Thursday, 31 December 2015

Street nocturnal

I painted this scene with acrylic paints, as I wanted to rediscover the medium and to try something different  from oil paints. So I invested in some Golden acrylics and some canvas panels, any excuse to buy art stuff. I approached my subject matter a bit tentatively, as I have always had some difficulty with acrylics in the past. The scene is a street in Wexford town, just before Christmas. The street is lit by yellow street lights in places, giving the houses a warm glow in places. Brush and palette knife and the work was dry in 30 minutes. Acrylic on canvas panel 8x10 ins

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Coastal scene.

I found this painting in the corner of my studio, it's from 2009. I like colour in my paintings, so I often see more colour in a scene than actually exists, as was the case here. A man standing on some rocks looking out to sea was the focus point, with his wife approaching cautiously. Oil on linen on  9 mm MDF board 8x12 ins.

Friday, 11 December 2015

Heading home

This little piece is of three figures on a beach, heading home. Colours are magenta and green for the figures against a warm foreground and blue background to create some depth. Oil on board 6x8 ins.

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Bus stop, an abstract.

I was just trying to compose a painting from a scene at a bus stop, but could not decide on a composition test I was happy with. So I just went for texture and a degree of abstraction in the case of the painting below, oil on board 6x8 ins. Pure experiment in reality, a learning experience.

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Mr and Mrs

I have not posted a watercolour for a while, so here is one from a while back. A farmer and his wife, watercolour on handmade cotton rag 200 lbs paper 7x9.5 ins. I was interested in light and dark contrasts, so the figures are almost in silhouette.

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Night time vendor

This painting is a nocturne of a vendor selling burgers from a mobile van,  to customers on a street. I used wax medium with oil paint to achieve texture and body with the paint and then impasto with heavy brush strokes. The only light was from the opening in the side of the van. Oil on board with wax medium 6x8 ins.

Thursday, 19 November 2015


This is a second version of a painting I did a few months ago. In my continuing experimentation with impasto mediums, I used some cold wax medium to lay in tones and texture. The overall finish is matte due to the wax medium mixed with the oil paint. Oil and wax medium on linen panel 8x6 ins.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Man launching a boat.

A man launching a boat (detail). This is part of an 8x10 ins study on Winsor and Newton canvas board. I used cold wax medium with paint to obtain the texture and layers, in my continuing experiment with the medium. It worked very well and I was quite pleased with the effects.

Oil on canvas board, detail 8x4 ins

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Men in a currach

I have been trying out cold wax medium in my oil painting, to create texture and impasto. This painting is of two men in a currach setting out to sea. A currach is one of the oldest types of boat, simple in design and make, dating back to Neolithic times. The appearance of the painting is a matte finish with no shine, but the textures possible are wonderful. I painted this study on a canvas panel 8x10 ins.

Saturday, 31 October 2015


Homeless. Watercolour on Bockingford 200 lbs paper. 10x14 ins

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Fishermen hauling in their nets from a beach

This painting is on the reverse side of an unsuccessful watercolour, as I was reluctant to waste a heavy quality paper. The plus side is, any inhibition about painting goes, as the paper is already one step from the recycle bin. Therefore one can be loose and direct, as in  the case for this watercolour study for a possible oil painting. Fishermen hauling in their nets  in a beach. Fabriano Artistico 300 lbs paper 10.5x14 ins

Friday, 16 October 2015

Sushi bar diner

Sushi bar diner. A lady checking her smart phone whilst dining for lunch. I started with the figure and decided not to add much detail and I wanted to have colour, design and texture.

Oil on linen board 8x6 ins.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

A sunset

A painting over another painting on panel that did not work, was the basis for this painting. It was one of those that sits there, not quite finished or one has gone off the idea that inspired in the first place. Why waste the panel? So I just gave the surface a quick sanding, a wipe down with a bit of  white spirit, the artists kind and left it to dry outside.

When it came to the painting process,  I added a minute coating of medium all over the surface and I painted into that. This is the result, a sunset with figures and a beautiful blue green sea.

Oil on linen board 6x 8 ins

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Rainy day

Even on damp and rainy days one can find inspiration to paint. I was in Waterford on such a day and I based this little painting on a lady all set up for the bad weather. It's quite a low key painting, colour but muted, in keeping with the scene. Oil on linen board 8x6 ins.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Cows and distant hills.

