Thursday, 31 January 2013


This guy started off clean shaven but he's been sitting for a while now.  Peacefully watching and patiently waiting for something to happen.  If only he just got up off his little stool he could find something fun to do.  Maybe he's waiting for the weekend!?  Not much longer!

I love pocket watches.  My family bought me a beautiful pocket watch, engraved with my initials, as a gift for my graduation!  Love it!  x

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

More BIG heads!!

Una, Finn McCool and Benandonner.

The Scottish giant begging for his life. Photo taken by National Trust.

These big heads were made at the Beat Carnival last year for the Giant's Causeway visitor centre.  I made Finn McCool, his wife Una.  Stephen Bamford made Benandonner, the Scottish Giant.  Legend has it
Finn McCool and the Scot's feud and stone throwing formed the Giant's Causeway!

I had great fun making Finn and Una! Referring to stills from a promotional video the faces finally took shape. The character heads have to be durable as well comfortable for the performer to wear so lots of things need to be taken into consideration in the design and making process.  The costumes really finish the character and it was great to see them at the causeway in the proper setting for the story.

Monday, 28 January 2013


Polish alphabet.
B is for Beetroot soup.

F is for Frederic Chopin.
T is for Tatry Mountains.
This was a project I did for the Naughton Gallery.  Artists worked with various groups living in Northern Ireland to create an alphabet that would represent them.  They suggested people, places, emotions, objects, traditions, food and drink that meant something to them.  I worked with the Polish community which was a brilliant opportunity to meet new people and hear about their experiences and thoughts on living in a different country.  I found it very interesting as I had to research  many of the things to understand them and be able to draw them accurately.  The project increased in popularity and more and more groups were represented which was a positive step towards bringing different communities together.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

The Lads.

The lads.

I drew this while watching the snow out the window!  They're sort of  gremlin troll boys(!) out for a winter walk, talking and laughing together.  It's easy to get carried away and sometimes I have to tell myself to stop or I'll ruin the drawing!  I took the photograph on the left from a different angle to shift focus. 

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

'Sugar and spice'

"Sugar and spice and everything nice,
That's what little girls are made of."

We have all heard this line before from but the original is actually a much longer version called 'What folks are made of.' I think it is important to develop a character.  It's easy to draw them once but it can be a challenge to draw them from different angles, doing activities and portraying a range of emotions.  It gives them a personality, something that people can relate to.  I often use a mirror to do the facial expressions and different positions I want to draw!
Check out the recent illustration news and view my article!

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

"'re wonderful....."

My lovely friend is getting married soon and I am designing her wedding invitations!  We have discussed the theme and their vision of how they want them to look so now I can get to work.  For my other lovely friend's wedding I illustrated a guest book.  This is one of the drawings spread over two pages with enough room for the guest to write a little something to the bride and groom.  On each page I drew something that meant something to them, what they liked, their relationship and their history together.  It was nice to give them something personalised that told a story about them on their special day.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Shower of Spiders!

Is it raining or snowing where you are?  It's pretty miserable where I am but at least this is not happening!!  These poor little children won't be able to fend off the shower of spiders for much longer....he even has plugs in his ears!  This is only a section of this drawing but you can nip over and see the full picture.  I found some funny images and quotes about spiders on pinterest...I could spend far too long looking at that site! Love it!

Goooood morning!

Good morning! Good afternoon! Good evening and  Good night!
I found these posted notes stuck inside a book I brought to Morocco!  In an attempt to learn French I drew these guys and stuck them to the cupboard to help me remember!  Arabic was great to listen to but I found it very hard to learn!  I never throw doodles away as they can be always be developed at another stage or they can be the start of an idea for something else.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Make-over complete!

By simply adding eyes, mouths and hair the little monsters took on a totally new look!  The black wig came in very handy and became the hair, tail and eye brows of two and my own hair became the tufts of another!  I was tempted to leave the mouths but my sister made a good point by asking 'but how will they eat??!' and I'm now happy with the decision to add them.  As the final details are added they really seem to become their own little characters with their own personalities. 

Saturday, 19 January 2013



I drew this little troll after looking up Illustration Friday's topic of myth.  The original sketch started out very differently.  His face was simple but my pen lines were faint and when I added colour it took on a whole new look.  I added lips and cheeks and gave him a longer nose.  Sometimes it's good to just let the drawing evolve.  When I'm drawing I always think of personalities for my characters!  What are they thinking and what's going on in their lives!   

I hope you're having a great weekend!  I'm off to take some photos of my monsters...they're finished!
(oh....and belly dancing was BRILLIANT!!)

Friday, 18 January 2013

BIG heads!

