Thursday, February 28, 2019

A dress

 A garment - this is my favourite dress - just looking at it makes me happy. And when I wear it, I feel fabulous!

Glass bead

This is a glass bead necklace made by my friend Shinobu. We've been friends since we were 16.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

A knot

A knot. Maybe I used a pencil that was a little bit dark, but my darks are often not dark enough, so this was a good way to push them beyond what I'm comfortable with!


Something of meaning. One of Timber's many toys - Kong Wubba. We call it Monkey Wubba, to distinguish it from Wubba Wubba, Bluey, Junior and Panda, amongst many others.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Clarendon Street Church and a few portraits

I did this preliminary sketch of the courtyard at the church off Clarendon Street. A beautiful place. I had never been there before, would you believe it! I was quite happy with my measuring and comparing angles and relationships. But then it started to rain and I decided to go indoors. And now I'm torn between leaving this sketch as it is, or adding ink and/or watercolour. I'm going to have to sleep on it until I can decide what to do with it. It's the last page of a sketchbook, so it's easy to leave it alone, but it could also be a good opportunity to try something, even if it doesn't work out, nobody will see it!

When I got indoors, I didn't really have a view that tempted me, so I sketched my friend Aideen. As she was sketching me too, she looks pretty serious in these. Not my best work, but it was good to catch up with each other and chat with another sketcher who was working at the table behind us. Sometimes, a good afternoon is not defined by the quality of the sketches, but just by how it felt at the time! It's always wonderful to meet up with Dublin Sketchers!
Apart from the eyes placed too high, this is probably the best of the three!!
This is how she will look when she's 75-80. She really is much prettier than my representation of her!

This was my last attempt. Maybe I painted my despair! 

My feet

And my feet are not getting any younger either! I didn't have any blue in the palette I had with me at the time, and I was wearing blue jeans. So I did one layer of Undersea Green, followed by a layer of Lavender (both Daniel Smith colours). I'm glad with how it worked out!

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Landscape in mixed media

The prompt was to go outside and collage and paint. But I'm finding it hard to motivate myself to paint outside at the moment. So I did this one from a recent photo I took in Belfield recently. Lots of construction work going on there! I worked in watercolour and ink.


My books are not very well organised. The ones I use the most are on the floor where I can reach for them!

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Life Drawing - Jeanne

Last week at life drawing was a long pose. An ideal opportunity to try out a larger watercolour. We had a lovely model, Jeanne. Tadhg has difficulty pronouncing her name. But then again, I guess that when he goes to France, people struggle with his name too!
So after a few warmup charcoal sketches at the easel, we did three 20-minute sessions of the same pose. I took out my big watercolour paper (I think it's more or less half imperial, about 40 cm by 60 cm - I must really check this some day), clipped it to the board and worked standing at the easel. I used Bockingford Cold-pressed 535gsm paper, so no fear of buckling paper. I spent the first 20 minutes carefully drawing, and then maybe another 10 minutes getting the details right, best I could. And then I started with watercolour. I would like to evolve to a looser style, directly to watercolour, like I do for most other things I paint, but I have to get used to working at this size first, so it will be a while!!

But working at the larger size, and standing up, certainly helped getting the proportions more accurate.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Measured setup

I'm trying to juggle too much at the moment and some things are falling behind. I'm going to have to park some of my activities until I get a breather!
This is an exercise in measuring from SketchingNowFoundations. While I'm not one for measuring (I just don't have the patience), I have to admit that it's very effective. I should probably do more of it, as I would waste less time with sketches that don't work out. Will I stick to it, though?

Saturday, February 16, 2019

A rock, not a rock

The inspiration for this one is a Jordi Forniés painting I saw many years ago at the Olivier Cornet Gallery. I came across the invitation to the exhibition recently and I decided this was what I wanted to paint. And I was inspired by someone painting on a map, so I recycled a Kyoto map for this - Kyoto is built on a grid system for the most part, so it suited my goal. And I think that rocks are perfect as they are.

