Monthly Archives: July 2011

Looking Back…

Ever feel like you’re stuck in a rut?  That you’re not improving no matter how much you practice?  Well here’s a piece of advice; Go through your work from a few years ago and you’ll feel much, much better.  I just spent a while going through sketchpads, notebooks and visual diaries from my first year in college and to say that I couldn’t draw for shit back then would be an understatement.  I feel like pinning some of the most cringeworthy examples to my wall so that every time I get disheartened I can look up and see how far I’ve come.  I’d rather surround myself with pieces by artists I aspire to be as good as, but sometimes you just need an instant pick-me-up and not a reminder of how far you have to go.

Anyway, I took photos of the best stuff pulled from these years and am posting them here.  Stifle your laughter if you can 😉

Even though this is a straight-forward copy of a fantastic Francisco Herrera piece I’m actually quite proud of it.  Apparently I didn’t want to draw their eyes :/  This was ADS & I was JUST being introduced to comics properly (thanks Casey).  Below is the original work (in Issue #0 of WildStorm’s Thundercats)

As far as I can remember this drawing of Bono is from the summer before I started ADS in Ballyer 🙂  I’d just seen U2 for the first time at Slane Castle and the papers were full of great gig shots.

I’m not 100% sure of the order of the rest of these… Here’s Brad Pitt in Troy.

This is definitely from my year in ADS.  I was so, very proud of it at the time haha.  Oh well…

Sketches of a character I was working on for another of my ill-fated story ideas.  This was Giselle and I’m pretty sure I was using Amy Lee of Evanescence as a reference to some extent…not that it looks like here haha.

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Posted by on July 31, 2011 in Uncategorized


Collective Gathering



On the 6th of July the Collective Thinking Blog had our first physical get together and it was great.  I’ve not had a more inspiring gathering in a long long time.  We chatted, we drank, we drew… it was brilliant.  As far as I know it’s going to become a monthly thing and I really hope it does because the whole evening just made me want to draw and get better!  Here’s a link to the Collective Thinking Blog

We spent most of the night passing around various sketchpads so here are my contributions, I may take them further at some stage…SketchBook Pro calls.

Ben drew the guy on the left and I added his lady friend.  I figure they’re a spy duo haha.

This is my least favourite of the three, just because I had no idea what to draw.

I finished off the night by drawing Supergirl (another first for me) and I’m quite happy with how she turned out.




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Posted by on July 26, 2011 in Uncategorized


An ‘Amy Lee’ kind of day

Took a notion this morning and decided to draw Amy Lee, the lead singer (and writer) of Evanescence.  Ended up with two pieces I’m fairly happy with it though I’m sure real harpists (Lee  included) would spot my ignorance of how a harp is played.  I am a bit bummed with how the red highlights in her hair (1st one) aren’t really visible, but needless to say it’s full of swirly goodness 😀

I’m not entirely sure I got the positioning of the harp right but I’m happy enough.  I did this after the drawing below wasn’t going to plan.

This is just pencil with a bit of clean-up & contrast fixing in Photoshop.  I added blue to her eyes at the last minute & I kinda like it.

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Posted by on July 24, 2011 in Uncategorized


CD Artwork



Finally posting my newest CD designs

‘Chalkboard’ by Christian Cuff

‘Stealing Time’ by Meg Josalen (photography by Meg Josalen)

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Posted by on July 18, 2011 in Uncategorized


It All Ends…

Figured the release of the final film was as good an excuse as any to FINALLY do a Harry Potter picture.  This is actually pretty close to what I had in mind when I started out which is an extreme rarity for me haha.

I sketched it up with good ol’ fashioned pencils in the scorching summer sun we had today, then brought it into Sketchbook Pro and Photoshop.  I added a few textures to make it look a bit like The Marauders’ Map from Azkaban and, given the body count of the final instalment, I used a big swoosh of red splatter.  I’m ever-so dramatic haha.



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Posted by on July 14, 2011 in Uncategorized


Cian Healy

I’m getting excited for the RWC ’11 in New Zealand so figured I’d have another go at drawing one of the Irish squad.  This time it’s Cian Healy (who, I found out today, is the same age as my YOUNGER brother :/).

I have no idea why I went with the blackboard theme, but ’tis the beauty of SketchBook Pro that I can start something one way and end up somewhere entirely different 🙂




Posted by on July 13, 2011 in Uncategorized


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Jessie J


Mainly because her CD always puts me in a good mood, but also because I wanted to try another figure drawing in the same sort of style as my She-Ra picture, here’s Jessie J.

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Posted by on July 11, 2011 in Uncategorized


For The Honour of Greyskull!!!

My submission for this month’s Collective Thinking Blog

The topic is ‘Childhood Hero’ and yes, I could have been all profound and picked someone REALLY important, but I wanted to do something fun this month.  Plus this was my excuse to draw a cartoon character from my childhood 🙂  I eventually decided on She-Ra because when I was little I used to get my Dad to blow-dry my hair so that it looked like her’s when she was transforming 😛

This started out as a pencil sketch, then I took it into SketchBook Pro and finally Photoshop.  I didn’t really plan on moving too far from the original colour palette but the background I chose dictated a few minor tweaks.  It’s possibly the easiest time I’ve had with colour in AGES haha.

