The City

I was invited to submit works based around the theme ‘The City’ to le Louvre open submissions show in Paris. Acrylics on canvas. 12″ x 26″.

Limited edition (50), numbered and hand-signed museum-quality archival giclée prints with an edition certificate (Hahnemuhle German Etching fine art paper) available directly from me: KevinMcSherryArtist@gmail.com

The City. Acrylics on canvas painting for le Louvre open submissions show.
The City. Acrylics on canvas painting for le Louvre open submissions show.

The City. Acrylics on canvas painting in frame for le Louvre open submissions show.

Brunaille: Next week’s demonstration of a Monochrome Underpainting

A Brunaille: technique of making a warm, monochrome underpainting
A Brunaille: technique of making a warm, monochrome underpainting

If you want to try out this technique of making a warm, monochrome underpainting at next week’s class, you will need the following tubes of ACRYLIC paint:

Ultramarine
Burnt Siena
Flesh Tint (Winsor & Newton) or Warm Bright Yellow (Sennelier)
Titanium White

This technique provides you with a great big safety net for you when you get to the point of adding colour by glazing -and the results can be beautifully rich and lustrous. I often use this method in my hand painted illustrations as I can get the whole work planned out in monochrome before committing to colour. In the image above, I didn’t even glaze colour and left the brunaille as it was -I thought colour would detract from this one. If you’d like me to hold a demonstration in your area, why not drop me a line at kevin@mcsherry.ie?

Brunaille: Underpainting in warm monochrome.
Grisaille: Underpainting in cool monochrome.

Le Retour de PencilBoy

We just got back from France on a late flight last night. A long journey to Beauvais airport from Merlimont in 30º heat and back to half that in Dublin. Still, it’s great to be home, whatever the weather. A few weeks ago, I slammed the seat of my motorbike down on top of my lovely smartphone and, wait for it…then rode off for about twenty miles before I needed to call home and couldn’t find my phone. After going through the usual process of patting my pockets and shuffling around in small circles looking in the grass at the roadside, I realised what I’d done. There was my phone, wedged nicely at the hinge end of the seat. I stared at the mangled phone and made tiny sobbing noises for a while. I also uttered very many oaths and curse-words but to no avail. 

The upshot is, I was mostly offline for the week in France, which turned out to be a good thing as I wasn’t peering into the screen looking for signs of work projects which weren’t there anyway. I used instead, an old Nokia phone which we keep as a backup for my frequent phone mishaps.  I find it amazing how I’ve been seduced by the promise of always-on connectivity. I felt bereft because I couldn’t post anything to social media. Pathetic.

So, I’ve made a decision and it’s final: I’m going straight out this afternoon to buy another smartphone.

Below is a drawing from my sketchbook. It’s cross-hatched using a fine-line pen. I was leafing through a French copy of Graffiti Art Magazine and came across an artist from Catalonia who calls himself Popay. It’s difficult sifting through another language for details when you’re standing in the middle of a newsagent’s shop reading the magazines when they want you to actually buy one.  After seeing the €7.90 price tag, I spent some time pretending to browse other magazines and then patting my pockets as if I’d forgotten my wallet, I exited the shop, replete with half-learned information. (The things I do for research, honestly: I should be awarded with l’Ordre national de la Légion d’honneur for services to art.) There were some drawings of Popay’s reproduced amongst all the colour work. I really liked them and that sparked off a series of sketches in my sketchbook.

Sir William Marshall at Microcosm: Kilkenny Arts Festival

This is my contribution to the Illustrators Guild of Ireland show at the Island Mill in Thomastown, co. Kilkenny. The show, entitled Microcosm, runs from Aug 5 to 14. You can get more details here: https://www.facebook.com/grennanmillcraft/?fref=ts

This shows the bould Sir William in the famous hurling match between Kilkenny and Tipperary in 1214. Kilkenny pipped it as they had heavier cavalry and crossbows.

Acrylics on Arches watercolour paper. A5.

Puffins Puffins Puffins

Well, there’s only 14 days to go before the Fundit.ie deadline…at 36% of funding right now…must…have…contingency…plan…
Things are hotting up, chez McSherry. 

Meanwhile, here’s a picture of a very handsome man with a painting superglued to his trousers.

If you’d like to help him unglued the painting from his pants and stop him walking around Dublin like a puffin, you can support this exhibition and be REWARDED:

Brunailles: A Grey Area.

160310_35.  6″ x 6″. Acrylics on canvas
Lately, I’ve been doing more and more ‘brunailles‘, in other words, three colour paintings usually made in order to establish tone before glazing over with colour. I was captured by how much expression can be made without very much colour at all. 

160321_35.  6″ x 8″. Acrylics on canvas

Also by the way the light pigment (in these cases, Sennelier’s Warm Bright Yellow) seems to almost emit light. These old nurse’s uniforms look fantastic where the white parts are represented thus.

You can ‘tip’ the emphasis from cooler to warmer greys by adding more ultramarine or burnt sienna to the three colour mix -as you can see in the warmer, redder cast to the second painting.

A Bad Hair Day

I did a small demo for my morning students yesterday. I wanted to show them how to make a warm monochrome underpainting.

I think he looks a little like the actor Paddy Considine having a bad hair day.

Acrylics 6″ x 6″.

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The Terenure Dirigibles

The Terenure Dirigibles. Oils on canvas 10″ x 12″

Somebody told me recently, that before the rise of the GAA, cricket was the most popular sport in Ireland. Interesting. I was never that interested in cricket. I could never understand why people got excited by such a ponderous game. I much preferred football and as a child, always dreamt of scoring the winning goal for Manchester United or Chelsea; I can’t remember which.

Meandering about a field on the off-chance that a very lethal ball might fly your way sometime in the next week just didn’t do it for me. However, now I’ve gotten older, I can see the attraction more and I wouldn’t mind standing on a grassy surface for a few hours -and then retiring to a clubhouse for a beer. Or I could just go for a beer.

I don’t single out cricket for a mild ribbing due to any particular dislike; I see all sports the same way. I realise that this is probably why I’m shunned by society; it’s hard to be with a crowd of Jeremy Clarksons in a pub and have to ask them which sport they’re talking about, about an hour into the conversation.

 

“Huzzah for Terenure,  
O land of beige and taupe,
Our genetic ability for dirigibility, 
And hiding our money ‘neath the soap” 

 

Sport always generates an inordinate amount of seriousness, and a serious amount of hot air. It’s worse than art. Many people seem to have an almost religious observance of the details and forms of sport. And an unlimited capacity for reeling out sporting anecdotes about events dating back to the 12th Century.

Mostly, though, the media and advertising seems to be pathetically obsessed with sport and what it thinks it’ll do for sales figures -hence, those fantastically overwrought TV introductions to sporting events that scream excitement, excitement, excitement! Then they get some elite sports star, who’s the personification of derring-do on the field of play, to endorse a product, only to have them drone through their script in a monotone, passionless manner. God knows how they think this will help them link sporting élan to car insurance or National Cement in the minds of the public. I always think of the poor creative directors of many of these ads whose dreams are broken on the wheel of sports-star dullness. It always makes me smile. Thank you sport, for making me smile.

The above painting will be showing in Terenure Sports Club’s Culture Night event on Friday 18th September. That’s this Friday, folks.
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