Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Discarted mascot for an App


long time without posting... in fact I´m actually quite bussy!! so I´ve been searching something ramdom to post and I found this XD. It is (as the title says) a discarded mascot design for a mobile app I was working a pair of months ago, I liked the desgin but finally the looking of the app was other.

Anyway I liked pretty much this design. Maybe if someday the app is released I will show you the final design. Time will say.


Monday, April 14, 2014

Rob Anybody

This started off as a small sketch and ended up as... this, took about 10 hours all in all cos hair is bloody hard.

In case you don't know this is Rob Anybody, leader of the Nac Mac Feegle also known as the Wee Free Men.

Characters from Terry Pratchett's Discworld series, I'm a bit of a fan, you may have noticed.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

White Blossom Tree on Youghal Road, Midleton

Painted this over two days during the week, outdoors by the side of a fairly busy road on the outskirts of Midleton, the nearest town.  It was a good experience.  I had worked off photo reference before when painting trees and found they cannot capture the 3 D nature of them.  Working from real life, I got to see what parts were closer than others much better.  For those parts, I thickened those areas using layers of white paint to give a slight impasto result.  On the second day I was worried a bit about the weather breaking but thankfully when it did, it was light and I was almost finished.  It was good to meet a few interested passersby too.  A total of 11 hours spent on this.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

I've been doing a bunch of these lately as warm ups each day,  figured I'd throw one up here this morning... 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Insert Title Cover Pencil Work

This is the original pencil work I did for the Insert Title cover illustration. The concept is based in the cinematic work of Wes Anderson. I tried to reference every Wes Anderson film in the illustration.

Quickie Paintings

A couple digital paintings from the last few days

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

March- the month of Sketching

Sketches from first day of my trip to Corca Dhuibhne in Western Kerry

Sketches from second day as I climbed Mount Brandon

Sketch of a Hedgehog in the Taxidermy Sceitse

Sketch of a Fox in the mini Sceitse

Fern, Richard & Jurga Smythes great German Sheperd

One of the places we visited, 7 sisters white cliffs in southern Sussex
It seems I spent the month of March sketching! First with a weekend trip to the Corca Dhuibhne Gaeltacht in Dingle, where I got loads of sketching done while learning Gaelainn/Gaeilge/Irish there. Then onto the Taxidermy mini Sceitse directly after, where a group of us sketched the weird & wonderful Taxidermy subjects in UCC, Islanders Eleanor & Mike were there also. And finally just finished up over the weekend with a trip to visit fellow Islander, Richard Smythe, where we explored the woods, south downs and coast of Sussex county in England, sketching along the way. Was a goodly month, always good to sketch out and about, but Im ready for some indoor sketching for a while!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Insert Title Cover Illustration

Im delighted to be the feature artist for April's issue of Insert Title magazine. The free culture magazine is now available throughout Cork City. I have four illustrations published within the magazine as well as the specifically commissioned Wes Anderson themed cover illustration. I hope to post more on my blog about the creative process for the cover illustration in the coming weeks. For more info about Insert Title please visit:

Saturday, March 29, 2014


Just messing about and this appeared. Photoshop.Some Elves get caught off guard by a bear on their travels...

Friday, March 28, 2014


Hello everyone,
I have painted another portrait of Beena, my wonderful ever suffering girlfriend and why not, she is there not being painted, she may as well be painted.
I hasten to point out the colour in this picture isn't great, in that it looks a little duller than it is as I had to use my phone camera as it is still quite wet and will be for some time, oil is a bastard that way.

But I had fun doing it and I hope you all like it.

Here also is the burnt umber underpainting done in acrylics, which went a bit grey when sloshing about with the pencil drawing

Thursday, March 27, 2014


A few weeks ago we had an inspiration themed week from the assembled islanders. Id written some of this, but only got around to finishing it now. 
"My imagery is inspired by interests in Mythology, Fantasy and Science Fiction games, film and literature." So says my artist profile on various pages where I post stuff. I'd love to single out one particular thing and go into the details but instead I'll cast my mind back and list some of the sources that have led me to where I am. The path of inspirations and the kindling in the fire so to speak! 

Moments like these:
Sitting in 1st class and being read the tales of Fianna, Cu Chulainn and all the various myths of Irish history by our teacher. It hit something in my brain! it may have been the first time I truly paid attention in school... :)

A Cereal promotion! For a Choose your own  Adventure book.  :) Collect tokens, get a book! But this was a book where you made choices at points (do you want to go here, or do you want to go here and turned to the relevant paragraph) which influenced the direction the story could go. It was through this that I was introduced to books like the Fighting Fantasy series by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingston and the Lone Wolf series by Joe Dever.

