My childhood was spend in Altrincham, greater Manchester, towards the end of hundreds of years of history lived within the Industrial age. I can just about remember the look of the towns industry parks like broadheath near the bridgewater canal, that passed through our town on its way into the city of Manchester.
I have been working on a personal art project for about the last twelve months, working mainly with charcoal on paper, I felt that charcoal was the perfect medium to work with as I can remember just how black these places looked as a result of the smoke created from the burning of coal used to create the energy needed to drive the factory machine.
This week I have moved onto creating a series of images painted onto timber boards, using black Acrylic ink. The boards I am using have a great pink and red feel to them and they also have a fantastic horizontal grain that adds a very likeable texture to the finished work! At first I was considering painting the board with a white under painted ground, In the end I made a great choice (I feel) in just painting directly onto the timber.
I intend now to work on a good collection of these boards, working with many different compositions, talking of which I feel this subject is all about composition and I am learning a lot in this area by doing this work, treating the factory buildings as shapes to be visually moved around in my mind, overlapping them and working them into a valuable depth from background to foreground, never letting any object rest and stand by itself until the ones that are the closest to the viewer…..
While art galleries like the Tate are closed at the Moment, they still have a great collection of art work online along with how to videos.
So if you want to have a go at learning some ART go check out some TATE How to videos 🙂
Kilkenny landscape art – Charcoal and Pastels on Paper – Winter trees
This is my second large scale drawing this week, worked on an A2 sheet of cartridge paper with the drawing itself being formatted to fit inside an A3 mounting card and frame.
I am really enjoying working with charcoal and pastels again, I feel that I could and most likely would be able to get more detail into each drawing if I used a set of pencils, high details for each landscape view however is not that much of a worry for me at the moment. The drawings I am working on at the moment are aimed at being Proprietary Artwork for later paintings.
I am learning all the time now about the possibilities of working with what is the very basic mediums of black charcoal and Pastel, the skills of blending and smoothing the charcoal on the paper, back into areas of grey. Drawing with both these mediums is very interesting, detail is possible but needs care to produce, each stage of the drawing needs fixing on the paper so that it is not smudged.
As with any drawing or painting when finished there are areas I like and areas I do not, here I loved working of the misty sky and the trees but found the foreground of the wet muddy field a challenge. I am happy overall and feel I have managed to work in lots of texture and levels of details hidden in the mud in the foreground and very happy with the blended sky.
I am not in all honesty yet looking for finished work as I want to keep learning as much as possible so the more I learn the better and the more that makes me have to look and think about a finished work the better. I am not finishing anything that I would not show to anyone so that is at least very pleasing.
This is the same drawing cropped down, I wonder if its better without the foreground area or better with it ?
If anyone wants to make a comment here – it would only help me 🙂 🙂
Kilkenny winters Landscape project Jan 2019
This is the complete set of images including the original photograph, then the Charcoal and Pencil drawing and Acrylic painting on canvas, from the set of county Kilkenny landscape in winter photos captured last week and that I have spent most of this week working on.
This is only the first set of images and I have a lot more work to do yet to produce final drawings and painting of both this single photo and then the full set of other images I want to use. I am happy with the results so far as this is the first none digital art work that I have worked on for a while.
The main thing at the moment is that I am enjoying the process very much, its taken a while to get my art desk setup again and to get all the materials in place but now this is done I can just get working and start having some fun getting creative.
This drawing uses Charcoal and Graphite pencils on paper to produce what I hope is a moody image of a winters morning over the local Kilkenny landscape.
This Painting was produced using greys mixed from Acrylic (Cerulean blue, Crimson, Yellow Ocha and titanuim white)to produces grades of Greys, some cool and some warmer.
I hope that this helps to set a feeling of winter in my local Kilkenny landscape, on what was a very cold and frosty morning in mid January 2019.