I pass this scene frequently on my way to town. The cows were in silhouette against the sky, which I found interesting and being Friesan added to the contrast of dark against light. Painted with a palette knife after a bit of modelling with brushes using dilute paint, then texture with the palette knife.

Oil on linen 6x8 ins


Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Sushi bar 2

I spotted this man eating at a popular sushi bar. It is almost silhouette, but I added a bit of texture and some broken colour to liven it up a bit.

Oil on linen panel 8x6 ins. Sushi bar 2

Sunday, 13 September 2015

The red canoe

 I was out on one of my walks recently along the river Barrow here in the not so sunny south east of Ireland. I saw this bright red dot of colour in the distance, a beautiful red canoe. So this painting is the result. I was interested more in the colour and the shape of the canoe, so the painting is impressionistic with the colour tones of red softened here and there. Oil primed linen on board 6x8 ins.

Friday, 11 September 2015

Street musicians

I was in Kilkenny a few weeks ago and I came across two young musicians playing in the street. One playing a trumpet and the other a viola, at least, I think it was a viola, to a non musician like me. I thought what an unusual combination, but the music sounded great.The painting below is based on that scene. I broke up the colour and made it impressionistic and hopefully energetic.

Oil on linen board 8x6 ins.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Rain rain.

We get an awful lot of rain here in Ireland, even this summer has been so wet,
that we are still waiting for summer. On my way to my local village, I pass this view and I could not resist painting this scene wet in wet, with the fence posts reflected in the road. Watercolour on Langton cotton rough paper 9x12 ins.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Canal walk study

A study of a canal walk that I take every so often. This scene was just after sunset and the sky was still full of colour. I just wanted to get an impression and perhaps develop on it at a later stage. Oil on gessoed board 6x8 ins

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Missed the bus.

Watercolour is a great medium for expression, because its  so spontaneous. That is not to say it is easy to achieve what one sets out to do, but that is part of the fun, it's unpredictability. This painting, is titled " missed the bus", a person just too late as the bus has gone. Streatham London SW16. Wet in wet mostly, as the day was winter with rain, sun and cold. It was great to work out an idea and decide what to leave out or portray.

Watercolour on cotton rag paper 140lbs 10x14.5 ins

Monday, 17 August 2015

A coastal scene

A coastal scene on the " copper coast " watercolour on Waterford Saunders 140 lbs paper. It's just a simple composition of sky over water and the beautiful blue sea. I like this paper, but you have to get it right first time, as it does not like corrections.  I just laid in the washes, quite heavy, to try and get the contrast I wanted, it's more about capturing the moment, rather than fussing with details, watercolour 10x14 ins

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Plein air painters

 Plein air painters, a watercolour from 2010. I was in Enniscorthy in Co. Wexford, Ireland, and the place was full of plain air artists scattered all over the town. This is a study of a group doing what they love....painting. Watercolour on Langton paper pad 7x10 ins.

Friday, 14 August 2015

Boats Dun Laoghaire, Dublin Bay

Boats at Dun Laoghaire, on Dublin bay. The sea marine green blue, the day I observed the boats, going through routines in sailing, under instruction. Clouds are never very far away in our northern climate. Watercolour on Fabriano artistico paper 10x14 ins.

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Blackrock, Dublin bay.

A view of Ringsend power station from Blackrock and the beautiful Dublin Bay. Watercolour on Waterford Saunders 140 lbs paper 10x 14 ins. Yes, it summer, lol.

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

An old lady.

A small painting 6x4 ins. oil on gessoed board, of an old lady. I mostly used a palette knife placing colours, with a little mixing here and there. It's a method I like to use with my oil painting, as the colours stay clean and bright. Brushes are used to shape and define where necessary.

Tuesday, 4 August 2015


 Wild cornflowers in a glass, Watercolour on hot press cotton paper. I just kept it loose, without much detail, using cerulean blue, some magenta and cobalt blue. I added a bit of raw sienna to break up the blue tones, oh and plenty of water.  Langton prestige hot press cotton rag paper 9x12 ins.