And then I discovered the whole world of role-playing games. Dungeons and Dragons, War-hammer and the work of Irish based miniatures company Prince August. I played the games, built the miniatures and soaked up text and imagery that revolved around creating fantastic worlds and their inhabitants!

Reading the Lord of the Rings. As my interest in gaming grew I finally picked up this volume after avoiding it for so long ("Oh my god, its huge!"). And was totally enraptured by it. Pretty sure I struggled on first chapter and then hit the "Shadows of the Past" segment and was lost to it...Amazed by the depth of the world, the story, the languages, the cultures and the myths that underlined the world itself. Read the 3 volumes in the space of 4 days. 

The book Faeries. led me to discover Alan Lee and Brian Froud. 

Discovering artists like Alan Lee and John Howe via there Lord of the Rings imagery and the Faerie book. If you don't have it, buy it. it's beautiful beyond words and is full of wonderful myths about Faerie legends.  Things got darker as I got older. I discovered  the twisted visions of Brom, the gothic punk worlds of Timothy Bradstreet and more. 

At the same time Comics and artists such as Geoff Senior , particularly his work on the Simon Furman comic Dragons Claws. The obligatory 2000AD phase where I discovered people like Simon Bisley. The first time I opened the Arkham Asylum graphic novel and saw Dave Mckean's stunning work.

Various movies. Many films I know have left an indelible mark on me in terms of visuals: There's actually far too many images that have resonated throughout the years: The rain drenched future of Blade-runner, the Death Valley vistas of John Ford movies, the halos of light that permeate movies such as Close Encounters, the dark shadowy world of the Film Noir genre...

All these things, I know are moments. Moments that shape what I love to draw today. 

There's one final thing. I want to admit something. My total insecurity with my skills. I'm well aware of many of my artistic shortcomings. Things I need improve on and things I fall back on in "safety".  Sometimes I feel I'm taking 2 steps back for every 1 step forward and I'm constantly running this inner monologue where one voice says "go on" and the other voice screams "give it up". I tear up and throw away drawings in frustration or come back to drawings and feel embarrassed I ever showed them to anyone.

But then, because I can't stop myself, I do a new drawing. Maybe just a simple scribble that then, as if by a mind of its own, the lines twist and turn into something unexpected and I feel that spark, that excitement and inner glee. Maybe something I've struggled to draw before suddenly seems to be not a struggle at all and I'm swept up in this breakthrough. The hours disappear and you're "in the zone" :)

As much as all these other moments I mentioned feed what I do now, moments like this...the sense of discovery, the breakthroughs and the pride(sometimes it's a good thing to be proud you know) in finishing a piece/sketch...
Those are moments that will help shape my way ahead.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Toberdaly Yoke

Since the posting week/s where we showed our studios is just over, ill be the first to go back to our regular broadcasting to show some of my normal work. Its a reconstruction of the Late Bronze Age/Early Iron Age Toberdaly Yoke found in Ballybeg bog in Co. Offaly. I don't normally draw animals like this so it was quite a challenge but I can tell you, they sure are fun to render! One of the collars was all that was found of the Yoke so was an interesting one to try to re-imagine and reconstruct how the mechanics of it worked and how it would have been worn by the animals. Took quite a bit of research digging and a far amount of working it out on the page but was worth it in the end

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Raul´s Working Space


It is said that it´s better late than never. So here I go with my working space better known as my bedroom. Here you can see my PC what I mainly use for my own work, a labtop I´ve been using for the place I´ve been working this last 3 years, in front of the screen there is "Marlene" my Wacom bamboo tablet (Her name is the same as Gomer Pyle´s rifle in full metal jacket).

You can also See more stuff like my note board, books for references, my girlfriend´s lip balm, a shitty portrait I did in my firt year at the faculty and my leg at the right bottom of the photo

Ups... here it comes, this is my cat, my sister called her "Sua" (that means fire in basque) it is not an original name for a cat here so I prefer calling her "Zanahorias" ( "Carrots" in spanish). As you can see she eventually likes to look for what I am doing... well... no, in fact she want´s me to scratch her ears. She stays on Marlene till I do it. Then She goes to sleep. In exchange she brings me death moths to the desk, it is a very responsible and professional cat.

So this is it


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Friz Studio

Missed out on this last week but better late than never! It's been fascinating seeing everyone's working spaces.

