181017 Demonstration of Alla Prima Landscape Painting from a Photo

A demonstration from this morning’s art class of Alla Prima Landscape Painting from a Photo. The object is to try to have the painting look like it was done from life. So don’t get drawn into slavishly copying the photographic reference. Palette: Titanium white, Cadmium yellow pale hue, permanent rose, cobalt blue, ivory black and burnt umber for the background wash and drawing and notan. I used this demo to introduce the concept of a ‘Notan’. See the definition below from Wikipedia. I think it’s a useful technique to use, especially in en plein air painting.

Nōtan (濃淡) is a Japanese design concept involving the play and placement of light and dark elements as they are placed next to the other in the composition of art and imagery.

180925 China Aster Class Still Life Demonstration

As many of you will know, apart from creating wonderful illustrations for clients around the world, I teach painting to my students at my studio in Terenure, Dublin. Here’s this morning’s class demonstration.  

I bought a bunch of these colourful little flowers locally. Today’s demonstration is more about painting glass objects but the blooms make for a pleasing addition to these compositions. Oils on canvas panel. 5″ x 7″.

Why not join my mailing list to hear about new art events, painting workshops and regular classes? Just go to www.McSherryStudio.com fill out the simple form on the left side of the page nd you’ll receive a FREE eBook about my colour palette that will help you with colour-mixing.

Still Life Alla Prima Demonstration in oils by Kevin McSherry. China Asters.
Still Life Alla Prima Demonstration in oils by Kevin McSherry. China Asters.
Detail Still Life Alla Prima Demonstration in oils by Kevin McSherry. China Asters.
Detail. Still Life Alla Prima Demonstration in oils by Kevin McSherry. China Asters.

Studio Setup Still Life Alla Prima Demonstration in oils by Kevin McSherry. China Asters.
Still Life Alla Prima Demonstration in oils by Kevin McSherry. China Asters.

‘Crois Chéasta Chill Rialaig 1’ Carved early Irish Christian stone.

'Crois Chéasta Chill Rialaig 1' Carved early Irish Christian stone. Print by Kevin McSherry
‘Crois Chéasta Chill Rialaig 1’ Carved early Irish Christian stone. Print by Kevin McSherry
There are two standing stones with crucifixes carved into them at the ancient Cill Rialaig monastic site on Bolus Head, County Kerry. These are very early monuments in Irish Christianity -perhaps from around 500 AD. They both face west but the crosses are described differently. I’ll make an artwork inspired by the other one as I go on. I was lucky to have my eldest daughter, Mathilde with me. She’s studying ancient and medieval art and culture in Trinity, so I got an informed opinion on the subject into the bargain.
We scouted around the chaos of tumbled and weathered stones for a while, indulging ourselves with fantasies of how the settlement must have looked in its heyday; but the rain fell down on us and we started to lose the light. I discovered my hiking boots weren’t as watertight as they should be, but I endured for the sake of Culture!
Print: Hand inked and coloured in Affinity Designer. It will be a limited edition of 125 on Hahnemuhle German Etching paper by The Copperhouse . Signed, numbered and titled, ‘Crois Chéasta Chill Rialaig 1’ (that’s a working title until I can verify the Irish.) 8″ x 10″

8″ x 10″

Help for you if you’re starting out as an Illustrator.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1e7oVqM3bHLOBVrmNEh9bd9os0q7xJVWQ/view
Cover of this eBook PDF ‘The Business of Illustration – How to Present Yourself’ by Kevin McSherry

This book will introduce you to likely business scenarios and help you deal with clients.

An eBook designed to help illustrators who are just leaving college or in the initial stages of their careers with the business side of their activities. Edition 2. Kind of a ‘How to be an Illustrator’ but concentrating only on some of the sales side of things. It’s aimed at students and those who have just started out on their illustration careers. There’s practical advice and helpful anecdotes from my own experience. Written and illustrated throughout by little ol’ me. 

