Plein Air in Rathmines

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Plein air painting in Rathmines, Dublin on a brilliant sunny day

This week, I took advantage of Tuesday’s brilliant sunshine to go out in Rathmines to paint the ‘Four Faced Liar’, as the Rathmines town hall clock is called by generations of confused Dubs. I set up outside Artmines art supplies shop, right at the pavement’s edge where I was close to being brained by bus wing mirrors.

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I spoke to several passers-by some of them painters others just interested. I also got a nice mug of tea from Laura in Artmines who came out for a chat -and from the owner Soma. Mr Ali, who owns the Turkish barber came out with a little glass of Turkish tea and a couple of Turkish pastries. Delicious. 

It was gratifying to  see that people are generally very interested in what I was doing. A few remarked that it made life more interesting to see this kind of activity. Some told me about their own practice in painting. I handed out many leaflets for my art classes in Dublin, so it was a very useful enterprise to be out in public. Thank you to you all for being so supportive; I have to say I was nervous at the outset. It’s one thing standing in a rural beauty spot to paint -and another to be in a crowded city street and probably in everyone’s way.

I teach this stuff. I have a fun painting weekend organised in beautiful An Grianán, County Louth at the end of August. If you’re interested in joining us, there are a few places left.

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An Infinite Variety of Styles

I started looking though the Sky Landscape Artist of the Year 2018 timelapse videos – there are many – and it’s interesting to see the many different approaches to making a painting; from very loose and unstructured to the insanely realistic. There is no one way, of course, but one of my favourites out of the lot I saw was this one by Haidee Jo Summers. You can see paintings being made with the aid of iPads too but I have to say, I’m not a big fan of that method. The deadline for application for this year’s show is May 11 and you can do that here.

Whatever you do, watch as many of these short videos as you can ; they’re an education. 

HAIDEE JO SUMMERS: Time lapse – Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year 2018 from N9 Design on Vimeo.

190314 The Flowers of Spring

From this morning’s art class demonstration. ‘Spring Study’ 8″ x 10″ oils on canvas panel still life study of daffodils.  You can see the painting and shadow box with flowers in the background. 

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Spring Study 8″ x 10″ oils on canvas panel

 

Spring Study 8" x 10" oils on canvas panel still life set up at easel.
Spring Study 8″ x 10″ oils on canvas panel still life set up at easel.

Painting from Photographic References

I always try to impress on beginners that the very best way to learn to paint is by doing so from life. The uncertainty of the enterprise stops you from becoming ensnared by a pre-existing representation. That’s not to say you’ll manage to get good results straight away; it’s just that the uncertainty will provoke a more interesting and human result and you’ll learn more from the process.

Hence, last week was spent at each class demonstrating how to paint successfully from a photographic reference. I printed out some pictures I’ve taken over the years that I thought would be worth trying.

Here are the results of my own demonstrations. Each took about 30 minutes and I spent a further hour or so on the impressionist/pointillist one:

A Cotignac Street
The Grand Canal in Dublin
The Huband Bridge, Dublin

181008 an Alla Prima Demonstration Speedpainting

Alla Prima Demonstration Speedpainting. White on White with a voiceover explaining the salient points during the process. This oils still life study took about 45 minutes. The video is about 2.5 minutes

As usual, I’m using the paints that most of my students use: Winsor & Newton Winton oil paints.

If you’d like to join my class or sign up for my newsletter (at left), you’ll receive notice of my art events, classes and workshops. You’ll get a free eBook about my ‘McSherry-Process’ palette which will help you with your colour mixing.

181004 Silver & Chili Class Demonstration Alla Prima Oils Painting

A demonstration of alla prima (wet into wet) painting of a silver jug and chili pepper in the studio of Kevin McSherry
A demonstration of alla prima (wet into wet) painting of a silver jug and chili pepper in the studio of Kevin McSherry
From this mornings art class; a video of the demonstration of alla prima (wet into wet) painting. I used the Winton oils paints that I recommend to my beginner students: Titanium white, Cadmium Yellow Pale Hue, Permanent Rose, Cobalt Blue, Ivory Black and Burnt Umber (as an extra). The demonstration took about 25 minutes but I spent an hour after class adding details and working on the white ground.
A new term of art classes starts in my studio on October 23rd. 

A demonstration of alla prima (wet into wet) painting of a silver jug and chili pepper in the studio of Kevin McSherry
A demonstration of alla prima (wet into wet) painting of a silver jug and chili pepper in the studio of Kevin McSherry

181001 An Alla Prima Oils Study Speedpainting Demonstration

This video compresses all the slow activity surrounding an alla prima painting in order that you can keep the procedure in your memory a little more easily. Obviously, paintings just do not get made this fast. Having said that, this small study only took 35 minutes to complete.

I used the paints that I recommend to my students: the Winton range by Winsor & Newton. The palette consisted of: Titanium White; Cadmium Yellow Pale Hue; Permanent Rose; Cobalt Blue; Ivory Black -and an extra one, Burnt Umber.

Leaving off the Burnt Umber, I call this palette the ‘McSherry-Process’ palette as it most closely resembles the printers’ Process palette (Process Cyan; Process Yellow; Process Magenta and Process Black).

For sale: An Alla Prima Oils Study Speedpainting Demonstration “Silver and Aster” 5″ x 7″ 181001

I used a single brush throughout the study; a 6mm angular short bright which I kept clean using a rag.

The subject was contained in a cardboard lightbox painted black inside with a small window cut into the side through which a warm bulb lamp was directed.

This is the process that I teach in my studio art classes, using just these materials.  If you want to join my classes, send me an email using the form on the left. You’ll receive a FREE eBook on my student colour palette. I also hold workshops and host painting excursions. If you have any questions, drop me a line!

Kevin

181001 “Silver and Aster” 5″ x 7″ Oils on canvas is for sale. Call 086 247 0737 or email me

180928 Lemonstration Class Demo

Last night’s art class demonstration.  I often start with a single lemon for new students; it’s a perfect subject. It’s bright, familiar, evenly coloured and toned, with a coherent shape. I can demonstrate very quickly and this took me about 20 minutes.

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Lemonstration. A lemon oil-painting demo daily painting by Kevin McSherry from his art class.
Lemonstration. A lemon oil-painting demo daily painting by Kevin McSherry detail.

If you’re interested in joining my art class in Dublin, why not sign up to my email newsletter where you’ll be the first to receive info about classes, art workshops; art events -and even sunny painting holidays in Provence or Portugal!