My studio space is a spare room in the house, a bit smaller than my last house unfortunately. It teeters on the brink of functional creative space and dumping ground for materials between jobs. I can't work in a messy studio (this is it tidy if you can believe that! so much stuff!) and once it starts to get out of hand it's a slippery slope. Then I end up in the living room, scrounging for some space on the dining table.

It's in the back of the house so doesn't get the best light. As a huge amount of my work is on site painting walls it means I have a LOT of materials that need stored. Masonry paint, emulsion, spray paint, buckets, rollers and paint trays, gotta fit them all in. Keeps my brain sharp like Tetris slotting them all together.
Then there's all the canvases of course, as well as my charity shop finds in the form of nice frames =)

As with many of the other Islanders, I have a seriously over stuffed bookcase.
Moving house is a pain ;)

Top left image is a sketch by an artist named Becky Cloonan.
My desktop tilts if I want to work at an angle. usually though it houses my laptop, and occasionally the Cintiq whenever I dust it off for some digital work. Little pin board at the desk covered in stickers by friends of mine and some photos and doodles. Best gift ever was the receipt spike my housemate got me so when I empty my pockets there's a place to impale them so I don't lose them!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Eleanor's Studio

My desk, with serious lack of plugs.

My studio was made for has lots of inbuilt little shelves - perfect for storing all my art materials.

My exercise bike...must be a female Islander thing!
 The window cheerily looks out onto a brick wall, but at least there is privacy!

The spare bed!
As you can see, this also doubles as a spare room - currently being used by a Paddy's weekend guest! (hence the relative tidiness!) I love my studio and it's going to be hard to leave it when the time comes to move.

Friday, March 14, 2014

No studio, but can't complain

So as the title suggests, I don't have a room exclusively for my art space.  I work in two rooms at home, for day and for night.  By day I work in the family conservatory.  Built 20 years ago as an extension on to the house.  A lot of daylight gets in, it's an ideal place to work.

Here's the view out of one of the South-facing windows.  One of my pastimes is to do a bit of tree cutting by hand now and again.  There's Ballycotton Island on the horizon.

When it gets dark I move my easel and table with painting gear up to my bedroom and keep painting til near 9pm.  10 or 11 hour days painting wouldn't be unusual.

Kevin's art box

Everybody's been so honest up until now showing their creative spaces with their usual daily clutter and and the constant accumulation of artistic debris. I did think going around the various corners of the studio and taking photos might have been possible, however it was a truly dreadful mess. I guess like everybody else my scribbling space goes through the usual cycle, beginning with somewhat ordered but as work progresses it slowly begins to assume an appearance similiar to a film set for a train wreck. As particular projects intensify then nothing is picked up, paint is left on pallettes, empty and full canvas lean against the walls, discarded sketches lie on the floor, brushes are left soaking in tin cans and the smell of turpentine is so strong in the air that even the idea of a lit match might be catastrophic. At the end of these cycles I must clean up, which is what I did for this post.
I do however have one pic of how it was before hand, and indeed how it looks normally..

My art space exists as a little two story building, separate from the main house. Essentially its a garage with a loft. The upstairs is used for painting and drawing and framing and the downstairs is used for framemaking and sometimes boat repairs. I started building it over ten years ago adding to it when I could afford it. For much of the last ten years it was just a shell but in the last few years I have finally managed to complete it. I was painting in it though long before it was complete, the toxic element of much of the paint I use made me want to keep it away from the rest of my family.
So then here's my tour starting at the entrance.. and here is the much cleaned up version of the studio..

This is the overall view showing just about everything I need to work..

 Here in this corner there is reference material, and a stove. The stove was an addition to the studio last year, before that I used paint and draw with a hat and coat and sometimes gloves and a blanket in winter as there was no insulation either. Happily though, for this last year studio is well heated, the fuel being a mixture of waste timbers from below stairs and rejected sketches and paintings. 

This is my framing table where I do all my carding and framing from what is produced downstairs, 
as you can see underneath is stored rolls of bubblewrap for finished work to prepare it for transport.
Next I have more reference material and paper stores for pastel work..

And then my collection of old and new brushes and several oil mixes and experiments. Here I keep varnishes and fixatives and additives and some small amount of leadwhite.. which is so hard to get.
Underneath is brown paper, used with a polyurethane mix to back frames neatly..

The lower half of the studio is where finished work accumulates if I dont have any immediate use for it or its not for burning. In this area work is split into three categories.. firstly I may frame it, whereby it will stay here until an exhibition or a sale. Secondly I may store it here for a possible paint over hoping its next artistic iteration may be worthy of framing. Lastly I may use it for fuel as it may already have too many paintovers and be unsalvageable. This may seem harsh but it keeps me on my toes as I realize if I don't stay focused then all I will have is a few minutes warmth for many hours effort.

