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Video on how to paint a forest scene using Oil & Acrylic Paints

Hi everybody this is the first of the videos.  It’s more suitable for the older students but you can all try it out.  I would like your feed back as I am in the process of making a load of documentary videos during this lockdown.  If you have no oils just use what you have, you will however need a pallet knife.  When you are finished just email me on your work and I will load it onto this page.  Take your time, you have all painted trees, people walking away and dogs, remember anything you walk on has to go left to right.


September to Christmas Terms 2020

Small Children Friday 4pm till 6pm – Congratulations to everyone who attended the classes, once more great work was achieved.  This is only a selection of the work, hopefully everybody gets included.

The small children’s class is specifically designed to teaching art to young children.  I try to create an atmosphere of fun and creativity, teaching the children form, colour, perspective, painting techniques and drawing techniques.  I love the small childrens drawings and paintings as they have a great feel of creativity and individuality.

We always start off the term drawing, in this project the children learn how to create form using shape, how to create the shape using a scaled drawing and how to create tone using colour.  After this we went onto learning how to paint a dog, using the techniques once more looking at shapes and creating the painting using a paint brush flicking technique.  Then we drew, foxes, cows, birds, donkeys, snowman with bird, portraits with hand and flower and cats.  The students pick what they want to learn how to draw and paint., each projects lasts 2 hours.



Children’s classes – Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday 4pm till 6pm

This is my biggest group of children, spread over 4 classes.  Here the children learn once more form in drawing and painting.  How a drawing is broken down into foreground, mid ground and backgrounds, how to use different paint brushes and pallet knives to create different marks.  How to be versatile in their brush application.  The colour spectrum and how to different colours using the primary colours.  We covered, seascapes, landscapes, still life, how to draw and paint animals and birds and portraits.

The first five weeks is fairly structured with me giving the children a range of drawings and paintings, which they can choose from.  The last two weeks of the term the children choose as a class usually what medium they would like to create art in, usually it is spray painting, crayon art and modelling clay.

Congratulations to everyone who attended the classes, once more great work was achieved.

Advanced childrens class – Saturday morning from 9am till 11am.

This class was created for children, who are improvers.  I created this class so that the students who are improving can be pushed onto the next level of painting, drawing and modelling.

We covered a variety of subject matter here, we always start off with a still life drawing, this time its an apple.  How to create a simple seascape, how to paint trees using pallet knives and fan brushes.  Portraiture is always a big area, but now the students are learning how to draw in perspective, how to draw and paint teeth, how to draw and paint hands in different perspectives

Teenage Class Advanced – Saturday 1:30 to 3:30

This is my most advanced class, here the students start to fine tune their painting and drawing techniques.  In the seascapes the waves are turning and there is a splash against the rocks and the water can be seen flowing onto the sand.

At this stage the students understand the process of portraiture and understand perspective and skin tones.  Portraiture is one of the hardest of the areas in

Landscapes are created using pallet knives and brushes, using disappearing points to create perspective.  The students have now come to a point where they are becoming creative and start to use and understand their creativity in creating their own art.

Congratulations to everyone who attended the classes, once more great work was achieved.

Summer Camp 2020

Summer Camp 2020

Congratulations to all the young artists that participated in Summer Camp 2020, once more incredible work was created.

Day One – Drawing

Learning to draw with shapes, tone, how to scale drawings, how to draw figures and animals, how to draw a portrait.

Day Two – Portraits

How to create a portrait, how to use the eye as a unit of measure, How to draw the eyes, nose, mouth, ears, hair and how to create skin tone.

Day Three – Painting

How to create colours form the primary colours, how to recognise tone through colour, how to paint a Landscape, How to paint a Seascape, How to paint an Urban scape, How to paint figures, How to paint animals.

Day Four – Craft

How to model in Clay, How to create drawings using Crayons, How to create paintings using Spray Paint.

Day Five – Students Choice

Basically they can do anything they like on these days as a group or split into groups, painting, drawing, clay, crafts, etc.

Young Teenagers Art Camp

Portrait and hands breakdown, teenage class up

Portrait and hands breakdown, teenage class up

Hi everybody, just going to load up a load of images here on the breakdown of portraits and hands, just knock yourselves out.  Get Yourselves a Sketchbook and start working, practice makes perfect, Just Enjoy, well within your capabilities.  Work with as many mediums as possible, chalks, pencils, paint, anything you can get your hands on.  Did you know you can paint with coffee and tea, experiment, and write into your sketch book what mediums you are working with.

I will be looking for your sketch books when we get back to normal.

Remember the face is easy to draw just draw the line down vertical first then divide the page into 7 equal sections, using the eye as your unit of measure.  If you forget go into the how to draw a portrait teaching module.


old woman

Remember when drawing the hands to break them into blocks

Your sketch book is for exploring, when you have finished all the above, don’t touch the full portrait yet, break it down into eyes, nose, mouth, ears, different perspectives of the face first.


Portfolio Post – NCAD Portfolio submission and criteria for LSAD Portfolio

Portfolio Post – NCAD Portfolio submission and criteria for LSAD Portfolio

The portfolio for NCAD is very different than the portfolio for example,

Limerick School of Art.

LCAD portfolio submission consists of 15 A1 pages displaying all of your skills, from life drawing, portraits, seascapes, landscapes, still life, animation, and sketch books.

This assessment is to determine your artistic/creative suitability and will consist of a review of your portfolio and a written assignment which helps to determine your comprehension of contemporary art and design practice.

