Monday, 27 February 2012

Portrait drawing workshop

Here are some of my demonstration drawings from portrait workshops. I love drawing faces. They're all so different, and yet...the same!

My next Portrait Workshop runs this weekend in Belfast. Email for info.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Coconut Square, Oils, 8in x 8in on Board. And a portrait workshop.

Oh yes, another sweet treat.

The thing is, I don't even eat these. I am purely attracted to them on a visual level - does that make me shallow?!! I can't help it. And still to come, is the jam-filled cream-topped scone, the strawberry-and-shortbread creamy stack, and the coffee slice. Oh joy.
This particualr painting has been on and off for a while, and is waiting for a final layer to make me satisfied. In the meantime I have started another painting of trees, which is infinitely more difficult - from treat to tree. Delicious.

Next up - BYOB class (Yes, this is the best fun!), weekly drawing and painting classes in Belfast and PORTRAIT WORKSHOP. Email for details.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Tied up in knots - cloth drawings, pencil on toned paper.

One of the most difficult things about photographing any of my students working, I notice, is that the table is so covered in coffee cups..

  Recently I asked them to draw cloth - this is a difficult subject, but so important for when drawing the clothed figure. Drawing the cloth without the figure is a kinder place to start. It is also, once you get used to the initial horror-feelings, almost meditative to do. This is a landmark subject matter - once you tackle this, you know you can do Anything...
(It is really difficult to photograph pencil work, and some of these were at night, so sorry about the quality). Graphite and white pencil on toned paper. 

These are stunning drawings (above is by Phillippa, below is by Brian, both of whom have only attended 4 lessons!). The end result doesn't show their total fear of the subject, or the determination to see it through, but it was there. Great work.

Above, by student John McI. Below Jayne McC. (Jayne's photo was taken in the daytime, which is why it is clearer!)

And finally, below, my own drawing. I don't always get to participate in the class, but this time I couldn't resist, and sat up long after everyone had gone to finish it. The upside of joining in is that I remember how difficult it is, and occassionally feel a little bit guilty... but then, I get over it!

Next up, portrait workshop. Email for info

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Portfolio Panic

This time of year is tough for students applying for Art College - it's portfolio sumission time, or nearly, and so so many students contact me to help with that last minute tidy-up (or rescue job, whichever applies!) It's stressful for students and parents alike. However, there is nothing quite like a deadline to concentrate the mind.

Roisin, who crossed the length of Ireland on a BUS, to stay with me for a week, to cram-finish her portfolio. She impressed me and my other students with her dedication and long hours. Here she is being bribed to carry on for a bit longer...! (as well as a deadline, bribery is also good...!)

You know it's been a hard day when the students fall asleep on top of the props...!

Friday, 10 February 2012

Drawing - colour pencil, crisps. (student work)

It's always a challenge to stretch students so that they are both engaged as well as challenged. And when I'm undecided on subject matter, the wisest thing is not to think about it, but to go out and LOOK.
This week, I saw...CRISPS!! It's a few years since I gave this as a subject, and it was great to revisit.

Here are two wonderful studies by students in Belfast. Neither is finished as they only had two hours. They used colour pencils. Delicious.

By Jean Reid (above and below)

By Pat Finlay(above and below)

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

New Book on Color Pencil Art!

Front cover.. 
I was honoured to be asked if I would contribute to a new book of Colour Pencil artists, designed to reflect contemporary artists, which is now about to be published! Each contributor was asked about the artwork submitted - the inspiration, the challenges, what drives us, and also what technique tips we would share if we only have 5 mintues to explain to someone!  I'm not sure if the 'Click here to Preview' will work on the blog, but here is the link (just click on it) if you'd like to see more or are interested in ordering a copy. 

 I have ordered my copy, and I can't wait to see it, it looks AMAZING (and I don't use that word lightly). It inculdes a wide variety of subject matter and techniques, as well as a little bit of info on how each artist works - I think it's wonderful and worth the preview at least!! So click on the link for your viewing. 

A big Thank You to Ann Kullberg in America for taking the initiative to put this work together. 

Next Up - Water Colour Weekend, 11th & 12th Feb, Galway
Art for Teenagers, Monday 13th Feb, Belfast 
Water Colour Day, Wed 15th Feb, Belfast 

Weekly drawing and painting classes in Belfast, Monthly Mondays in Killaloe, Co Clare, and weekend workshops all year round as well as Distance Learning courses. 
Email for details.