Three world famous Northern Irish golfers Darren Clarke, Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy warming up before St. Patrick's Day parade in Belfast, 2012. 

Rory and I hanging out before setting off for a walk through the city.

Photographs taken by Christine Boyle.
Photograph from Belfast Telegraph .

Caricatures of the three world famous Northern Irish golfers Darren Clarke, Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy.

These are a few images of the big heads made at the Beat Initiative!  I made Rory McIlroy and my very talented friend Stephen Bamford made Darren Clarke and Graeme McDowell. The golfers made their debut at the St. Patrick's day parade in Belfast last year!

I had great fun making Rory's head!  At first it was quite daunting to try to make something from a block of polystyrene look like a well known figure!  Getting the likeness was a challenge and it's easy to go too far however it was rewarding to hear people shout his name as they recognised him in the parade!!

The Beat Initiative is a training, education and production company.  It creates carnival parades and large-scale performances and brings music, dance, performance, colour and celebration!  It does wonderful work with different groups in the community and brings people together through learning and creativity.  The Beat has given me the opportunity to develop my skills, working with new materials and making things on a grand scale!  Plus it's great craic (fun!) !

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Just chillin'

Blanket down, boots off and hair down...this little guy is enjoying his day chillin' out!  He's a suave kinda guy....choosing that spot to sit so people can get a better look at him!  He looks like he's enjoying all the attention!

I always plan my drawings and do several sketches of the character until I'm happy.  I spend time on the shading and go through ALOT of pens!!

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

.....aaaaand PUBLISH!

My website is now launched!

You can check out my other work at !!  It is an online portfolio with examples of my illustrations and 3D models. So excited!

I could not have done it without the help of my lovely sisters!  Christine is extremely talented and is always a great support! Check out the beautiful things she has made, exciting projects she has worked on and is involved in at Linda (Bob) has been helping me with the blog and is a constant source of encouragement!  Her blog is full of colourful and inventive ideas and projects for her home. Check her out at !

Thank you to everyone else who helped me finally get my work online!!

Thank you! XOX

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Eleven o'clock's a NIGHTMARE!

I overheard someone working in a coffee shop say this! He was obviously dreading the busy morning rush. I exaggerated his words and did a count down. This is the first of three stages of the panic and despair that sets in while he watches the clock ticking down to eleven!

By suggesting a topic for the week, Illustration Friday gives you inspiration, the opportunity to post up your work on their page and browse through other artist's interpretation of the subject. Love it! Last week's word was 'Edge' so I thought this poor guy would be perfect!!

Monday, 14 January 2013

They were going at it hammer and tongs!

This is another twist on a well known saying. I love finding out the origin of words and phrases as often we say things without even knowing what they mean!! 'Going at it hammer and tongs' means to do something with great effort or energy. In my drawing I have interpreted it as more of a calm, quiet and considered activity rather than the crazed, animated scene that the words suggest. The little men are curious, delicate and respectful in their expection of 'it'. I made the drawing into a model to give it a different dimension. I don't usually stick rigidly to the drawing if I don't have to but I still aim to create the same feeling and the same humour as the drawing.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

All dressed up......

                                                ...and nowhere to go!

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Bold and Bashful

I drew this peacock and tarsier a while ago. The peacock is a proud and vain bird, strutting about with his beautiful tail on show! The white peacock is even more beautiful I think!
The tarsier is one of the smallest primates, an adult is the size of a human fist! It is a shy, nocturnal animal who lives alone and unfortunately it is endangered.

I love drawing animals and giving them human characteristics and expressions....but these two have loads of personality all on their own! Have a great weekend!!

Friday, 11 January 2013

Belly dancing!

I am thinking about attending belly dancing classes in the Crescent Arts Centre! I'm inspired by my recent trip to Morocco where I saw some amazing dancers! They looked so disinterested in being on stage until they took their hair down and started spinning their heads and doing tumble overs! It was not what I was expecting but it was quite mesmerising! I gave it a go, of course, but couldn't quite get the hang of it! Those lessons would have come in handy!! Big hugs and kisses to my Moroccan friends!!

Thursday, 10 January 2013

A little something...

                                                       A little flower to make you smile!

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

A load of old cobblers.

This is a drawing a did as a Christmas present for my sister. Alot of my illustrations are a play on words...'a load of old cobblers' also means nonsense, rubbish. This is a classic of Cockney rhyming slang. It has nothing directly to do with shoemakers but originates from 'cobblers' awls', the pointed hand-tools that cobblers use to pierce holes in leather. The rhyme is with 'balls', meaning testicles.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

 These are a few little monsters I'm working on at the minute!