Friday, March 29, 2013

A Boggart with a Bag of Moonshine

Here's another from the same period when I had just left college and I was using a strong black ink line to define my forms. It was a technique inspired by the wonderful art of Arthur Rackham and others working during the Golden Age of illustration at the start of the twentieth century.
This was in fact the cover image from my very first book, A Bag of Moonshine  by Alan Garner.
I was very fortunate with that book as it won me the Mother Goose Award and it very much set me on my way as a young illustrator.
The character above is a Boggart, which is similar to a Goblin but a little bit nicer. Below are some of my Goblins that I did when I was considering illustrating The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Light Machine

Here's another early piece from my portfolio that I have always been very fond of. 
This one is called "The Light Machine".
As in the previous post the technique involved painting in watercolour over a pretty detailed ink line drawing.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Old Man in the Library

I like posting some of my illustrations from years ago.
This was one I well remember doing as a portfolio piece in those difficult months just after I leaving college.
In terms of subject matter I can only say that it was heavily influenced by Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast books.
Back in those days I was still trying to develop my own technique and I was using a very dominant black ink line over which I would apply watercolours.
I'm still very fond of this illustration.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Back in the Life Room

A day of life painting at the RHA is a pretty rare event for me these days, but yesterday I was  able to get in and to see some great old pals and to work with two excellent models, Des and Darren.
Here is the picture I did of Des in the afternoon and a shot of the man himself at my easel which will give you a sense of the small scale of the painting.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Snow Storm at Sea

You might remember I posted one of my first drawings for the book I am working on now.
It's very early days and I don't want to say too much about the subject of the book but I will post bits and pieces as I progress through the project.
Here it is again, and below is the finished painting.

Friday, March 8, 2013

A Wizard of Earthsea

Last weekend I had another visit to my archive which is rather a messy place to go, but I do love to hunt around and dig out some pieces I haven't seen for years.
Here's a picture I did for a project when I was at Art College in Brighton.
It illustrates a scene from A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula LeGuin.
At that time I was using an ink line to delineate shapes and forms and I think I was also using coloured inks along with my watercolour  as I tried to find a technique that suited me.
This was a pretty important picture in my college career.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


CBI have announced that Pictiúr, an exciting new exhibition of the work of some of Ireland’s leading children’s book illustrators and which has been curated by Laureate na nÓg, Niamh Sharkey, will visit four venues in Europe during Ireland’s Presidency of the EU, before returning to Ireland to tour.

I'm delighted to be one of the illustrators involved.
This picture from The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey is one of my originals in the show.
Here's a list of the featured Illustrators:

Lily Bernard              Adrienne Geoghegan            Anita Jeram         Donough O’Malley
Alan Clarke                Olivia Golden                         Chris Judge          Niamh Sharkey
Michael Emberley    Chris Haughton                     P.J. Lynch            Steve Simpson
Tatiana Feeney         Paul Howard                          Oisin McGann      Kevin Waldron
Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick           Oliver Jeffers      Mary Murphy       Olwyn Whelan
Andrew Whitson

Monday, March 4, 2013

Hermione Arts Week

The Hermione Arts Week opens at 
Alexandra College in Dublin this evening. 
I'm looking forward to seeing the group exhibition.
These two paintings of mine are in the show.