It’s in PDF, you set the price. This is a departure for me, so I hope you’ll all go along with it. If it doesn’t help you or you think it’s crap; don’t pay for it. If it helps you at all, it will already have earned it’s keep and all I ask is a small sum of money in return. The amount entirely up to you. There are Honesty Buttons and links within the book itself so you can take a good look before you buy. Payment is so easy it’s incredible.
I hope you enjoy it and you earn millions from your artworks. Don’t forget to get in touch with  any edits or suggestions.
Kevin

Hello world!

SC180214 Barcelona Artwork for Scooterola by Kevin McSherry. Vector illustration and design in Affinity Designer

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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.

Future Past

Lately I’ve been looking though past blog posts to see how things were once. I haven’t ever done much for the children’s book market but I did try to promote myself in that area. This is a self-promotional piece in acrylics from 2006. I enjoyed the painting and also making up the little rhyme to go with it. I don’t think I’d do it this way now and would be far more likely to work digitally:
Once for the Childer. From 2006

My good rep in Toronto Three In A Box., produces a themed promotional book every year aimed at certain segments of the market. These books are branded as ‘Box Lunches’ and the current one is the fourth. Anyhuff, the theme this time is ‘Childhood’ and the attached pic is my contribution. I never saw myself as a children’s book illustrator so when I told Denis Goodbody of Adept Advertising he expressed surprise. He’s right, of course. Certainly what I do engages with the child inside of the reader -even at the level of the business/financial work that I do. Furthermore, my own lovely wife consistently points out my childish behaviour. Consider that we all grew up in our pre-school years with picture-books being our chief means of getting the sense out of print. We all have these absurd self-images and it’s about time we burst them. Perhaps we can meet up and burst each other’s absurd self-images. Say, next Wednesday? Good. see you then.


I enjoyed this project immensely. Obviously, you can’t have too many robots.


Kevin the Magnificent,
King of all the ‘bots,
He has multitude of them
(that means lots and lots)


They spring out of his picture-books,
And from amongst the toys,
To do their monarch’s bidding,
(That means lots of noise).


Who knows; it may go on to form part of a book itself…hmmm…

(It never did…)

Looking Forward and Backward: Scooterissimo Retro Modernist Poster Prints

I’ve been doing a lot of studying about vector art lately. It requires a shift in thinking, as it’s not about lathering paint but more defining areas and filling them with colour. Perhaps a good analogy is the difference between an painter and an airbrush artist who has to mask off areas before committing to colour. It’s a perfect way of creating neat illustrations very quickly. With the added advantage that it’s easy to make amendments even after you think you’ve finished. I’m working in Affinity Designer, which has burst onto the vector graphics scene and has become a serious contender to Adobe’s Illustrator program. Especially since Adobe made the move to a subscription-based business model.
Retro poster prints for the Scooterissimo modernist fashion and scooter-lovers brand. Includes lovingly rendered vintage Vespas and Lambrettas
Retro poster prints for the Scooterissimo modernist fashion and scooter-lovers brand.

These images are part of a collection I’m creating about stylish women -mostly from the twentieth century, although probably not exclusively, as I’ll venture into any epoch. I’m depicting the various clothes fashions but also trying to evoke the design styles of the time.  By the way, isn’t it hard to discern much sartorial elegance around, in this age of ‘anti-fit’ jeans, skinny trousers, sportswear and hoodies? Most clothes seem to be shapeless. Take young men, for example, there has been a recent fashion for perfectly groomed hair and beards. Good idea. But the elegance never seems to extend below the neck.

Retro poster prints for the Scooterissimo modernist fashion and scooter-lovers brand. Includes lovingly rendered vintage Vespas and Lambrettas
Retro poster prints for the Scooterissimo modernist fashion and scooter-lovers brand.

So it’s always an enjoyable pastime to look back at women. And I do that a lot. If you live sixties fashion, vespas, lambrettas and all things mod; have a look at all the stylish and beautiful posters on offer at Scooterissimo.