Charity Auction for Zest 4 Kidz

Last Friday 8th September, at the Investor Magazine Mortgage and Insurance Broker Conference and Forum in the K Club, my painting 'Tryst in the City Garden', was sold at auction for €7500. All the money raised at the auction went to the Zest 4 Kidz charity, who operate educational orphanages in many war-ravaged countries. Their web site is down at the moment, but Zest 4 Kidz can be contacted through its founder Stuart Wilson. You can see some photos of the event at Ashville's conference site: here.

Also, special thanks to the excellent John Redmond who came to the rescue by photographing the canvas in his studio.

Early Ear Error

I attached myself to a guided tour of the National Gallery of Ireland the other week and learned that even the masters made mistakes. Judas, who can be seen kissing Jesus in the composition, had his ear lowered. You can see the vague outline of the earlier version about 3/4" above the existing one. This seems at odds with Hockney's assertion that Caravaggio [amongst many others] relied on the camera obscura; unless the model he used was possessed of very high ears, of course.

Studying with Oisín Roche

I spent a morning, along with fellow illustrator Padhraig Nolan, learning from Irish portrait artist Oisín Roche [One of his many portraits above]. He's an artist who has studied the techniques of the great portrait artists of the past and has a phenomenal grasp of how to describe flesh tones [along with everything else]. As an illustrator, I rely a great deal on whatever my own inner vision generates and what my drawing skills can support, and true-to-life depictions aren't absolutely necessary when the message of the illustration is paramount. However, I feel that I'd like to continue to strengthen my basic drawing and painting skills -because that's what has always attracted me to art anyway, and there's always something to learn. I picked up a great deal even in the first minutes and it proved to be an invaluable few hours overall. Especially with regard to the palette -I've never been one to limit myself to the basic few colours really needed to complete a painting! I'm looking forward to the next session...I'll keep you posted. Meanwhile here are a few pictures from the session -showing Oisín's own work. Sorry about the picture quality; I had to use my phone's camera and it has a lens the size of a gnat's chuff. [Don't get technical -you'll lose them -Ed]

As this was a study, Oisín mentioned that the reason for drawing the subject in charcoal directly onto the canvas was to save time getting to the colour work. I'm not quite sure how he would've approached the task otherwise.

The charcoal drawing was spray-fixed and a wash of burnt umber acrylic applied.

And the study in oils begins...I'll bring a decent camera the next time.