Next I have the center of my studio, this is where I do most of my scribbling,some of my paint splashing and all of my coffee drinking. Here is where I keep my favorite pencils, pastels, gouache, watercolors, chinese inks, markers, pens and everything else. There's plenty of paper too and also a slide out tray on the desk where I can stuff more sketch pads for use when needed.Their presence in one central spot often enough to cause me to begin work.

Lastly in the other corner by the exit, I have more reference material and the boxes I make to transport works to exhibition. Here too I keep a gear bag full of art material ready, in case I need to leave in a hurry so that I don't have to search for stuff to bring when the opportunity arises.

And that my friends concludes the tour. I hope you have enjoyed it
and now that it is over I think I will go back to messing the place up again.


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Eva's Art Cave

Right, I decided to handle it like Wayne did earlier this week and NOT clean up my studio just to show off how amazingly tidy and well organised everything is :P Don't get me wrong, I clean up twice a month when I feel it needs tidying. So, what you see here is the stage where I start to feel that I need to clean up my room... tomorrow!

All I need is stuffed into this studio. I am very attached to certain furniture pieces. The wooden table to the right was handmade by my talented mother and has moved with me many times over more than ten years by now. I once told her I would need a large table to work and if she could make one. And she did! More space for more mess.
I also cycle a lot on my home trainer. 

My drawing/crafting desk. Currently not being used a lot due to mainly digital commissions, so basically it's a temporary dump for all sorts of random things ;D

I <3 my Cintiq.
The white shelf to the right once broke under the weight of too many books and folders. I always tell myself to buy a new one but as you can see everything is grand!!
I drink tea from small cups because it cools down faster. But I drink coffee from large cups for the opposite reason. And I usually like two different drinks at the same time for variety's sake.
My cats are always around when I work in my studio, so I made sure they have some snuggly blankets and baskets to sleep.

A glimpse into a shelf. Hand creme, an old radio clock that never shows the right time, sparkly nailpolish from the cheesy 80s party, a Mini-Tyrael statue, a bavarian heart magnet from my sister and a picture of Lincoln, constantly telling me how awesome I am ;P 

Studio JG

Welcome to the studio, it never looks this clean but I thought id take the opportunity to clean it, usually its an insult to pigs its so dirty. Its not quite a room but part of our (myself and my girlfriends), apartment in Cork city centre. This windowed area sticks out from the building, almost like a windowed balcony, which over the past 2 years it has been a great spot to work. From this window I sometimes take a quick break having a coffee, watching people pass by, talking to themselves like crazy people or wondering around drunk (lots of winos in the area), I have even seen several car crashes in the nearby cross roads. I used to use the windows to do gesture drawings of people passing by, but these days my sketching is onto to different things.

I have my studio split between the two desks, one is my trad art side and the other my digital world. Its nice to have them a bit separated like this, so sometimes I can just turn my back on the computer, which can be a distraction. On the digital side there is the usual sound  scanner, printer, my trusty old wacom tablet tucked in beside the desktop there. Its still in great nick after owning it for about 8 -10 years, a credit to Wacom as a make. I have lots and lots of books, in two little cupboards as well as a large shelves off to the side, not shown here, they are filled with reference material, books on; archaeology, history, maps, travel books, art, mythology and folklore as well as Irish language books/Leabhair Gaelainn.

On the trad side I have another desk with little baskets for lots of brushes and another one for lots of pens, my half pan watercolour paints, as well as the usual drawing desk and adjustable desk lamp. I never stick my art pieces directly on my drawing table, only stick them to a plank of wood, or most often, an old animation disk I have, shown here. This handy disk allows me to carry it around to wherever I want,  like if Im stuck on a piece of the body or pose and I walk over with the disk to draw it in the mirror or keep it on my lap if I feel like it. Also I hate drawing in just one angle, never understand how people do that, and so Im constantly moving the art piece in circles to get the right angle for the pen stroke. Not so important in paintings though but the studio is nice for having lots of natural light for colour.

Just under the drawing table are the 6-7 books I have on the go at one time, dont read them all continiously, generally do that with about 2 or 3, the rest I pick up once every few weeks, sometimes months, to read a chapter. I have 2 big boxes under the drawing desk, filled with art tools I never get around to using, various stuff I have collected over the years, some I have tried once and always planned to return, alot I never got to use, never enough hours in the day and all that.