Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Choral singers

Choral singers. I have been experimenting a lot with acrylics recently, palette combinations and textures. What's great about acrylic paint, is that paint layers can be added so quickly, as they dry fast, as opposed to oil paint, when patience is needed for weeks or months. The problem with acrylic though  is colour shifts from wet to dry and the speed needed to blend the paint on the support surface before it dries. I guess the challenge of the medium is part of the fun. Here is a recent study, acrylic on gessoed MDF panel 8x10 ins.

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Barflies 1

Barflies 1. 8x6 ins. An acrylic study of two guys in the corner of a bar. Bright colours and a limited palette, laid down with a palette knife and scraping to exploit the white ground. The simplicity of the shapes and the light appealed to me here.

Saturday, 2 December 2017


Frolic. Acrylic study of a figure in the sea. Impasto acrylic on gessoed board 8x6 ins.
I was interested in the colour keys and complimentary red and green.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017


Reminiscing. Acrylic in birch panel 8x10x0.75 ins. A woman sitting in a chair reflecting on the past, a loss or missing someone.


Tuesday, 26 September 2017

A hot day.

A figure walking on a hot day. Acrylic on a gessoed birch panel 10x8x0.75 ins. I used a palette knife and brushes here to try and get the impasto effects I wanted.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Blue cows

Blue cows. A fun piece, using a red gesso ground. My colours were limited to ultramarine, cad yellow medium and titanium white, exploiting the red ground. Acrylic on a birch panel 8x10x0.75 ins, using Schmincke Primacryl professional artist acrylic paints. 

Wednesday, 30 August 2017


Memories. An abstract study, acrylic on paper 7x10 ins.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Woman knitting.

One of the very first paintings that I admired, was a Vermeer, The Milkmaid. The colours, light and shadow and the simplicity of a domestic scene, wonderful. My interest in art continued and I discovered chiaroscuro, particularly the works of Caravaggio and Rembrandt since then. My little painting today is a watercolour study of a woman knitting sitting in a chair. The palette is muted and little detail. 8x10 ins.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Where is that taxi

Where is that taxi? Two ladies waiting anxiously for a taxi to come by. When I am out and about I am always on the lookout for interesting subjects and people. This little watercolour study 10x9 ins on the reverse side of a piece of Waterford Saunders watercolour paper. I tend to use heavier pigment washes, with less water when it comes to this type of paper. The reason being, that the painting can be done in one go without any further washes.

Tuesday, 25 July 2017


 Shade. A couple sheltering from the hot sun. A muted palette despite the bright light. I just wanted to depict the shadows cast by the umbrella with light catching some area, keeping it simple. The figure of the woman is mostly one colour, thalo blue and ultramarine. Oil impasto using a palette knife on cotton canvas board 18x24 cm, approx 7x9ins.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Mixed media landscape

Using mixed media is a great way to experiment and stimulate the creative process. I use acrylic with watercolour on occasions to creat an effect or see where I can go with a piece. One can use pastels with watercolour and acrylic as well. Some artists start a painting with thin layers of acrylic underpainting and then use oil paint for the subsequent layers. It all depends on what suits, but do not be afraid to try new things. The painting below is acrylic with some watercolour washes on top 7x10 ins.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

My hat, my hair.

Back to basics with watercolour. I always keep my watercolour palette handy when I  need to do a quick sketch or just for the fun of painting. Watercolour makes a welcome break from oil painting at times. It's good to mix it up IMO. This little sketch was based on a scene along a river walk, where a group of people were enjoying a get together and the sunshine. Two of the group stood out, one lady with a bright hat and other with a big hair do. I loved the contrast and the colours. Watercolour on paper sketch 9x6 ins.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017


A study of two people sitting in the shade on a hot beach. The colours are muted in keeping with the light. If I was to use this study for a full painting, I would extend the scene to give more contrast between light and shade, plus perhaps add some highlights on the figures. Oil impasto using a palette knife on paper 7x10 ins.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Text message

"Text message", mixed media on paper. An experimental piece. Acrylic areas over watercolour using some impasto. 10x7 ins on watercolour paper.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Beach scene in mixed media.