Selecting images for an drawing and painting portfolio
Over the next few weeks any images I post on my blog will relate to a selection process I am making for producing some art work. I want to go through my blog photos posted since 2011 and select images that could related to both pencil/ink and Charcoal drawings along with images the will make good subjects for Painting in Acrylic/oil paints. I also have many images that I never posted here, as when I get my camera into the landscape I try to almost exhaust the location as much as possible by taking many images.
With this image of Berlin from the river Spree, I felt it would make a great subject for Charcoal, Pencil and Pen and ink work.
This is a process I have wanted to do for sometime, as it will help me get focused on the art work I want to produce during 2019…..
Art Courses 2019 – The art of colour mixing , Rod Moore
I have been into art and painting most of my life and you never stop needing to learn new areas or keep going back to basic and practice old ones, so at the start of this year I registered on a Udemy course run by Rod Moore (Rod Moore, Complete Colour mixing course for artists).
I started the course last week in the evenings and so far its very good, I like very much the structure of the courses run by Udemy as they are perfect for adult study allowing you to use your spare time to gain new skills.
Here are some of the basic colour mixing techniques I have covered so far…..
Creating a colour mixing wheel.
Here the colours provided in my watercolour palette are laid out on the very outside of the wheel, working inwards I have mixed the primary colours of Blue, Red and then Yellow to show the results of mixing primary colours.
Mixing Blue, Reds, Yellow and Greens.
Most sets of paints contain more than one type of Blue, Red, Yellow and green paints, so in the above images I have worked on taking all the paints in these groups one by one and mixing them with the other paints outside the selected group. The first image for example is using two versions of green, the second two versions of blue – then mixing these with all the other remaining colours.
This type of colour mixing produces some very interesting results and helps show just how different the results of mixing different Blues, Reds, Yellows and Greens with other colours can be.
Landscape colour mixing – wheel and chart.
As said above different available paints can fall into the basic descriptions of blues or yellows and reds, but are individually very different from each other, in the images above I have painted a colour wheel that uses more earth versions of these primary colours.
These versions of the Primary colours (Blue,Red and Yellow) when mixed help to produce results much more likely to be used in Landscape Painting, you can see that they results in a much more earthy looking colour wheel than one produced by more standard primary colours.
I have also produced a colour chart on the right hand side of this page that shows the same mixing results but in block of colour, the standard mixing chart is in the centre of the page and as you can see this produces a much more vivid set of resulting colours, ones much less suitable for landscape painting.
One thing I have noticed while working through these exercises is that watercolour paint does not mix very well compared to Acrylic or Oil paints, which both produce much better stronger results. Its harder to get watercolour to produce many different levels of the mixed colour and for these results to have much depth to them , so my next stage is to repeat all these exercises using artists acrylic paints.
So all in all I feel great about working with this course and had a very enjoyable time over the weekend, I am not intending to turn my blog into just Art and Painting so for now I will return to some photography but its be great fun sharing something different 🙂
A weekend in colour
This week I started an online course in colour mixing for watercolour and acrylic painting, so during this weekend I plan to spend as much time as possible learning colour theory.
I worked on the course in the evenings and have already used up a few pages of a new sketchbook, including the pages I have posted here.
I feel that one of the most important things I have learned so far, regardless of the type of paint used (Watercolour or Acrylic) is that I am getting to know them very well, how to mix the basic colours included in a sets of paints and what the results look like. Not all colours act the same even when used without mixing them, some colours produce very smooth results others produce a very grainy texture, some colours don’t seem to go into the paper or canvas very deeply others act more like a dye and the moment they touch a painting surface they stain and fix themselves in very quickly and most likely permanently.
The use of colours
When I first stated painting some years back, I would spend a large amount of time trying to match every single colour in a landscape I was painting, however I feel that since these days I have learnt that doing this is not only exhausting it also does not always produce a good painting. Colours can be used much more effectively when limited and balanced so that they are used to compliment each other. When colour is used to highlight areas in a painting or to soften other areas they can make some parts of a painting stand out and others while still included, fall into the background of the finished work.