A chair

Killing two birds with one stone. A chair, using the 'constructing volumes' method. It's plain. But that's all I had time for. And I needed to focus on getting it right rather than making it pretty!

Friday, February 15, 2019

Nose and mouth

Painting the mouth wasn't too hard, but the nose is still giving me trouble - I think it needs to be wider. It's wonderful to be exploring aspects of creativity without feeling the pressure to produce a finished piece, I have to say!!

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Dancing at the crossroads

Or Dancing with the Stars?
Well, actually it was Chinese Square Dancing in Temple Bar, part of the celebrations for the Chinese New Year.
And what fun it was. Organised by the Chinese community in Dublin, this was a mix of performance and audience participation, with dragon dances in between. A wonderful way to get to know a little bit more about Chinese popular culture. And to stay warm on a cold day!
I had brought minimum supplies, mostly Posca markers and my small Firmo Diário Gráfico. A good few Dublin Sketchers were there, ready to capture the moment, each in their own style. It was cold and damp, but the square was sheltered by the wonderful giant umbrellas designed just for that purpose.
And I had so much fun - not my most detailed sketching, but I was in the zone! And when it got too cold, well, I put my sketchbook in my bag and joined in for one last dance! A wonderful afternoon!

Letting my inner child express herself!

Once it got too cold to stay outside, we retreated to the IFI and had a hot drink. I sketched an approximation of Emma.
A wall - two walls actually in the IFI

I didn't do this sketch. My friend Emma did - she captured me while I was dancing. She caught the action pretty well, don't you think!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Life Drawing - Lexy

For this life drawing session, I worked in charcoal on big paper, standing up. Looking back at the last few weeks, when I was drawing while sitting down, I noticed some significant distortion in body proportions due to my position relative to the model - large upper torso versus short legs. So I felt I had to go back to standing at the easel. Now mind you, when it came to watercolour, I decided to sit, as the setup in the current studio doesn't really allow me to stand - the chairs are too low to lean a board on, plus they swivel!
Our model this week was Lexy. A beautiful tall young lady. I found it hard to do justice to her long limbs!

 The last pose of the night. With a prop. Sort of.

 Pencil. Got proportions completely wrong.

Sailor Fude and watercolour. I got into difficulty with the lower legs, too narrow, a bit short. But I like the tones I managed to achieve with the watercolour.

And here are a few of the charcoal shorter poses.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Cupid Chastised

Fabulous life-drawing session a couple of weeks ago. Three models posing to reproduce the painting "Cupid Chastised" by Bartolomeo Manfredi.
Our models were Angela, Brian and Pierce. We started the class with individual poses, and then for the longer poses, the models attempted to reproduce the scene between Mars, Venus and Cupid. Amazing to see them in action, and to realise how hard it was to hold these poses for 15/20 minutes.  They took turns in taking the different roles.

20 minutes, Polychromos pencil. Lots of energy from Mars here. Venus looks a bit distracted, though. And I ran out of space for Cupid.

Watercolour and pencil. I really like how the shading worked on this. I felt the important relationship was between Mars and Cupid, so I worked these two in more detail. But I had ran out of space for Mars's head and hand. So I painted these on another page. When I got home, I redrew these and glued the piece onto the page.

I think this one was the last of the night, and all three models were tired I'd say. Mars doesn't look as angry. For this one, after drawing with my Sailor Fude, I decided to paint the tension points in red. And then I united the three characters with purple paint.

And here are the charcoal preparatory sketches. Some of these I have to say I wasn't sure which way to turn them!!

Monday, February 11, 2019

A beloved face

A beloved face. Willow, our beautiful cat, lived to the age of 18. He died last summer and we all miss him. I don't normally draw much in pencil. But no pen could ever do justice to his fluffiness!

A pile of books

This is for a different project. Re-learning Constructing Volumes. Lots of red lines that were wrong and ignored in the end. I should have used a lighter colour for these lines!!

It looks better in reality!!