Mar 25, 2014

Bliary Entry #7: Fighting the cold & inexperience

The Galway Urban Sketchers (unofficial, for the moment) were out as planned on Sunday, fighting seeping cold and various degrees of sleep deprivation. We set up at a nice spot in NUIG (National University of Ireland- Galway) and got straight to work. The sun was shining and the birds were calling, but it was deceptively cold, let me tell you. It was the kind of cold that creeps up on you and before you know it, you're freezing! I had a feeling this would be the case, so I came prepared, with fingerless gloves, a warm hat and a thick jacket. But even that wasn't enough by the end of it.
I assure you, it was colder than it looks.
Quite literally comparing scars. I tried a Robert Shaw impression. It wasn't good.
But despite the cold, a great time was had. I was planning on having a lovely illustration from the day to show, but I'm terribly unhappy with it and consider it unworthy of unveiling. But believe it or not, I look at this failure as a good thing. I thoroughly enjoyed being outside and drawing with my friends, and the experience really did provide me with information on where I need to improve and how to go about doing it.

I've been having a little bit of trouble with the old watercolours lately. Part of it is my nasty dabbing habit, part of it is the way I mix, I think. I tend to use pretty watery washes, and build them up with layers. But this leads to a loss of the spontenaity watercolours are so known for. The obvious solution to this is mixing stronger washes and applying the paint in a variety of strokes.

Which is exactly what I am going to do. As part of my whole 'must use spare time more effectively' kick, I've taken to drawing more during my lunch break. If the weather is nice, you'll find me outside, drawing some Galway location. If the weather is nasty (ALWAYS a possibility in Galway), I'll be inside, drawing in the break room.
The simple fact of the matter is, I have to get better at drawing and painting if I want to be the artists I can be. That will only happen through hard work and lots of hours drawing a variety of things.

Bring it on, say I!

Mar 19, 2014

Urban Sketching

Donal Fallon, Róisin Curé and myself are in the process of establishing the Galway branch of the mighty artistic community, the Urban Sketchers. All we need to do is show our credentials, so to speak, and we'll be that much closer.
So, with that, here are a few suitable sketches I've done over the years...

I'll let you know how we go!

Mar 12, 2014

Bliary Entry #6: River walking & a tree so ominous!

I had the day off yesterday. Which is nice, but I'd rather have tomorrow off. I'd also like to say that every day.
But the sun was shining, and there was actual heat coming off of it. So Louie and I decided, unanimously, to go for a lovely walk.
We live quite close to Claregalway Abbey now. It's actually a Friary, but everybody calls it 'the Abbey.'

It was Louie's first visit to it, it's hard to tell if he was excited by it or not...

We jumped a wall (possibly illegally), and strolled along the Clare river for a bit.

Then we rounded back, stopping to pick up the odd stone that looked suspiciously like Faerie marbles...

Then we headed over to this giant, dead, tree in the middle of a field.

It has to be a Faerie tree, doesn't it?

And then we headed home and I did a bit of drawing...

The big weird thing the little Faerie is holding is a dead Banksia seed pod. The Banksia is an Australian tree and these seed pods are pretty spectacular natural objects. Each of the orange openings is like a little pair of lips. I have a story for these things... of course.

Anyway, I have more thoughts on Australian seed pods (believe it or not), but that is for another time!

Mar 6, 2014

Bliary Entry #5 - A Faerie Find

I was out walking the dog this morning, out by the rubble heaps behind our estate and I came across a neat little rusted buckle. It looks incredibly old, but it probably isn't at all. But this is what my mind came up with for it...

What if it's a misplaced Faerie item? Maybe it belonged to a Faerie that used it on his cap, or pierced their nose with it, or used it as a shield? What if it was simply a Faerie ornament, or a window frame for a tiny house?
Who knows, but I had fun coming up with ideas for what it could be.
Back soon.