Thursday, September 30, 2010

Paddy's Evening Out

A small picture book with no text by John S. Goodall, it has to be one of the first books that i ever owned. The hard cover is now separated from the pages at the spine from over use back in the day.

Paddy, a pig, goes on a date to a show with dancing girls, magicians, acrobats and a live orchestra - i suppose a kind of variety show... He and his partner are given balcony seats in a BOOTH up on one side the stage. While waving her fan, his partner looses it over the edge of the balcony, and in reaching to catch it, Paddy goes over the edge. The book is him running around trying to hide and not make an arse of him self in public - and failing.

The book has half page flaps that drive the story by allowing smaller incremental changes for each page, which i though was brilliant as a kid, and still do, as it turns out.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Inspiration and Documentation

Been clearing out the office a bit in the hopes of child-proofing it somewhat. Maybe it's just a fantasy, but the aim is to be able to do a little work periodically with the little 'uns up here…. may only be able to check and send an email, or something less involved than actually painting, but i thought it'd be worth preparing the space.

In doing this all my old kids books and art reference books have been rediscovered, so i thought i'd periodically have a flick through some and write a post on why they survived every book cull over the past 34 years or so...

I've also been thinking about perhaps documenting my process a little more - trying to use the screen capture stuff - mostly for my own amusement, but it's possible some other out there might get a kick out of it! Will probably go into how i'm using Painter as well, to keep track of the softwares many many many options. Like, i've just discovered Dirty Mode in the Artists Oils.... it's a little check box - been sitting there for the past year and a half - did i ever click t to see what it did? No....

Feel free to let me know if there's anything you'd like to see.

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Submission for this weeks Illustration Friday topic "Acrobat".

Chance to try Painters Tinting brushes - i quite like them!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


A piece that was put on the back burner some time ago, as it all seemed too daunting a task for me - an actual landscape scene (of sorts).

Mostly i draw characters or cartoons that may or not be in some sort of environment, but with this one i was actually aiming to paint the environment, with the figure being a secondary consideration. It started with the mushroom on the tree, and the rain lead to the mushroom providing shelter, hence the figure.

Other opportunities of study for me in this work were the concept that objects in the distance are somewhat hazy, ill-defined and much paler than the middle ground, and the foreground objects darker and slightly out of focus too - all these aspects helping to achieve a more convincing 3D space; and using a somewhat limited palette of colour. I've used many colours now, and also have a history with black and white, so it was a fun challenge trying to limit the number or colours used.

I'm reasonably happy with this study, and somewhat relieved to have it finished...

Here's a still's animation of the process. Not great quality, but maybe next time.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Blacker Pastures

I've been playing with image ideas to go with the name of this blog. The name Blacker Pastures came from the idea that where greener pastures might be better than where you are, blacker pastures might be worse some how.

I found after 4 or 5 years living in The Emerald Isle there was a few different aspects that made me think that perhaps i'd moved to blacker pastures, which is in a sense why i started this blog - to pull my self out of a rut, and find something positive to focus on, and drawing and illustration has generally been has always been something that i enjoyed.

So in a somewhat literal translation of the phrase this image was produced.

A field or pasture - plenty of those in Ireland.
Lashing rain - plenty of that in Ireland, and on of the things that had begun to kill me.
Black ink and simple, chosen to make it kinda blocky and 'logo'.

Originally i was thinking of a making the animal a sheep, as it's what i think of when i think of pastures (possibly cows too), but i've had a few run ins with goats driving in the country, and i like the silhouette more. Besides, they're horny...

Submitted for Illustration Friday topic "Proverb", after finding the proverb "When rain fall, sheep and goat have to mix" (Trinidad and Tobago).

I stopped at the goat....

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

International Rules And Greyhounds (For Trick:Tigers and Dogs)

International Rules is where the Australians get a team together from varied AFL teams, compete against Ireland - who have also put together a team from varied Gaelic Football teams - in such a way that generally leaved the Irish nursing many a bruise. In fact the Irish had cancelled the competition for the 'foreseeable future' after one bad year where several of the Irish players broke nails during the match.

oooooohhhhhhh - fighting words. C'mon, y'softies....

Anyway, it's on again soon.

Also, something about a new greyhound stadium opening in October.

Not sure what else to say about this one, other than i had fun painting it for the Limerick Post.