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

Winter River Painting on Canvas

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This is my new snow landscape. I’m still working from a set of photographs that I took in upstate New York. This particular one was taken from the window of a train. It’s a weird experience trying to get that photo as you speed by a beautiful landscape, and a lot of it comes down to luck. It’s easier to place together several partly blurry photos, and make them into a coherent painting.

No snow yet in Ireland, I’m hoping it stays that way until the holidays!

Etsy link here

Custom Four Seasons Survivor Tree Prints

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I wanted to share a new custom project that I have just completed.

This set is a collection which I personalised for the customer with different animals and birds  representing the different seasons.  The original idea was from a previous listing I had made, inspired by The Survivor Tree, a beautiful tree with a great story behind it. The palette we worked from was earth tones- there is a golden caramel colour, a spring green, a coffee brown, and burgundy. For winter we used a snowy owl, for fall a cat, for spring a robin, and for summer a rabbit. This was such a fun project to collaborate on!

These prints are all made from the same original linocut, but then hand painted with detail and also hand-stamped with handmade leaf stamps. I especially like the way that the gold metallic ink on the printed leaves turned out.

Etsy shop link

Red Southwestern Mountains- Abstract

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Red Southwestern Mountain Landscape.

This painting was inspired by looking at mountains with Indian Paintbrush flowers on them, which create the sense of red and yellow brush strokes across the landscape. I have taken a contemporary take on this kind of landscape, and incorporated some vein-like rivers and streams into the landscape. Painted in my favourite medium, watercolor and ink.

Etsy Link

Landscape on Wood

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A landscape painting in ink on a found round piece of wood, supposed to be for a chopping board. I just added a single D hook to the back and it was ready to hand. I have really enjoyed experimenting with Ink on wood, I think it may be the start of a new series…

The Forest by a Lake is an imaginative landscape, I went with the natural grain of the wood to inspire my image.

Etsy Link

Garlic and Rosemary Watercolours

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GGarlic and Rosemary are two of my favourite ingredients to cook with. I love their aromas and they are both delicious. Add in some red wine and you’ve got the makings of a wonderful sauce for Chicken, Beef of Lamb. To me the Purple Garlic always tastes the best. And no, I don’t care if it makes me a garlicky smelling date…

My Garlic and Garlic and Rosemary on etsy.

Two little blackbirds

Two Blackbirds

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I’ve been working on a few paintings of pairs of birds, this is the first one I’ve finished. For some reason I’m seeing a lot of blackbirds about the park these stays, toughing out the cold weather in search of food.

Etsy link

Red Sky at Night- Ink Landscape of Red Maple Trees in Snow

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I think of this landscape as an experiment in painting using one colour tone, like black and white, but instead with red (though I have added a few different hues into the mix).

Reading a little about red maple trees, they are traditionally connected with ideas about positive thinking, balance, promise and practicality. Native American wisdom says that a Maple Tree flourishes from human love and attention.

I’m afraid I may have to give up painting snow soon as January is nearly over.

Etsy link to Landscape.