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Posted by on July 8, 2011 in Uncategorized


Sometimes, All You Can Do Is Laugh…

Trawling through old emails tonight I stumbled across this gem and had to share.  I know I have relayed many a travel-horror story to loads of people, but I had actually forgotten how bad this particular one was.  I have not embellished the story in the slightest, this is word for word what happened.  It is my letter of complaint to Air Canada after all and I doubt they’d entertain sensationalist rantings.

Montreal Airport at about 2am

“Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing to complain about the quality of your service.  I flew with you on the 2nd of October, my destination being Boston MA, and when I checked in with the carrier operating the first of my three flights (BMI to London Heathrow) I specifically asked whether or not my bags would be checked the whole way through to my final destination in Boston and I was assured they would be.  I have traveled to North America on many occasions in the passed few years so I am always very cautious and make myself aware of every detail before departure.  My first two flights went smoothly and all seemed fine until I got through both Canadian Customs and US Customs in Montreal.  Once I had been cleared at US Customs I was asked to wait for a moment (which turned into half an hour) while they checked something.  To my surprise I was then asked if I had forgotten to collect my bag when I got off the plane.  I explained that no I hadn’t forgotten but that I had been told my bag would be checked to Boston.  They then had to get airport police to escort me back through the airport to collect my bag.  Once I got my bag I raced back to the Air Canada check-in desk and there was no-one there.  My flight was at 8pm and this was at 7pm.  When a representative finally arrived she told me that the flight was closed and there were no others that night.  Not only that but I was left standing at the ticketing desk while your staff took forever to deal with every customer.  I finally managed to get the attention of a supervisor and he raced me to a check-in desk but couldn’t get me on the flight
because it was 7:50pm at this stage.  I can’t help but think that the staff member I talked to just after 7pm could have helped me.  Anyway, the supervisor said that all he could do was book me on a flight in the morning and I was left to sleep in the airport.  I have several friends who encountered the same problem with other airlines yet they were put up in hotels without a second thought.  At this point I was so far beyond upset I decided to just go and find a seat for the night.

The next morning I was the first to check in for my 6:45am flight to Boston, however I was told once I got to the gate that the attendant hadn’t shown up and we were forced to wait an extra 45 minutes while a replacement was found.  After he arrived everything else went smoothly and the flight to Boston was a pleasant one.

My return flights on the 7th of October from Newark, NJ started badly also.  Due to bad winds I was checking the flight’s status for several hours before I left for the airport.  My flight was due to depart at 7:30pm and I arrived at Newark at 5:30pm to check in.  Even though the trip from where I was staying in NJ to the airport is a half an hour and I had seen that the flight was still on schedule before I left, when I arrived to check-in I was told it had been canceled over an hour ago.  I was then told I was booked on to the 9pm flight but the staff member on the desk said that I would probably miss my connecting flight in Toronto because of the weather.  He then suggested that he could transfer me to the 7pm Continental flight direct to Dublin but that I would have to run to Terminal C (from Terminal A) in order to check in before the flight closed.  I waited patiently while he spoke to someone on the phone and filled out forms etc before racing to Terminal C.  He had assured me that they knew I was coming.  Upon my arrival at Terminal C (less then 10 minutes later) however I was not allowed to check-in because the Continental representative maintained that they had not been made aware that I was coming and that the flight had already closed.  I then had to go back to Terminal A and discuss my options with the same staff member.  I decided it was best to take him up on a flight the following day departing at 4:10pm and my friend and I left the airport.  I would like to point out that, had I known my flight was canceled, everything could have been sorted over the phone and I could have been saved the wasted time and also extortionate short-term parking fees at the airport.  

The next day (8th of October) when I arrived to check in there were issues with my booking and the very rude staff member made quite an ordeal about sorting me out.  I also inquired as to whether or not my specific meal requests (vegetarian) had been transferred and he curtly replied that no, I needed to give them 24 hours notice.  After all this I boarded the flight and things seemed to get a bit better.  However a member of the cabin crew knocked an adjacent passenger’s small bottle of red wine all over myself and the person sitting beside me and didn’t even stop to apologise.  Thankfully I knew to pour my white wine on the stains otherwise I would have had to throw my shirt out when I got home.  When it came to dinner the cabin staff were very accommodating and managed to get me a vegetarian meal that hadn’t been claimed.  Once I got to London I had literally 45 minutes to get through all the Heathrow security checks in time to check in with BMI for my flight to Dublin.  I was told that I didn’t have an e-ticket and that they had 6 minutes to try and sort it out for me.  There was also the issue that my bags might not make the flight either.  Thankfully I was allowed to check in and caught my flight home.  My bags also made it.

I have never had such a dreadful time flying to the States.  I never lose me temper nor act irrationally when in transit as I know it gets me absolutely nowhere, but I was so close to tears on many occasions during this trip it was ridiculous.  Your company cost me and my friends who were trying to help me out, a lot of time and money, and believe me it is the first and last time I will ever fly Air Canada.”

You might ask why this post is entitled, ‘Sometimes, All You Can Do Is Laugh…’ well here’s your answer.  I received a response to my complaint and guess what Air Canada offered me to make up for all my travel hassle?  10% off my next booking with them!!  Ha!  As you can probably guess I never took them up on that ‘generous’ offer.

Getting ready to sleep in the airport.

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Posted by on July 8, 2011 in Uncategorized

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