The portfolio will be scored out of 600 with a minimum score of 240 required. Only those who are successful at this stage will be considered for places. As the number of applicants who are successful after the Portfolio Assessment is normally greater than the number of places available, the system of final selection is done on the basis of points. The portfolio score will be added to the Leaving Certificate score to rank you for entry.

A successful portfolio should adhere to the following guidelines
  • Make it Exciting: Make your Portfolio reflect how enthusiastic you are about the prospect of studying Art & Design. Choose only your best work; work that expresses your skills, your abilities, your interests, your personality.
  • Careful Presentation: You don’t have to spend lots of money on expensive presentation boards, mounts and sleeves, but all work will look better if it is carefully presented. Take time to order your portfolio into a neat, tidy and well-presented representation of your work.
  • Be selective: Don’t put everything in. We will only look at a maximum of 15 sheets. These sheets may, however, contain more than one image, drawing or photograph of 3D work. (If your portfolio contains more than 15 sheets you may be asked to withdraw work. Please avoid the embarrassment, by adhering to the 15 sheet limit.)
  • Sketchbooks: Please include a maximum of three sketchbooks. These should contain analytical studies which explore and investigate aspects of your environment.
  • Label it. Make sure your name is on the front of your closed portfolio, and neatly label all the work inside, on the reverse side, with titles, where relevant, and approximate dates.
  • Your Assignment: Be sure to include your portfolio assignment. This forms part of your portfolio assessment and must be included in your portfolio.

National College of Art & Design

NCAD is completely different there portfolio is the following.

The portfolio must be submitted to NCAD, 100 Thomas Street, Dublin 8, by 4.30pm on Friday 07 February at the latest.  There are 9 areas that you can submit your portfolio for in NCAD, 1st Year Common Entry, Fine Art, Illustration, Product Design, Graphic Design/Moving images, Fashion Design, Interaction Design, Textiles and Surface Design.

I am going to pick 1st year Common Entry.

Common Entry brings together a mix of creative minds. You will learn as much from your peers as from your tutors and lecturers. You will broaden your frame of reference, discover new potential and be guided as to which area of art or design fits your specific skillset.

Your First Year Common Entry portfolio should be inquisitive and deeply explorative. Using primary sources for inspiration, show us your fascination with the world around you. We want to see you combine your curiosity with observational, research and problem-solving skills to re-interpret your surroundings and develop new forms of visual expression.

You are given a list of words and it is for you to expand these words and explore.

Pick one or more of the following guide words to explore. Expansion, Territory, Remnant, Departure, Encounter, Restriction, Gradient, Hurdle, Affinity

For example; what would happen if you expanded an every day object slowly over the period of a week (i.e. your cat) ? Could you place an unusual restriction on the cat, (could it survive outside, without food, love or heat) Can you think of ways to explore the cat and interact it with your own territory in an interesting and new way? The possibilities are endless here and there is nothing holding you back from your own creativity.

Your portfolio will be assessed using the following criteria:

1. Research and observation Come up with your own ideas from the guide words above. Play around with them, mix them up, put them together and take them apart. Observe everything around you. Look at minute details and the bigger picture. Think about the materials that you like to work with and research other artists who work with those materials. This is the stage where you should put the time and effort into really looking and observing and seeing what is already out there in order to change it, or improve it. Create some mind maps using different guide words and push the boundaries of what you already know.

2. Creative ideas – outcomes of your research and observation Use your Research and Observation to generate lots of ideas – practical, wild or futuristic. Try different things, work with new media and experiment. You can draw, paint, sculpt, photograph, try mark-making, digital imagery, videography, sewing, anything you can think of. Refine your skills and come up with visual solutions. What materials would you use, how would you construct it and why would you do it that way? Is there another way? This is that stage where you think about what could be made and create some samples and tests. Discover what works and does not work. Begin to formalize your ideas.

3. Developed creative work This is where you select, develop and present at least one idea. It could take any form and use any medium. We want to see how you have taken your ideas, which could have sprung from the simplest, most basic source and turned them in to something extraordinary. Your creative vision is unique and only you can arrive at the developed stage you have reached. This will be through careful thinking and planning and a lot of hard work. Show us your talent, creativity, progress and dedication. We know you have it in you. Creative Notebook Whatever pathway you are interested in, you should have a creative notebook to back up all of your ideas, thoughts and final work. They should be full of ideas from your Observation and Research stage, right through to your final conclusions. Your notebooks do not have to be neat or follow any particular format. We would advise that you carry a notebook with you so that you can jot things down as they come to you. Your notebook can show any extra project development like planning, thoughts and notes. We are also interested in the artists/designers that inspire you, the drawings that didn’t quite fit in the portfolio or the hobbies, art, school projects or work experience that you didn’t get chance to show.

The following are my thought processes, I will use my daughters cat as a starting block

House hold cat, start off by drawing the cat and then develop it into more environments, i.e. cat in garden, cat in house, lots of different cats, cats in graphic design etc. What are the restrictions on the household cat, food, house, dependent on a good home. Now we have used, more than three of the main words, affinity (you love your cat). Throw the cat out of your house (only in your head) not it has departed, what will it encounter outside, what restrictions has it, when it goes outside, what is its territory inside and outside.

I am now going to expand the house hold cat into a cheeta, same family members.

This thought process then developed into me, my territory and its protection

This concept then developed into my eyes, as they are the most important aspect to my understanding my place.  Does my vision sometime, give me the wrong information, am I controlled by what I see and read.

What is real and what is unreal, depicted by a full drawing and a line drawing.  Should my environment be in a bottle to protect it, from us as a human race.

Should I be put in a bottle, to protect me.  Am I walking on a knife edge, Am I the environment?