Welcome to the first issue of Gmag. This is where I share my passion for drawing and painting, some nostalgia and whatever else comes to mind.
In this issue I have a go at Pen and Ink wash and try my hand at a portrait of my old School Master.
I feature a new painting of Castletown Mount and I take my sketchbook to visit Downton Abbey TV series.


Back to Top
Watercolour Demonstration

The Farmer
Watercolour Sketch
Here is a photo I came across. I'm not sure where I saw it but,
the relaxed pose struck a chord with me and I decided to paint it in watercolour.
You see that the paper is a bit uneven. This is because I never got round to stretching it beforehand.
To maintain an even surface on watercolour paper while you apply lashings of watery paint on it, it must be stretched tight on a drawing board.
I don't know the farmer and, maybe he's not a farmer, but the cow in the top left hand corner of this photo would suggest that he is.
Do you know him?
I would be delighted to hear your comments.
Check out the comment section below.

The Farmer
This is a watercolour sketch of a photo
I came across and I liked the pose.

Back to Top
Pen and Ink Demonstration

One Small Head

B McGrath.JPGFor this project I decided to try and draw a familiar face and after many years being thought by my old school master Brian McGrath I should be somewhat used to his face.
I selected for my reference photo, a photo from his retirement party taken after the presentation.
       I made various attempts to capture his image using a pencil on cartridge paper, taking measurements using the length of my pencil as a ruler. I must have tried this about three or four times but each time the result looked out of proportion. His head was either too wide or too long.
bmcg.jpg        Finally I threw care to the wind ( and the pencil too! ) and started drawing directly with a soluble ink pen. I started with the bridge of the nose and realized that his glasses were his most prominent feature. So I concentrated on getting them right. Using the pen slowed me down and helped my focus.
As last I got an image that was beginning to look like my old school master. This is the first stage in producing a Pen and Ink Wash.

Pen and Ink Wash
Pen and Ink Wash is a watercolor technique that uses the fact that the ink in the pen is soluble (bleeds with water ). to produce shading and shadows that enhance the drawing.
bmcg2.jpgHaving made a drawing in soluble ink pen, a wet brush can be used to dampen the paper and pick up the soluble ink from the drawing. This can then be used to produce the shading on the face.
 I started to warm to the subject and started to be quite pleased with the result of this technique. But there is only so much ink you can lift from the drawing before the paper starts to become so damp that there is a danger of it tearing.
Getting more ink
This problem I resolved by scribbling with the pen on a scrap of paper and lifting the ink off as before.

Having got the drawing to this stage I was quite pleased with it and this, (I have learned from painful experience) is often the best time to stop put down the pen and brush an sign it as finished. But, having got this far my confidence was high so I decided to take it a stage further and add some watercolor. I used light wash of Burnt Sienna and a yellow ocher for his jacket.

Brian McGrath (Baldy)
Brian McGrath served as Principal of St.Joseph's primary Fatima during the fifties and sixties.

"And still they gaz'd and still the wonder grew,

That one small head could carry all he knew."

Back to Top
Local Interest

Cuchulainn's Castle

Reference Photo
Watercolour Painting

Check out this wonderful video of the castle

Back to Top

Who's the Witch

Do you remember this Lady?
Clue: Nose

Back to Top
My Sketchbook Visits

Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey has become one of the most widely watched television drama shows in the world. This British period drama television series created by Julian Fellowes and co-produced by Carnival Films and Masterpiece, is set in the fictional Yorkshire country estate of Downton Abbey. It follows the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants in the post-Edwardian era with the great events in history having an effect on their lives and on the British social hierarchy. The characters, superbly written by Julian Fellowes and portrayed by an expertly chosen cast, bring us back in time to an era when the world was quite different.Carson the butler and Mrs Hughes the housekeeper were essential to the running of the manor house. Between then they ensured the group of servants looked after the Crawley Family's every need.

Lord Grantham

Portrayed by Hugh Bonneville as Robert Crawley, the Earl of Grantham His Lordship Lord Grantham was in charge, or so he thought, for the female members of the household seemed to have their way, most of the time.

Lady Mary

Portrayed by Michelle Dockery as Mary Crawley, the eldest daughter of Earl of Grantham

Dowager Countess of Grantham

Violet Crawley portrayed by Maggie Smith is the matriarch of the Crawley Family.
She is arguably the best character on the show. Famous for her witty remarks. She's a reservoir of wisdom, always in control and carries herself with great poise.

Some Quotes

"I do think a woman's place is eventually in the home, but I see no harm in her having some fun before she gets there."
"I am a woman, Mary. I can be as contrary as I choose."
Working on

In my Studio

I am working on a full portrait of

The Dowager

I have recently got a more detailed photo of Hamill's House, my thanks to Gerry Mackin, and I can't wait to get painting. Did Gmag bring some cheer to your browsing?
I'd be delighted to have your feedback.
Check out the comments section below and don't go without checking out My Gallery

Back to Top
Down Memory Lane

Childhood Memories

Did you do this?
I remember putting my arms over the top railing and catching my feet.
Post a Comment
This is the site of the old Chapel in Fatima. The site has been recently acquired by the Parish Priest Father Tom Griffin and plans are being made for a new centre for the community on the site. See Here Post a Comment
Back to Top


Do you remember this Lady from sixties TV. She could do wonders with the twitch of her nose.

Elizabeth Montgomery

Known for her role in the ABC sitcom Bewitched. Montgomery played the central role of lovable witch Samantha Stephens with Dick York and Agnes Moorehead
Back to Top
Just a thought

The Sparrow

Once upon a time, there was this little sparrow, who while flying south for the winter froze solid and fell to the ground. And then to make matters worse the cow crapped on him, but the manure was all warm and it defrosted him. So there he is, he's warm and he's happy to be alive and he starts to sing. A hungry cat comes along and he clears off the manure and he looks at the little bird and then he eats him.
And the moral of the story is this:
everyone who craps on you is not necessarily your enemy, and everyone who gets you out of crap is not necessarily your friend, and if you're warm and happy no matter where you are you should just keep your big mouth shut.
Back to Top
Web Links and Ads

My Gallery
Downton Abbey

Back to Top

No comments:

Post a comment

Follow by Email