Shrimp by Andy Madigan

Something fishy

I am doing a lot of sea related drawings at the moment. MY daughter loves fish, and the aquarium in Galway is her favorite pace right now, so I plan on doing some sea related murals on her bedroom furniture. First off I need a load of source material to work from.

And for that reason I give you – the shrimp!

Shrimp by Andy Madigan

 

Clifden, County Galway, Ireland

Clifden – almost done!

Clifden, County Galway, Ireland

I have worked on some more with this drawing, and now have just the water and the sky to go. You’ll notice that I have started the water, but have a lot of detailed work to complete there. Water can be monotonous and it is important that I take my time – it is not the easiest thing to draw.

For the sky I have the option of leaving it blank or filling in the cloudy sky. It is a hard decision – the white really emphasizes the curve of the hill to the left. I think I will wait until the water is finished and decide then.

I also added a solid line border. This is a format I’ve been working with for a while in my Galway/Mayo landscapes as I intend to put together a set.  I actually forgot on my last drawing of Cloughanower castle. Oops!

Finished - Cloughanover Castle

Cloughanover Castle – First of 2014

Stage 1- Cloughanover CastleMy first drawing of 2014 was of a local castle ruin, just outside Headford in County Galway (where I live). It is Cloughanover Castle which is just beside the wonderful Campbell’s Tavern. I am showing three stages in the drawing, following my usual aim of showing the process as well as the piece.

 

Stage 2 - Cloughanover CastleThe image above is about halfway through. I have the whole structure defined, and am just working it in.

 

Finished - Cloughanover Castle

This is the final image. As you can see I added the wall which was just impossible to avoid. It is actually worth focusing on the wall for a minute as it is what I see as wrong with the picture – I was happy with the castle and just wanted to be finished, so rushed it. I feel it takes from the overall image, as the fine detail I added to the castle is muted a little with the wall. I guess I am my own worst critic, but there ye go.

After Beaux

Ernesta with Nurse

After Beaux

While browsing my favourite bookshop (Charlie Byrnes in Galway city – http://charliebyrne.com/) I came across a lovely little book of paintings of children titled “Children of the Gilded Era: Portraits by Sargent, Renoir, Cassatt and their Contemporaries”. I have long admired Sargents’ pencil drawings, so that was enough to draw me in. The rest of it is a feast for the eyes, and great for someone like me who has a lot of child portraiture in my near future. The sketch above is based on a painting by Cecilia Beaux of her niece titled ‘Ernesta with Nurse’ which was exhibited in 1894 at the Society of American Artists.

Below is the sketch at an earlier stage, defini9ng the core areas in pencil. As the site is about bearing all I will always show these stages where I have then recorded.

Ernesta with Nurse

Lizard

Lizard

I started this drawing of a lizard perched on some rock as a line drawing in pencil, very quickly executed. I picked out some shapes in the same way I’d draw folds in material, but here I was trying to capture the areas of light and dark – or to be more precise the borders between them. This first stage is shown below. I didn’t spend more than a minute or at most two on that.

Lizard - drawn by Andy Madigan

I then dipped a wet brush into some black watercolour, or paynes grey perhaps – I don’t recall, and blocked in the darkest areas. I know the usual watercolour thing is to build up to dark but this was a quick sketch so I did it my own way (as I usually do in life!).

Lizard

 

Next I used the blues and greens in my pocket watercolour palette and along with the grey/black I was using above I made up some shades for doing drops of shade to build up a sort of reptile skin texture. It is only a sketch, so there was no need to do all the skin, just enough to see how this method worked out. That was the purpose after all – see how this and that work out.

 

Lizard

 

For the last step I picked up my most common sketching tool – a pen – and defined some scales, as well as the fins al0ng its spine (probably wrong word, but I don’t know the right one and am not going to look it up right now).

Lizard

Greenfield in acrylic

Greenfield in acrylic

Greenfield in acrylic

This painting looks a lot better in real life, but still not a super painting. It has a real vibrancy which didn’t come through in this photo (taken with a phone, so surprise, surprise!).

 

It is a painting of a few fishing boats moored on the shore of Lough Corrib at  Greenfield, not far from Headford in County Galway, Ireland. I live just up the road. I really should re-paint this as this piece doesn’t do it credit at all. Keep visiting and you may see that happen…