Crafty Christmas

Apart from Giant I’ve been on a creative festive craft spree. Its been awesome having some time in the evenings to get into the holiday spirit. Christmas has been tough since Mam has passed away but this year I wanted to make a real effort for her. So here are some of the early spoils of the season, a season that involves a lot of snowflakes apparently.

Paper snowflake decorations for the house.


Hand painted Christmas cards for Mam’s brothers & sisters. Mam had a massive range of Doc Martens and was widely known for wearing them regularly so I painted one set of her Docs and added a quote from a recording I took of her when she was going through treatment. The cards are a little more festive on the inside with a personal message to each family.


Woodburned coasters of the geometry animals I’ve been drawing recently. A work in progress but hopefully a presentable gift before Christmas arrives.


A Christmas Day of the Dead skull mug for a gift. Mug bought in TK Maxx, then coloured with sharpies and oven baked. ( The Christmas hat was stolen from elsewhere.


Christmas Mead – Compliments of Ray and Annette Sweeney, which Sharon and myself will be bottling and handing out over the period. Thank you Ray and Annette!!


Digital painting with a classical frame. By classical, I mean Dealz fancy mouldings for €1.49.


Lastly for today, more snowflakes! This time giant lollipop stick snowflakes. Working beside a Mr. Price store definitely has its benefits like cheap decent acrylic paint and bags of lollipop sticks.


WIP Painting Progress

Been slowly chopping away at an idea on Procreate, just putting in bits and pieces of spare time on it. I posted one of the character sketches during the week – . I’m on a rough lighting pass at the moment and am looking forward to getting colour on it. I suppose rereading a lot of Irish Folklore as well as watching Game of Thrones is my first direct influence on starting an image like this. The second is taking some time out and going through the Art of Assassin’s Creed III book to give it a bit more of a study.  So below are the sketch ideas and rough guidelines. The rough beginning started out with crap sketch using a golden ratio line as a line of action, then I just started to add to it from there.  The intentions are to get a moon lit snowy forest scene painted up and I look forward to spending a bit of time on it.

This morning I’m on the look out for some new procreate brushes as well as testing the waters on creating my own brushes before I start painting. In the mean time, here is the progress:



WIP Painting

Gearing up for an iPad painting, so here is a quick sketch starting it off. This is a crop of a bigger canvas and composition that I’m currently working on. I think I might update the image as I go on the blog. Paddy Semple ( has been sending me a bunch of inspiration links to amazing illustrators and digital painters. So I look forward to chopping away at this and getting an end piece sometime in the not so far off future.

Keeping it all on Procreate at the moment and just sketching loose and fast. As usual, it feels good to be doodling regularly again.


Arya & the Hound


So I’ve been watching some Game of Thrones with Sharon and last night as we watched the last episode of Season 3, I doodled this image out on the iPad. I was using the ‘adonit – Jot Pro’ stylus on the ProCreate app. The first time I had used it to plot something out. Yes it is more precise than the Wacom Bamboo stylus, but I was finding that it was losing connectivity randomly which I wasn’t impressed with. Plus I felt a little uncomfortable using the hard surface of the stylus on the iPad screen compared to the Bamboo stylus. I’m sure time will tell on the product but it was cool to go in and clean up with a little more precision. I think a combo of the two will privde better results.

The sketch was casually done over the time scale of the episode whilst I looked up and down.

Cheese Winds are a blowing

So after the holidays, I came back to a busy Giant, Pegbar and I talked at Nom Con. Giant & Pegbar’s stories are all confidential obviously but maybe Nom Con will release vids and photos. Nom Con was an experience and a half. I’ve been to cons before and seen some awesome cosplay, but I’ve never been to a con with such a concentration on anime and anime cosplay. I saw some amazing costumes, I saw some absolutely diabolical vomit inducing costumes. Regardless, fun was had by all and we all had a good talk about pitching stories and animated shows.

So here is a quick sketch done tonight in order for me to play around with procreate’s new updates. Procreate decided to give away their brushes on their latest update to celebrate their continued success so I’ve been dying to play with it. This post doesn’t hold up to the amount of painting routes I could have gone down but I just needed to whop out something for a wee test. I look forward to doing a couple more experiments with the app and its new brushes. Loving some of the brushes that made the lines for the character and then the lighting brushes are phenomenal but I didn’t really get to demo that here.  Also I went between procreate and photoshop so I could clip mask the line into colour and bring in the text to procreate as a layer. Regardless of the limitations, procreate is becoming beyond awesome for an iPad app.

gabbsThe dialogue is from a comic I’ve been writing, the doodle is not related to the comic just yet………here I’m just playing with design.  The context is a bit more filthier than I usual publish……..hopefully there will be more filth to follow.



This week was a tough one. Several tasks which ended up in Paddy, Mark and myself doing silly and exhausting hours. Started this sketch in work whilst waiting for renders and then started colours tonight when I got home. But now its time to chill and watch Batman the Animated series


Its only a work in progress as I want to start putting a layout in foreground and background, another layer of paint fixes and a total lighting finish to the piece depending on the BG……..but………..I’m on HOLIDAY!!!!!! first one in 2 years!!!!! So hope to be sketching whilst relaxing throughout the next week and then when I get back I’ll give this a run over.

I was going through an old hard drive and found some photos, so I put them up on 500px – There are some whopper photographers on 500px, and you can find great images for reference.

Iron Man

Post done for the Irish Sketch Soc on Facebook. I’ve never been a Iron Man comic collector, in fact I think I only have one comic and one graphic with Iron Man starring in it, and in saying that, I was on Captain America’s side in Civil War…….shame how that one ended…….so not knowing much about this character and doing an illustration about him was laboured from start to finish.


I’m not one for getting super hero poses down, so I used a manikin 3d body for me to base the sketch off. I spent a lot longer on this painting last night than I expected. Fleshing out the metallic aspect of Iron Man was tough, also trying to balance rough brushes, hard shadows and metallic light reflections was getting to me by the end of the image. Here is the process: