Saturday, September 3, 2011

Painting En Plein Air on the Atlantic Drive, Achill

My summer series of painting workshops on Achill Island came to an end a few weeks ago. And what a week to finish up. We had glorious sunshine for most of it and spent the last two days painting Plein Air on the Atlantic Drive, near Dooega.

With nothing to disturb us except the sound of the waves crashing against the rocks below and the shriek of the occasional sea gull this is what you might call a relaxing working environment! Here is the group hard at work, with Clare Island in the distance.

We painted a scene featuring the cliffs below us, with the waves crashing around the rocks. I spent some time earlier in the morning looking for a good place to set up base and came across this spot just outside Dooega, close to the edge of the cliffs.

My painting workshops follow the same structure as I follow myself when creating a new painting. So after setting up our easels and taking out our charcoals and pencils we started to look for a good composition for our painting and settled on the rocks and waves at the foot of the cliffs. The next step was to make some quick sketches to help test the composition and to see how much of the sea, rocks, cliffs etc to include in the painting. Here is one of the sketches I made - (complete with footprint on the bottom right corner!)

Once I'm happy with the general composition I'll start to paint it on to the canvas. Painting demonstrations are an integral part of my workshops, they give me a chance to talk about my own painting process, my materials and choice of colours. They also give me a chance to play "teacher" for a little while and demostrate some of my technique and my thoughts on painting. Here is the early demonstration version of the "rocks and waves" painting. All flies and midges have been removed from the paint - all part of the joy of painting outdoors in Achill.

So no more workshops on Achill until next year but I will be running a number of 1 day workshops this autumn in my studio in Delgany and in Adrigole in West Cork. The dates are:

September 10th (Saturday) - Hungry Hill Gallery, Adrigole Arts, Beara, Cork

October 8th (Saturday) 11am to 5pm
My Studio, Delgany, Co.Wicklow
Cost: €60

November 12th (Saturday) 11am to 5pm
My Studio, Delgany, Co.Wicklow
Cost: €60

For further information or bookings please contact Padraig at 086 8801733 or email at .Or visit the website at

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