Monday, December 31, 2012

The long cold lunchtime of the soul.

As some may know, I had an issue this time last year. I had, and I've no reason to be embarrassed about this, a full breakdown. The cause of this was a mixture of things. Exhaustion, stress and personal issues, both new and old. The catalyst for the final snap was a nasty piece of work I had the unfortunate luck of crossing paths with. The day of the final snap I gave serious thought to calling it a day. Fortunately I didn't. A moment of clarity stepped in and swayed my decision.

Since that day I have fought an uphill battle. Some days are better than others. Some days are worse. I take the rough with the smooth. Over the last two months the rough days are getting less and less. I've not only seen the light at the end of the tunnel, I've emerged like a guy about the sing his little heart out on stars in their eyes. "Tonight Matthew I'm going to be.....the old me"!!

The path here has been a rocky, unstable one. I've stumbled but never fallen. I have however learned a few home truths. Some pleasant some not so. I've learned that no matter how bad things can get the human condition can and must win through. I've learned I'm stronger than I ever though. I've also learned that friendship can we weak in some cases. In some cases you'll be surprised how self centred some people are. There are "friends" out there that will stay around as long as your time is best served serving them. People that will brush aside your needs as soon as they encroach on theirs. A good friend refers to people like this as energy vampires. I don't believe in fairy tales so for now I'll stick with the term users. A childish term for something so selfish.

For now I'm content to continue to grew stronger. Soon I'm going to have to start pushing myself a little harder. I have plans. Big ones. Messy times are coming. Charcoal always is.

Location:Shanliss Way,Dublin,Ireland

Monday, August 13, 2012

Hair line.

Tools of the trade.

Tips for artists.


Ever look at a drawing with a lot of detail to the hair and wonder how long that took? Here's how it's done.

Things you'll need. 1 stick of graphite. 1 graphite B9 pencil. 1 B 0.06 high detail pencil. 1 large eraser. 1 sharp utility knife. A cheese grater. Some cotton wool.

Step 1. Using light strokes outline the shape of the hair. This can't be dark and doesn't need to be exact.

Step 2. Using the cheese grater (bet you were wondering about that) rub the stick of graphite over a cup or plate catching the dust (the finer the better). Next sprinkle the dust onto your drawing making sure you keep within the hair line as best you can. Then use dry cotton wool to spread it around. What your left with will look a little like the photo below.

Step 3. Using your 9B pencil start to put in a little hair direction. You don't need to do too many. When your happy that you have enough use dry clean cotton wool to smothe it out. By now you'll notice there's not much detail yet.

Step 4. Take the hard high detailed pencil to make more finer lines. Again you don't need to go mad with these. You'll see detail starting to emerge but the hair still looks thin.

Step 5. Using the sharp utility knife cut the eraser into triangles. Now use the corn of the triangles to remove pencil in the same manner you put it on the the pencils. Once this is done again smothe out using a ball of cotton wool.

Repeat steps 3-5 as often as you like. The more times you do it the higher the detail.

Enjoy art.

As always. Comments are welcomed.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Tools of the Trade.

Just some tips for artists.

A very messy medium and one that takes some getting used to. The thing about charcoal is it smudges a lot so you'll have the learn to control your movements without the support of the side of your hand touching the paper. A tip is to use a sheet of A4 as a rest. Another tip is to use compressed charcoal. It has all the advantages of charcoal without the tell tale shatters and splinters that you get from the run of the mill stuff. I would though suggest before hopping right into the world of charcoal that you try starting with wash pencils first.

Wash Pencils.
Wash pencils are like a hybrid between standard graphite and charcoal. They spread a bit better than standard pencils but without the mess of charcoals. They are also water soluble so you get a lot of bang for your buck. The only down side of these pencils is the fact that the darker you go the more shine you get off the finished product. A tip is the apply the pencil dry so you can get an actuate finish then use a small smudge stick or cotton bud slightly moist to take the gleam off it. Another tip is this. If you have a very large area to cover in total black don't bother using a pencil in the conventional way. Get a dark wash pencil and leaning hard fill in the area as best you can. Lots of white bits left exposed is okay. Next get some cotton wool and wet it. Use this to spread the wash around. I'd suggest starting at the bottom and work up. This way any extra water will run off the bottom without damaging the drawing. Do this until you know the right amount of water to use.

