every other evening after work.  But it's not an exciting painting.  Certainly worth doing though.

It's now been painted over with another painting.  Unless I think a painting is a winner, I ain't keeping it!  I'll post that painting soon.

But some lovely news over Christmas time, I was featured in Sky Arts, "Little Book of Portraits" which was published to accompany the series.  64 artists were chosen to be represented from the two series so I was delighted to be part of it.

The book features a portrait from each artist alongside the judge’s comments. It really is a lovely little book with such varied styles in portraiture.

Its £15, selling at all major book retailers. And as far as I know it’s already achieved “best seller” on Amazon!

Fandabbydozie.  A lovely start to the year.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Amber At 6 Months

My wee niece, again from #100happydayschallenge Day-44!...

Walking In The Rain

This was from one of my posts from #100daysofhappiness  A cool wee project that I've been working on (currently on day 82) thats been great in forcing me to think creatively and produce some kind of drawing every day, no matter how rough.  I think these kinds of mini projects are great, tracks your creative progress and the daily-day-to-dayness of what you get up.  I like this kind of visual diary.

So this was from day 15, a rather jolly walk into work, despite the rain, listening to some rather splendid toonage.

Sketches from recent music events...

Monday, February 03, 2014

Monday, December 09, 2013

new painting (rough)

Here a couple of images of some recent paintings in progress.  Unfortunately, I was unable to finish Dad's piece before moving back to Dublin, but I'll work out a way to get that over here.  In the meantime, I've started a self-portrait.  Must keep painting!...

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Amber, painting progress and final...

So this is the first painting I have done in a LONG time, Amber, my wee pudding of a niece.  I started it when I first came home from Dublin.  I did it over several weeks, on and off, but condensing that time down, I’d say it took 2 weeks.

You can see the changes it went through.  It was an extremely frustrating piece to do.  Probably partly because I haven’t painted in such a long time and it became over worked.  I had more or less re-painted the same thing about 5 times.  I went through a horrible period of being on the verge of completion, then scrubbing out the eyes and starting the whole thing more or less from the beginning.  Painting over what I had done.  So unbelievably frustrating.  I got to a point where I really did have to just stop.  I can’t say I’m absolutely pleased about the finish, actually, unfortunately here, the images don’t represent best what it actually looks like.  Pretty much because of the light changing as I took the photos throughout the painting period, but I’m moving on to start a 2nd piece, for this coming BP Award at the Mall Galleried, (lessons learned!)  I’ll keep posting progress…

The final!...

Sunday, November 10, 2013


Some skecthes from the last few months...

Bookmark! Literary Festival for Blairgowrie, Perthshire and the Glens

Mid October, I was part of Bookmark, a literary festival held throughout Blairgowrie, Perthshire and the Glens.  Fantastic festival, was such a success and I was so proud to be part of the festivals first year, and already discussing exciting new ideas for Bookmark’s second year.  

This was a project that started from a suggestion of, “shall we organise a festival for Blair?”kind of idea.  With a main core of three, powered by my friend, Christine Findlay, this single suggestion become a reality within a year and not only was this festival hugely successful and had some really notorious writers taking part, it was a first for the organisers involved who had never created anything or hosted anything quite like this.  So inspirational, having partially witnessed this from a seed of an idea to actually taking part and meeting the other authors and visitors and seeing this, Bookmark, become reality.  Brilliant!
Below here are some drawings of writer, performer, artist Liz Lochead. 

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year

So.  Sky Arts series, Portrait Artist of The Year is now been shown on the Sky Arts and Sky HD Channels.  Be sure to check it out.  All heats were held in Glasgow, London Cardiff and Dublin.  You can see me in the Dublin heats!

Below was my entry for the application.  I have to say, a pretty rough piece!  Left-handed and a bit of an awkward pose.  Mostly due to the positioning of the mirror on my lap, getting the right light, setting it up in the right angle, not having sufficient furniture in the flat to position said mirror and art materials and paper.  But also wanting to watch Most Haunted on the laptop.

