Red Love Bird Painting

Love Bird Painting

Love Bird Painting

I have been playing around with some new paint liners, using them over my watercolor paintings, and was inspired to create a new series of birds. I know real love birds are more of a light green colour, but these birds are more a product of my imagination, as well as a chance to experiment with colour, pattern and texture.

lovebirds3The thing I found the most fun was probably the feet, because I am making these funny, quite stylised shapes, which I think draw a little from tribal/ egyptian art or else folk art. I think they give the birds their own unique personality. Of course, so many artists paint birds, that it is hard to have a truly original take on them.

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I enjoy the looseness of the watercolour heart also. I have been wanting to make more art that has a romantic tone, to balance out my range. So hopefully this is a step in the right direction. I hope everyone is enjoying the start of the summer. Still raining here in Ireland!

Emily

Etsy link

Girl in hat with flowers portrait painting

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Girl in Hat with Flowers Portrait

This is another painting using gouache. This time, however I incorporated watercolour into the background to create more texture and a sense of depth. I’ve been doing a few of these portraits, from the imagination. The paper is Fabriano Rosapina 285 gsm, which is unsized and a lovely soft surface to work on. The only caveat on this paper is that is absorbs a lot of pigment (I have also painted on it with acrylic, and saw the same thing). It is really a print-making paper, but despite the absorbance I still love painting on it.

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You can see in the background I layered strokes of sage (gouache) and leaf (watercolour) greens, with small daubs of marigold. I like the way the figure blends with the background, so the focus is on the face. Looking forward to experimenting more with this medium.

Etsy link

Gouache and Watercolour Flower Petal Paintings

Yellow flower petals in Gouache

Yellow Flower Petals painting by Emily Boylan 2015

I have recently begun to experiment with gouache paint. Previously, I have been very faithful to watercolour and ink. I enjoy acrylics too, but there is something about the immediacy and unpredictability of watercolour and ink that makes those paintings especially rewarding for me. I bought a set of designers’ gouache by Winsor and Newton, and have to say I was surprised on the high price for these smaller sized tubes of a paint that doesn’t lend itself to much dilution. I have heard people say that the reason gouache is more expensive to use than watercolour is because it is less widely used. I can see the point, though I do think gouache is undergoing a bit of a renaissance as contemporary artists are using it more and more now, especially in illustrative style works alongside ink and watercolour. Where inks provide transparency and overlays, gouache can contrast that with solidity and flatness. For one experiment, I drew inspiration from falling cherry blossom petals. I have seen many falling as the spring wears on in Dublin (admittedly, one such day was so cold and windy that I initially mistook said petals for snow). I started off with an ink version, using crimson artists ink, combined with some blue calligraphy ink as flame red, to create various tones. pinkpet2

yellow gouache petals

yellow gouache petals

I then did the first (yellow) painting pictured above, which is predominantly gouache, with touches of ink. I think the ink petals are easily identifiable, from the slightly darker ring that forms naturally around the edge. That sort of natural effect is what maintains my affection for the medium. If you look closely, you can see the top left two petals here are ink, whereas the lower group are almost all gouache. I was particularly taken with the hue of the marigold gouache I bough as an addition to the basic set, with which I added the deeper yellow details. What doesn’t come across in the photos is that if you turn the paper on its side, you can clearly see the gouache sitting on the paper, a chalky, raised coating, whereas watercolour and ink have a totally different texture, and are thinner when dried. Anyway, my conclusions have been that I would like to experiment more with both gouache and ink together. It seems clear the ink needs to be applied first, as it is thinner and could be prone to cracking if applied over the gouache (which might be worth trying, just to see what has happened. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my experiments, and if you’ve tried using gouache with watercolour or ink, pleas let me know how you’ve gotten on.

Emily

Etsy Links here to Pink Blossom Petals and Yellow Blossom Petals Paintings.

Flower Power Vase Watercolour Painting

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Flower Power Vase Watercolor by Emily Boylan

I hope everyone is enjoying Spring! We are getting our first few rays of sun in Dublin, so I have been celebrating with some new brighter watercolour paintings. This painting was part of the series that I painted around the time of my ‘Flowers in Vase’ painting, when I decided to get a little bit more abstract.

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I have also tried painting a house using this method. The most fun part is trying to graduate the colours whilst keeping the pattern interesting.

Etsy link

Spring Flowers Painting

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I was at the art supply shop this week and picked up some new paper. The paper is a hot-pressed fabriano, which is much smoother than the cold-pressed paper I have been using up until now. I was really pleased with the way the paper takes the ink. It’s a very different experience to working with the rougher paper, as not so much of the ink or watercolour is absorbed, and drying times seemed a little slower.

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You can see above that I worked in a number of colours for this piece. The blue of the vase is almost cerulean, the flowers have a combination of magenta, flame red, indian yellow and ultramarine, to create various tones of purples, pinks, golds and reds. The sunny weather these past few days very much inspired me to make a floral work. I hope anyone reading is enjoying the first signs of spring too.

Etsy link

New Pendant Design- Lighthouse

lighthouse necklace 4I’ve been working on yet more wooden pendant ideas. I started off inspired to make a lighthouse design. For some reason, this pendant takes me back to a childhood of devouring Enid Blyton books, especially The Adventurous Four. There seemed to be a lot of sneaking onto islands at night. I’m loving working with ink and wood. I have also been trying to work with branch slices, which have a totally different effect.

This is one of my first examples:

Dandelion Pendant

Arrow Wreath Ink Drawing

Arrow Wreath Ink Drawing

Arrow Wreath Ink Drawing

I have always enjoyed drawing arrows, but I had the idea I wanted to try a more interesting composition. For some reason I love making circular or oval compositions, so the wreath was a natural choice.

One of the ink pens I used in this was a new one I got in Sennelier in Paris over New Year. I love it because it has a brush tip and takes refillable cartridges. In my view, that is just the perfect ink pen. I hate when a pen I love runs dry, especially if it has been discontinued. The very nice man at the counter told me that the cartridges were favoured by artists due to the very black and permanent carbon ink, which is also waterproof. I love watercolour painting over ink, too, so I will be experimenting with that soon. It’s also nice to have a drawing instrument that reminds me of being in such an inspiring place.

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Storytelling Pendants

I’ve become a little bit obsessed with making jewellery! It started with my birdhouse pendants, and now I’ve gotten a little more artistic with these mini drawings. I got some really sweet little oval birch pieces, which inspired me to look back at my oval paintings, which proved popular in my shop last year. To start with, I’ve tried a quill design, a small house and hills, and of course an owl.

Little House Pendant

Little House Pendant

I decided to design a little card insert to go with the boxes for these, so I went with a simple black and white tree illustration. I feel like it helps place the pendant in the world of my drawing, which is of course where they are coming from.

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I went with silver plated chains and findings for these pendants, as for me it compliments the birch wood and the rich black ink. I finished them with a rich glaze which has an almost glassy appearance. I think it makes them that bit more modern and contemporary, in contrast with my illustration style which is a little retro. The house in particular owes something to a 1950s style book cover.

Anyway, I hope everyone is having a nice new year.

Etsy links here to the Owl Pendant, Little House Pendant and Quill Pendant

Red Cardinal Bird Art Pendant

Red Cardinal Art Pendant by Emily Boylan

Red Cardinal Art Pendant by Emily Boylan

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Happy 2015 everyone!

I have been working on some jewellery over the holidays. I had wanted to make jewellery for some time, but was quite nervous to take my first steps until I had the right idea. First, I had to select the right materials, and then think of the right designs. I have opted for birch wood, painted, and brass chains with an antique copper effect.

I made this pendant by screwing in a copper hook into shaped birch wood, painting in acrylics, adding detail with ink, then sealing with several coats of gloss sealer. I like the contrast of the colour against the wood, as well as the black ink over the bright red.

I have been very much enjoying the world of jewellery design, and also experimenting with gold leaf and silver findings too. I hope to feature more updates in the future weeks.

The design I am sharing today is the Red Cardinal Bird Pendant, available here on etsy.

River Liffey, Dublin, Watercolor Painting

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River Liffey, Dublin

I have been working on some jewellery designs inspired by cities, and in my research I made a few drawings of those cities in ink and watercolor. The piece above is one such finished painting. Dublin is my home city, and this painting shows the River Liffey, as viewed from O’Connell Bridge in the evening. Along the river you can see three bridges including the well-known Ha’penny bridge, which lately people are locking padlocks to as a symbol of love. It all seems very romantic, apart from the fact that apparently it is rusting the bridge, which was old enough to start with!

Etsy Link