Large Night Carnival Painting in Black Ink

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Another painting of a circus at night. I love this subject matter, as it allows me to indulge in my fondness for gothic fantasy. This painting is really huge by my standards. It is 70 cm by 54cm, which is about 20 by 27 inches. I  worked quite dilligently on the details here, and I am especially happy with how the tents turned out. I will need to go back to smaller pieces next though, as I don’t have much room in my home studio for pieces this size.

Hope everyone it having a lovely summer. Etsy link herencem2

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

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

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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