It’s all these areas and more that I want to study and regain complete understanding again of both in practice and theory, I can then move onto producing colour sketches and full paintings again.
In order to produces all the colours you want to include in a painting you actually only need three , The primary colours (RED,YELLOW and BLUE), what does counts here however is the type of red, yellow or blue you start with in the first place as this will allow you to produces very different final results.
So this weekend I plan to uses as much paper as possible and produce a colour notebook that I can use during the year to help me when producing any paintings I start working on.
If I get time I will post on my progress but if not, I will on Monday post some results and my thoughts on what I worked on.
Allihies in west county cork is one of my favorite locations to visit in Ireland.
The town is located at the far end of the Béara Peninsula, west cork, the landscape scenery here is just stunning. The town itself is about as remote as it gets in this part of the world. There are many coastal walks along with paths that wind through the hills. The town is also well known for its copper mining history with many of the old mines still standing in the hills acting as a backdrop for the town.
There is a museum that you can visit details here : Allihies copper mine visitors center
My painting / sketch here was painted digitally using a combination of PC applications and taken from some sketches and photos I came home with on the return from my last visit.
Sketching in the great outdoors
This year I hope to use other forms of recording the landscape that I find around me other than photography alone, I love creating images using my camera but I want to dig in a little deeper and spent a lot more time at each location.
There are so many art based media that can be used to create a sketch, such as (Pastels, pens, pencils, charcoal and paint).
Personally I love using Pencils and Waterolour paints, both are very simple to use and very easy to carry around. Pencil is the most direct and very easy to always have with you in a bag. Watercolour paints requires you to have a supply of water and a palette for mixing colours, both simple to have available and easy to use. A monotone Watercolour sketch is a great way to make use of this medium, used to capture all the tones that you can see in the landscape in-front of you and a lot faster than using a pencil to record the lights and dark’s in your image.
I find that the process of starting and finishing a sketch outside to be the perfect way of relaxing, its very hard to think about anything else on your mind from the moment you start working and by the time you have finished, your mind is filled with little else other than how you can use you finished sketch later for a painting or more detailed drawing.
Add your sketch to some photographs you took and you have the perfect set of images available to create larger works in oil or acrylic paints.
The sketches here are a small sample of some work produced during an art course I completed a while back …..
So then 🙂 , this is my first blog post of 2017 – Happy belated New year to everyone 🙂
We returned home to Ireland a couple of days ago , following a wonderful Christmas spent with my sister and family in Manchester. It was a great time catching up sharing time, out side walking and visiting museums and art galleries, talking lots and watching the odd movie or two.
Today I spent sometime organizing my studio room and then shopping, I needed to get some new art supplies , including paint, brushes and sketch pads. Towards the end of last year I worked mainly with digital media for both photography and art work, however in 2017 I want to add real media including pencils , charcoal and acrylic paint to my work.
I am approaching this year in the form of a set of projects that I want to work on and complete by the end of the year. My main aim is to spend as much time as possible developing real skills and end up with a developed portfolio of work that records all the small steps involved with anything I do.
I feel strongly that art of all forms (including photography, drawing and painting) is a skill that involves development. This development needs in some way to be captured/recorded so that you can look back on the steps taken.
So I hope to find a method to record my year ahead, in the form of recorded steps that involve (notebooks, sketches, photos, poems, painting etc…) that all in all build towards finished works.
Above all I am looking forward very much to just getting going and being on a path again 🙂 🙂
Some work from 2016 …..
I am continuing to explore the world of digital painting using a Wacom studio art tablet and truly enjoying the creative experience it can offer.
I am planning in the new year to return to real paint and brushes but at the same time I have really taken to using digital media, I will continue to use it both to produce sketch work and finished drawings and painting. The power that digital painting offers to be creative and to be attached with modern social media is hard to escape 🙂 , the next step is to explore how to print onto more traditional papers and canvas in order to present finished work in a more traditional way.