Hope you found this helpful.

If you have any question please feel free to contact me.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

iPhone Junkies.

I don’t like spending money if I don’t have to, especially when it’s so easy to use one of your existing songs as a ringtone in about 30 seconds, once you get the hang of it and do it enough times. Here’s how.

1. First, find the song you want to set as a ringtone, and watching the playback timer, find the 30 seconds of the song you wish to use for the ringtone. i.e.: If a song is 3:38 in duration, maybe you only want from 0:23 – 0:53.

2. Left-click the song you want as a ringtone to select it. Right-click it, and choose ‘Get Info’.

3. On the ‘Options’ tab, put a checkmark in each box beside ‘start time’ and ‘stop time’, and enter those 30 seconds mentioned earlier, and click ‘ok’.

4. Right click the song again, and choose ‘create AAC version’. The new AAC version of the song will appear directly below the original song, and will be 0:30 long.

5. Right click the AAC version of the song, and left click ‘copy’. Right click and choose ‘paste’ in whichever folder on your computer you want to keep a copy of your ringtones.

6. Right click on the AAC song you just pasted into your ringtones folder, and left click ‘rename’. Change the extension to “.m4r”, and press enter to make the changes.

7. You will get a prompt confirming you want to change the file, click ‘yes.

8. Back in iTunes, Right click the original AAC version of the song you copy&pasted, and choose ‘delete

9. Right click the original song, and choose ‘Get Info’.

10. Go to the ‘options’ tab, and uncheck those two boxes beside ‘start time’ and ‘stop time’, or every time you play that song from now on, it’ll only play those 30 seconds. Obviously, you don’t want that. Then click ‘ok’.

11. Go back to your ringtones folder outside of iTunes, and double left-click that “.m4r” file. It will automatically open in iTunes and be shown as a new ringtone.

12. Now, all you have to do in sync your iPhone with your computer. To use the new song as a ringtone on your iPhone, under ‘settings’, and ‘sounds’, and ‘ringtone’, choose your new ringtone, so your iPhone will begin using it.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Life and other furry animals.

So here we go. I never blog for a reason. I tend to ramble, guess that's why I liked twitter so much, so I'll give it a go and see what happens.
The followings a just a few insights into what I've learned along my way.

Stuff I get from my dad. Like me my dad wasn't very religious. He seen an organised religion as a false front. Religion isn't how many times we kneel before an alter or whose name we shout when we get a fright. That's stuff that we learn in school. Religion is what we do for each other. It's how we help people in need. Help others to help yourself.
The trick is to look out for the people that take and take and take. They're plentiful. Trust me.

Mé féin. Loosely translates as me alone. I've lost friends. Long standing and new to this way of thinking along the way. You know the sort. Fair weather friends. People that stand by your side in the good times but disappear like a fart in the wind at the first sight of trouble. I lost some friends when I was ill at the start of the year. None of which I'd want to know now. I've tried to hand out the olive branch but it has been rejected. Their loss I'm told. I do have some really solid friends in my corner. People I can turn to when I need a natter or a laugh and joke. You know all too well who you are.

Hopes for the future. Although I love my job it is very physical so I can't see me doing it forever. I would like to earn money from my art side. It's a dream I guess. I do enjoy people's reactions to the stuff I do. I do it to make people happy. At the moment it's not about the attention seeking or the praise. It's solely about making people smile. Some day I hope it makes my bank account smile too.

So that's about it for my rantings. Hope it makes a little sense. I did make it through without rambling didn't I.


PS. Feed back is as always welcomed.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Harry video

A while back I thought of doing a web cast of a large drawing then thought "at the rate you work people would fall asleep"! So a time lapse video was the next obvious choice. My nephew wanted a drawing of Harry Potter for his birthday so I thought two birds one stone. The following video was recorded over a five day period. You'll notice the T-shirt changes. Hope y'all enjoy.

As always you can get me at

Thanks Mike.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Hardly Potter.

I did this drawing without actually seeing a potter movie. I was swept away in a tsunami of hype. I had decided to do something else but no matter how hard I tried Mr. Potter kept creeping into my head.
Enough from me for now. Hope y'all enjoy the final movie.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone