New Woodland Fairy Mixed Media Paintings

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I finished some new fairy paintings this weekend. My favourite part about painting these is that they are mixed media, so I get to use pieces of satin ribbon, leaf skeletons, sequins, silver lame… basically lots of fun materials.

I love fairyland style art, and have always liked fairy illustrations. I remember growing up reading The Magic Faraway Tree books by Enid Blyton, which featured a fairy whom I believe was called Silky.

Some of my inspiration has also come from the story of the young girls who fooled Arthur Conan Doyle with their ‘fairy photographs’- this story has been made into a movie too, called Photographing Fairies. The idea of those perfect paper fairies is very inspiring to me. I painted these on canvas, but perhaps I will try to incorporate paper fairies or drawings in my work soon too.

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Thanks for looking!

Emily

You can see more about my fairy paintings on etsy, where I sell my work, here: Gold Garden Fairy and White Garden Fairy

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.

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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Ice Princess Illustration

Ice Princess Watercolor

Ice Princess Watercolor

Ice Princess Original Watercolour
This is a fairytale ink drawing. As a child, I loved reading about snow queens and Narnia. The idea of lands where winter reigns all year round was magical. Of course, it’s a bit different as an adult after your first year trying to cope with getting to work in a snow storm!
Still, I wanted to capture some of that magic with this illustration. I started off with dip pen and ink, then added the painting element with watercolours, and then finished with white pen and ink.

I’m using fabriano pittura paper. I don’t know if you can see the ridges too well in the picture, but I really love the way they take ink. I discovered it in college and I still love working with it now from time to time.

Etsy link here

Feather Quill and Ink water-colour painting

Feather Quill Painting

Feather Quill Painting

I’ve decided to do a series of really little paintings in the lead up to Christmas. I’ve begun with more feathers and quills- which are so enjoyable and therapeutic to draw. This quill (here on etsy) was one of my first attempts. Quills are a favourite subject of mine as they have connotations with both art and writing, two areas I have a lot of interest in. I think now I’ve gotten sucked into Downton Abbey as well, there could be more old fashioned themes coming to the fore for me.

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I had also made a small feather drawing, which sold on etsy in ten minutes flat! A total first for me, I’m sure the quickest up to now was a week or more. Still, as I’m proud of it, I thought I’d show those feathers too.

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Suitcases- Retro Suitcases Ink Illustration

suitcases  retro style illustration

suitcases retro style illustration

This painting is a new addition to my etsy gallery. Just completed, I used a palette of blues, golds, greens and brown to create a number of different luggage items with a vintage feel. This drawing really reminds me of a luggage hold in one of those old Noir movies, like ‘Strangers on a Train’. I ‘drew’ the cases using a really tiny brush and walnut coloured Sennelier Inks.

I was thinking recently about a drawing I made as a child, which was of an antique store full of old lamps, vintage style furniture etc. I made it with those cool old brush style markers. I was very proud of that drawing! I may yet try to recreate it, but in the mean time it was fun to work on these suitcases. I started off inspired by an old blue case my grandmother had given me when I was a young teenager, and the rest flowed from there

Etsy link here

Abstract Paintings in Colour- new works

Abstract ink Painting, Seascape. Emily Boylan

Abstract ink Painting, Seascape 1, detail. Emily Boylan, 2014

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Abstract ink Painting, Seascape 2, detail. Emily Boylan, 2014

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Abstract ink Painting, Seascape. Emily Boylan, 2014

I have been wanting to make more abstract paintings for a while now. I started off with black and white, as I have a certain level of comfort there, but soon began having ideas for colour. I was inspired the the kind of palette you get by the sea at night when it is all lit up. I think I may have been partially inspired by staying in Crystal Cove, a seaside town near Boston. You could see the lights of Boston City across the harbour in the afternoon. There was something very magical about the experience. I took about 200 photographs of the harbour, so I may try to paint from some of those, but these are more about the feeling and experience of lights by the coast.

Etsy Link Seascape 1  

Etsy Link Seascape 2

Irish Deer in Black and White Ink

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This painting is one of a new series I’m working on. I’ve been photographing the deer in the Phoenix Park for a while now to get inspiration for paintings. I’ve been able to photograph the deer grazing, picking leaves off trees, lying in long grass, and even having the occasional fight. I’m starting off in black and white, but I have the possibility to paint them in colour as well. Hopefully the good weather continues and I can go out and photograph them further.

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This is the photograph I took these deer from- it was lucky to catch such a perfect pose.

Etsy link to watercolour