Today I want to share the art work of TREVOR GEOGHEGAN he uses a ready made subject near at hand the scenic mountainous area around the upper reaches of the Liffey in county Wicklow. He paints it again and again but not exclusively his present exhibition also includes landscapes from the west Connemara, Doolin etc. However, it all ends up pretty much his own style, with plenty of heather, foaming streams, moorland and woodland.
The vision is conventional, knowing how to relate foreground to middle ground in his work. It is “picturesque” nature, but not picture postcard nature, with a real sense of emotional engagement. The angles of composition are varied The Yellow Field, one of the best pictures in the show, is seen from above and the skies are generally alive, not merely filled in.
I like and has seen lots of Trevor’s paintings overtime and love very much the closeness to the landscape that he paints, it feels very much like he walks deep into the woodlands and forest river banks in order to find his subjects and this shows in his work, I also like very much the closeness to nature that he reflects on, these are real places painted and real moments !!!
A little about : Trevor Geoghegan
Born in London 1946, Trevor studied at Worthing College of Art, Sussex before graduating from Chelsea School of Art, London in 1968. In 1971 he settled in Ireland, moving to Blessington, Co. Wicklow. He lectured at the National College of Art & Design, Dublin from 1978 to 2004 and teaches annually at the Burren School of Art, Co. Clare and also holds annual drawing workshops privately and at the National Gallery of Ireland.
Trevor has had numerous successful solo shows since 1978, has exhibited at the RHA and his work can be found in many collections worldwide including Aras an Uachtarain, the Arts Council of Ireland, Bank of Ireland, Dail Eireann and the National Self Portrait Collection. His work is also represented in numerous private collections in Ireland, USA, Germany, Japan, Canada and UK.
During the weekend, I started to use an application called (my-paint), to help with some of the art work that I am starting to work on again.
I first used this application last year and along with a Wacom tablet , I have its great fun to work with.
I love the drawing control the tablet can give, almost as good as using a real pencil or brush and this combined with the pens and brushes available in my-paint, you can make a great start learning line control and layering of both tone and colour.
The Sheep’s Skull (Using Photography when Painting)
Even though most of my work on my Blog is Photographic, I still paint using Acrylic paints on canvas that I stretch and mount to the size I need.
When preparing to paint a still life like the sheep’s head and oil lamp in this painting, I will take some photo’s of the objects first. This help with getting to do a full study of the items selected, here in the photos I could clearly see all the texture of the skull and how its is made up of smaller sections of bone.
You can see all the texture in the bone and how light falls on to it, the oil lamp was photographed separately, I felt that these two item contrasted very well with each other, the gold colour of the brass lamp and bleached white of the bone.
Painting – Source photographs
First paintings for over a year :
Its over a year since I did any painting, I have been working with my photography so much, but as its the start of a new year , I felt a real need to paint again.
This painting is the start of a project I will work on , based on the upland bogs of Kilkenny and Tipperary.
It based on a series of photographic images from these great places.
A very different post today, For many weeks I have just posted photographs and it remains my main interest here but I just wanted for a little time to talk about Abode photo-shop and an application called My-paint.
Art has always been of a big interest to myself and I view all my images as a form of artistic production, some people don’t see photographs as art they are to much of a completed process or they don’t see any artistic process involved in the taking of images using a camera. To a point I do get this view, however I think the speed and directness of a camera can offer results that a painter or an artist with a pencil will not capture.
Here I post some result from working with a photograph in adobe camera raw and then photo-shop, in order to produce more developed results. In the first of the images below I have converted the photograph into black and white then using photo-shops levels and curves tools I have increased the brightness and contract until only the outlines of the trees exists.
In the third image down I have taken one of these black and white images and over painted it with photo-shops brush tool adding layers of different colour.
The last image and painting is taken from the second black and white image loading it into an application called My-paint, this is a free painting tool and is packed with great brush and pen tools. Using it I have created lots of layers of different colours and opacities in order to produce the final result.