Thursday 22 December 2011

A Merry Christmas and a happy New Year to you all

Monday 19 December 2011

Carnet de Voyage- Clermont Ferrand

On left, the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de l'Assomption and on right a night-time get-together in one of the city's many squares.

Just getting around to posting some sketches from The Carnet-De-Voyage in Clermont Ferrand over the weekend 18th - 21st November. What a fantastic event. There were some incredible illustrated journals from trips all over the world and many beautifully produced publications. The event was pretty intense and we didn't have a chance to get to see much of the town by daylight - I think I have more sketches of the Gare de Lyon, my departure point in Paris, than I have of Clermont Ferrand- but despite that we had a great time and it was a pleasure to meet up with some of my fellow USKer's - Nina Johansson, Ea Ejersbo, Lapin, Miguel Herranz and Gerard Michel.
Despite not getting out much, there was plenty of opportunity to sketch visitors as they browsed through the variety of stalls and sketches on display

Above in monochrome, clockwise from top left: Miguel, Nina Ea and Lapin
The Gare de Lyon - departure point for the train to Clermont Ferrand. The lower sketch is of the famous "le Train Bleu" restaurant.

Friday 19 August 2011

Just a pigment of my imagination

When you're using cheap materials, you're always wondering "what's the catch?".
With these acrylics from the euro store, it's that the don't completely dry lightfast and so the layers drag into each other as you wash one colour over another - oh! and the fact that the colour selection is the pigment equivalent of chocolate "flavoured" candy bars.
Anyhow. I got my €2 euro's worth. The kids will find some use for them.

Around the back of the Cathedral, Kilkenny

The view from my window

Thursday 11 August 2011

Wet Twilight Sketching

Sometimes it's nice to get back to basics, put away all the groovy drawing materials and just sketch with what you've got.
This drawing was completed with a €2 set of acrylics from the euro discount store (including shaggy excuse for a brush), some ice pop sticks and pieces of cardboard torn from a coffee carton. The only sop to proper drawing equipment was a black felt tip pen I had on me.
It ain't sophisticated, but somehow it's exactly what sketching is supposed to be - fast, impressionistic and less than perfect.

Monday 1 August 2011


Some more sketches from in and around Dublin.
Any other night in pubs around the city, traditional Irish music resounds in casual gatherings of musicians both proficient and inept. That's the beauty of it. As Forest Gump said 'You never know what you're going to get"

Down at the Financial district another musician tries his luck

The Luas tram trundles from Hueston station over Sarsfield bridge towards the ciy centre.

Friday 22 July 2011


Below are a bunch of sketches from an overcast July Dublin.
The first is an early morning sketch at the Smithfield vegetable and flower markets.
The second, shoppers doing what they do best- keeping the market for non-essentials afloat
Last is a view of Rathmines church and cricket ground.

Wednesday 4 May 2011


Some sketches from a recent visit to friends in Sitges, near Barcelona and the airport on the return flight. Departure delayed for 2 hrs due to someone in the cabin dropping a torch into the plane's wheel housing. Whaddya kno?! You see something new every day

Promenade and sandcastles


View of the hills

Bored in the departure lounge

Tuesday 18 January 2011


Two recent sketches of Dublin.

This is the impressive new Grand Canal Theatre designed by Daniel Libeskind and sketched on a blustery sunny afternoon when the place was almost deserted. It's a wonderful space with the water of the docks off to right, an eclectic mix of building styles and no sense of that identikit dockland's vernacular you seem to find in areas like this the world over.

After a rain shower and the watery sun washes over some interesting apartments beside the distillery buildings in the Smithfield part of town.

Saturday 15 January 2011


Some sketches from Dublin before and after the snowstorms that took up most of December and left the east coast ground to a halt.

George's street and Exchequer street intersection with the ornate George's street arcade in the background. This leads towards Grafton street, the main shopping street on the city's southside

A foggy morning down on the north quays. The whole area is slowly being redeveloped in that generic "waterfront" style - a few statement buildings, acres of office blocks that wouldn't look out of place in a retail park and some carefully restored remnants of the past - but no soot or rust please! On mornings like this when the whole shebang is shrouded in fog and you can taste the seasalt on your face, it somehow seems more visceral and real.

Dame street, just across from Dublin castle with City Hall in the background.