I am continuing my experimentation with acrylics. This time I left the palette knife aside and used brushes. A beach scene over an original watercolour, where I exploited the colours of the under layers   Mixed media beach scene 11x15 ins. Available at or at

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

A day out with mom.

I was sitting in my studio the other day, thinking I really need to tidy up. I spotted a shelf of Winsor and Newton Galeria acrylics that I have used on occasion in the past, as perhaps the first place to start. Then I decided, before I discard them, why not use them up just for fun and experimentation. What to use as a substrate? Easy, unsuccessful watercolours with a perfectly good reverse side to use. What is to lose, as both were heading for recycling? The painting below is the first effort using three colours and a palette knife only. "A day out with mom" 7x10 ins approx.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Landscape studies

Here are three versions of a landscape study, oil on a piece of hardboard 5x7 ins. I kept adjusting parts of the painting to see if I could improve it, and also just experimenting. I perhaps think the plain version, the first one was the better of the three.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Irish girl

I have this oil marked frame which I use to look at a completed work. The idea is to see if the painting works and  what it looks like in a frame. This painting is of an Irish girl, oil impasto on oil primed linen canvas panel 10x8 ins, palette knife mostly. Excuse the photo, as the lighting was not great.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017


A simple landscape with three trees. I was struck with the mellow Autumn colours of the trees in this scene on one of my walks, last autumn. I used a muted watercolour palette here in keeping with the scene, raw sienna, cobalt blue, and a touch of  burnt sienna for the darks . 9x11 ins on 200 lbs Bockingford paper.

Monday, 3 April 2017

Mt. Leinster landscape

Mt. Leinster landscape, oil on stretched linen 9x12 ins.. I used a palette knife to apply the paint work, blending in areas, but keeping impasto texture as well.


Wednesday, 15 March 2017

A nice day 2

Friends out walking together., Oil impasto on canvas panel using a palette knife and no medium. 10x12 ins


Thursday, 2 March 2017

Let's go look at the waves

Children going to look at the waves on a beach. Oil on canvas panel 10x12 ins. I gave the panel a couple of coats of Liquitex clear gesso on top of the commercial gesso already on it. A rough sketch of my composition and then using  palette knife only, no medium. I completed the work in one session alla prima.


Wednesday, 22 February 2017


I was wandering about Waterford city a while back and I came across some musicians playing music in an open air café. I settled on a composition and painted the players as they were, but the colours were very similar in tone blues and grays, leading to a not very exciting piece, IMO. So I decided on a rework and added more colour and texture. Oil on linen panel. 8x10x0.4 ins

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

A rural road and lanscape at Dusk

A rural road and landscape at dusk.8x10 ins. Oil impasto on Winsor and Newton canvas board. I did not use any medium, just a very light drawing before I started with a palette knife, finishing the work in one session. I usually look at a piece the next day to see if  there are any adjustments needed. If any adjustments are needed, the paint is still wet so I can do that.. Occasionally, I just scrape the whole lot  and start over.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017


I completed this work using a palette knife only. My interest here was to try and place  colours in harmony and add texture and impasto. Oil on W&N canvas board. I added a couple of coats of Liquitex clear gesso to the existing primer on the board, as the commercial primer can be very absorbent. Oil on board 8x10 ins.


Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Outlaws, oil sketch

Outlaws, an oil sketch on paper, a monotone really. It's almost like a watercolour, even leaving the white of the paper as the highlight.. 12x16 ins.

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Rainy day in Dublin

Umbrellas at the ready, a rainy day in Dublin. Watercolour on cotton rag. 14x10 ins approx. A muted palette only livened up with the warm orange yellow umbrella on the left.

Monday, 16 January 2017

Window shopping

I have been painting some small studies with the view to a larger work. The paintings below are stage one and the final piece. Window shoppers 7.75x8 ins on gessoed board, a mother and son looking into a shop window.

Stage one, was just oil paint diluted with Gamsol on gessoed board.

The final stage, I added colour impasto with a palette knife.

Monday, 9 January 2017

Streatham common London

A little study of a family enjoying Streatham common. Oil on gessoed board 7.75x10 ins, mostly using a small palette knife.

Monday, 2 January 2017

Dancers 1

Two dancers practicing their routines before the big night. Watercolour on cotton rag paper 10x7 ins. I used a limited palette as my main interest was to convey movement.