Just to add to this, you can check out a clip, featuring myself and Pauline McLynn from the Sky Arts Portrait artist of the Year, here:

Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year: Pauline McLynn

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Palace Art and Craft Fair, Fulham, London

Fairly recently returned to Dublin from exhibiting in the Fulham Palace Art Fair.  Had a wonderful time, mainly thanks to the fantastic group of artists that were my neighbours during the fair and also Angela, fo giving me a roof over my head at such late notice!

The fair was set within beautiful surroundings.  The craft marquees were set within the court yards of the ground while the art tent was within set out on the front lawns (la-di-daa).

I actually was only able to take photographs at the start of the day or at the end.  I meant to capture the fair at the height of the buzz but I would just be too busy, either chatting or drawing!  But during the weekend there was several thousand that made it through the doors.

 Me at my stand!  I think I did a pretty good job considering having travelled done on the train with all these paintings then having to arrange and hang the space.  Phew.  Knackered after that week I was.





Sunday, May 12, 2013


These are some images I took in stages throughout a recent self-portrait.  I'll upload the final images soon.

Thursday, March 21, 2013


Here I am!.....Batman, Irish Sketch Society, Week 1

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Hey.  Haven't been posting for a while.  I've been so caught up in work at the studio that I really haven't had the time to do much else, but I'm working on it!  I'm developing a few different projects which has been taking up any spare time I do have, so I'm hoping to get them to a certain development stage by the end of the year, which should free me up for doing more artwork next year-I'll keep you posted!


Sunday, July 01, 2012

July-11 Second Club entry

Thumbnails for this month's 11 Second Club.  Great wee clip-..."You're gonnae lose, you stink, you're gonnae lose....*scccchmaaack*.....PAAHAHAHAHA.....GOTIM!!!"
So, thought I would do a little story of annoying little brother and big brother, being out done by little brother at a game of chess. 
Until eventually Little Bro gets what he deserves.
I'll keep my progress updated!...

Thursday, June 28, 2012

20/30 minutes-ish

I miss drawing!!  Don't do enough.  I actually find after working so much, sitting infront of a computer, that when I do draw I even enjoy the mistakes, the process of drawing and discovering what works and what doesn't.  Whereas before when I wasn't doing so much digital work, I was so precious about my work.  That sometimes, the frustration of not creating something you feel that is "successful" just takes the joy out of what you're doing.

It's how I feel about this drawing-bits worked better than others, but it was great fun to do!

Sunday, April 29, 2012


Life-drawing from over the past couple of classes.  Some really great exercises we did in class to make us really think about what we were doing and re-train how you're looking at what you're drawing: 30 second, 1 minute sketches are great pre-studies which really help you to loosen up physically and have a more realxed approach.  It's really more about capturing a gesture/line of action rather than an accurate drawing.

After doing the left-handed studies during the warm-up exercises, I found when it came to do longer poses I was starting from the bottom up!  Which felt extrememly weird.  For some reason it didn't feel comfortable to start from the facial features, working my way around and down!  Which I normally do.  For both the drawings above I started from probably the most awkward angle-the one on the right, after roughly sketching the overall pose, I started from the armpit and worked my way out and up.  The one on the left was started from the hands.

Monkey Man!!  I really enjoyed this though.  This was a semi-blind drawing.  It was roughly a 7 minute drawing, I had glanced at it to find my place maybe about 4/5 times throughout.
These were the warm-up exercises.  We were asked to draw with our "non-writing hand" (!).  I felt these were really alot stronger than my right hand.  My expectations were low of my left-handed drawings, so I just went for it.  My right handed drawings were weaker after doing this exercise, I was too concious of creating a good drawing, it really stopped me from observing wel.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Whizz Palace-final rough


This is the final rough for The Whizz Palace, the sound club taken from the  11 Second Club The timing in places doesn't work too well, but I really got to the stage where I wanted to move on, I wanted to finish it!  But I wanted to move on.  The plan is to get through a few of these, rough them out, then choose a few to smooth out and clean up.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Whizz Palace


Working on this animation at the moment.  The sound clip has been taken from the 11 Second Club, February's Competition.  It is a bit clunky in places but really enjoying working through ideas and after doing alot of symbol animation in Flash recently, it's so nice to be DRAWING!  So rather than scooting around from various projects that I have on the go, I'm really aiming to get this finished, at least to an intitial fully roughed state.