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Watercolour struggles

I have been trying to get some ideas together for paintings and struggling with watercolour at the moment. Oil painting is in my head, but another part of me does not want to neglect watercolour, despite not being in the mood for it, hence the struggle. The painting below is a preliminary study for a painting I have in mind. I will need to lighten the tones and bring a bit more colour into it. Not my usual paper, but Waterford Saunders cotton rag. Ladies....9x12 ins

Monday, 27 July 2015

A flock

A flock of sheep on a road. My  first decision whether to go with watercolour or oil ? In this case it was watercolour. The reason, I wanted to try out the design in simple terms, just suggesting the sheep and keeping the composition fluid. If I was to try to depict this scene in oil paint I would have a good idea as to where I can improve and what colours to use. That is one of the many values of watercolour, it's  spontaneity and  a quick sketch can give as much information as will be needed to see, if a composition works and also as a valuable reference or stand alone work on its own.

A flock, watercolour on Fabriano artistico rag paper 7x10.5 ins

Sunday, 26 July 2015


Nothing like a bit of nostalgia. This little painting is from 1994, when I was painting in a more conventional style. Even the scene is traditional, as in a landscape with sheep. It's scene from Surrey in the UK, about 20 miles from London. I used to go there a lot when I was living in London, to get a break from the hustle and bustle. It's   5x7.5 ins watercolour on Fabriano artistico 140lbs paper.

Saturday, 18 July 2015

An artist.

I have been using Fabriano artistico 300lbs rag paper for a while now,  but I fear it has some limitations for me. It's great that the paper does not need to be stretched, but I feel that it does not facilitate a loose washy painting style. I think I might try some hot press 140 lbs brands, to try and achieve that looseness I am after in my watercolours. A bit like the image below from a cheap paper, that was very fluid to use as I recall. Hopefully after some experimentation, I will find a light quality watercolour paper that suits me, and I will report my findings.

Friday, 17 July 2015

A violinist

The subject was back lit, and almost in silhouette. I decided to break up the image, as it was too hard. I opted for fracturing of a sort  to break up the hardness and thus created a texture and an effect., hopefully. Watercolour on paper 7x10.5 ins Fabriano artistico 300lbs.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

A small herd

I was out for a walk a few years back and I met this  little herd of cows coming down a hill. They were as surprised to see me, as I was to see them. When I got home I sketched a quick watercolour, loose and fluid. Watercolour on Hahnemule 140lbs paper.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Golfers 2

I have been experimenting with juxtapositioning of colours in my oil painting and the effects possible, to achieve a sort of impressionistic piece. It's a subject that has always interested me. The impressionists were probably the first to use it with great effect. Others developed the idea further and adapted pointillism as a means a creating an image. My little painting is of two golfers, oil on board 4x6 ins.

Thursday, 25 June 2015


I have been taking a more relaxed approach to oil painting recently, in that I have been very frugal with the images and the paint,  just to obtain a basic painting, no frills, fancy impasto or glazes. It's almost a back to basics approach. Normally I am very fond of impasto and thick paint, but for the moment, I am happy to allow the gesso to be the background and little detail on the painting. Perhaps it's a transition period? Maybe I am heading towards abstraction, lol. The painting below is three young ladies on a beach having a gossip. Oil on gessoed board 6x8 ins.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Yellow surf board

Yellow surf board. A surfer waiting for a bigger wave, not satisfied with the one he has just let go. I kept the background pretty mute and concentrated my colours in the fore area. A bit of impasto for the surf but the paint is relatively fluid for the water. It's a pretty limited palette I guess, cad yellow pale, ultramarine blue, titanium white and a touch of cad red for the figure. Oil on board 6x8 ins.

Monday, 22 June 2015


I have always been interested  in Impressionism and the Impressionists, not only the wonderful paintings they produced, but the theory behind the style. The style opened up a whole new way of painting and loosened up the previous rigid conservative and conventional way of painting. My own little effort is of two figures going for a swim. I just placed colours side by side with the hope of creating a harmony or vibrancy with a little blending here and there. Oil on linen on 6mm mdf 7x5 ins.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Winter sunset with sheep grazing

This is a painting from a few months back. I kept the paint quite fluid in this case, though I normally like a more textural effect. It's a scene back from winter last year near to where I live. Near sunset and sheep grazing in a field. Oil on board 6x8 ins.

Friday, 19 June 2015


Another painting on the reverse side of a watercolour sheet. Sunbather, loose and impressionistic, with no hard edges. 7x11 ins on Fabriano artistico 300lbs paper.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

All is not lost

Sometimes, no a lot of times in watercolour, a work just does not work. An expensive watercolour sheet wasted? Not me, I have second go on the reverse side of the paper, so at least I can console myself that all is not lost. The results can be liberating, in that, one is no longer worried about ruining an expensive sheet of paper, but can relax and let go as it does not matter now, the sheet was heading for the recycle bin anyway. I currently use heavy 300lbs paper, so this is possible.

The figures below were painted on the reverse side of a failed watercolour, so it's now a keeper.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015


 This little painting is another study in acrylics using a limited palette. Some subjects suit this type of approach. The colours used ultramarine blue, burnt sienna, yellow ochre and titanium white. I kept it pretty loose, almost watercolour like, adding a few dark accents with thicker paint near the completion of the work. Acrylic on board 6x6 ins.

Sunday, 31 May 2015

A study in acrylics

A limited palette of ultramarine blue, yellow ochre, burnt sienna and titanium white, using acrylic paints. As an experiment, I wanted to try out this combination, to see what range of tones I could achieve and if the result was satisfactory? 

Two figures walking in surf on the beach. 6x8 ins acrylic on board. I will try this with cad red, ultramarine blue, yellow ochre and white. The so called Zorn palette, uses cad red, Ivory black, yellow ochre and titanium white, where blues and grays are achieved from the black, and a whole range of tones from white to the Ivory black.

Friday, 22 May 2015

Daily Paint Works Spotlight artist.

I am pleased to say that I have been chosen as the Daily Paint Works spotlight artist for the week.

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Country cottage

I am terrible for not posting regularly... I have been oil painting mostly, trying to progress with themes, with varying results. Yesterday, I had one of those rare moments when I did some watercolours in conjunction with oil painting. Most unusual for me. It's perhaps frustration with oil painting, that drove me to try and rescue some good watercolours, to be even better. I am sure everyone has those paintings that are in a folder, that are not quiet there, but one is unsure how to finish, leave, or just reject? I will post more on this subject at a later stage.

The painting below is not one of those, but a watercolour painted in one go, wet in wet to give harmony and looseness all in one. A rural cottage 7x 11 ins Hahnemuhle 140 lbs paper.

Friday, 8 May 2015

Cat on a ledge

A watercolour from a good few years ago. More than I care to remember, lol. A cat called Toosey, on a ledge. Waterford Saunders 140lbs paper. 7x6 ins.

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Cockle picker, Dublin bay.

A loose watercolour style here. A lone person picking cockles on picturesque Dublin bay, a painting from a while back. The palette was fairly limited, cobalt blue, raw sienna, a touch of burnt sienna and a bit cad red light for the small tower in the back ground. The idea was to capture the mood and atmosphere, plus the openness of the bay. I like to experiment with painting, both in watercolour and oils. One tends to stick to a routine, or method,but experimentation is good.

Out of a comfort zone, challenges an individual  technically and ephemerally. The results can be surprising, not that this piece is hugely experimental, it's just a limited palette... I tend to be much more experimental with oil painting.

11x14.5 ins 

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Figures, reflections on a beach.

 I like to push watercolour and see where I go at times., to create a mood or atmosphere. This is a painting of dusk and two figures on a beach, with reflections of the  fading light on the wet sand. I used plenty of water to achieve the wet look on the sand  and the reflections, with minimal detail for the figures.

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Dusk on Sandymount beach Dublin.

A man and his dog on Sandymount beach Dublin, near dusk one summer evening. Watercolour on Langton cotton paper 8x11 ins. The colours are quite muted in keeping with the scene at the time.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

High roller.

Oil on linen panel 13x17 centimetres. A surfer catching a wave to ride. I mostly used a palette knife and some brush work for modelling. The foreground is dark tones of ultramarine blue, mixed with cadmium  yellow in places and permanent rose and viridian in others.

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Man and his dog Sandymount beach Dublin

This week I have been making my linen panel boards, for my oil painting. A time consuming job, but worth the effort. I have left them to dry, to be used for the next batch of masterpieces, lol, over the coming months. My painting today, is one I sold recently. Oil on linen, on one of my previously made panels, 6x8 ins, a man walking his dog on the beach, or strand, as they say here in Ireland.

Saturday, 28 March 2015


I am terrible for not keeping my Facebook and my blog up to date, lol. I go through phases when I post regularly, then I neglect to do so. Anyway, this little watercolour is called "siesta", fabriano artistico 300lbs paper 7x5 ins.