View Full Version : Virgo's Celtic Studies Sketchbook

10-01-2010, 09:32 PM
October's challenge for me will be to study Celtic myth, customs and art. I want to attempt some work in the celtic style and other times it will be my interpretation of a Celtic myth (in my own "style) or just passages of information. I'd like to learn more about the old seaons Samhain, Beltane, Imbolc etc and customs.

:heart: I do not intend to offend anyone with my little sketchbook - I may or may not look at Wicca and Pagan activities too in this book. If I do stumble across anything which offends - I assure you it will be unintentional and is just a learning experience for myself about subjects that interest me on a personal level. I am not out to offend anyone. :crossfingers:

My sketchbook is an A5 MontMarte Sketching journal, 100 page 150gsm hard cover bound book. Some pages are smooth, others have slight texture (random in placement - it was "cheap" lol). I want to use whatever medium takes my fancy but doubt the paper will take heavy washes.


I started with a title page, completed with sepia Pitt Artist Pens and Stabilo colour pens....


The first "real" sketch is a HB graphite pencil drawing from a magazine photo. I've called her The Morrigan.....


I'll try not to bore you to death with too much information, so if you have any questions about why I have done something the way I have - fire away and I'll let you know :lol:

10-01-2010, 10:04 PM
Jackie, I love your beginning, the title page is super and your Morrigan has a definite air of mystery. I like your idea to explore Celtic myth, it will all be a new and wonderful world unfolding for me.

10-01-2010, 10:07 PM
Great idea for a theme. The title page is fab. The Morrigan is just a little scary. But, from what I've read, that is very appropriate. Cool.

10-01-2010, 10:08 PM
Your theme sounds fantastic to me! I always enjoy reading fantasy books that are based off of celtic lore, so I'm definitely excited to see how your sketchbook progreses! Loving the first two pages already.

10-01-2010, 10:11 PM
Hi Jackie, Your title page is fabulous! Beautiful design with the creature & the knots. Your disclaimer (to not offend) was very gracious of you- it is easy for email/online faceless comments to be taken wrong by some folks, especially when the subject is cultural or spiritual/religious. I have a Celtic side of my family and have enjoyed past readings of the great tales like King Arthur. History with mystery! I like the way you wrote a bit under "The Morrigan" so we can all learn a little about each sketch's meaning. Great start!

10-01-2010, 11:42 PM
Oh My LORD WOW, I LOVE this theme and am dying to see you learn and develop as you discover more about this!!!!!

No offence!!!!!

The cover page is GORGEOUS and the woman (sorry the Morrigan) is BEAUTIFUL, fantastically rendered and delicate details.

Question: Why the dots in a spiral under her left eye???? Is this symbolic for anything????

Gentle HUgs, Stacey

10-01-2010, 11:56 PM
I love it, Jackie! The title page is great - sort of your own mini illuminated manuscript...I remember just being blown away looking at the Celtic manuscripts in art history, and marveling at how they were all done by hand in unheated stone 'beehive' huts. Do include at least enough info so we have some idea of the background.

10-02-2010, 02:02 AM
Glorious beginning and theme! I love Celtic art and so your theme is completely fascinating to me. Beautiful interpretation of the Morrigan. Gorgeous title page with exquisite calligraphy. Looking forward to more!

Vivien Maloney
10-02-2010, 02:24 AM
Hi Jackie - Your calligraphy and pen-work is always amazing and this is a terrific start to your sketchbook! I like the idea of a Celtic theme and will be following your sketchbook with great interest.

10-02-2010, 03:22 AM
beautiful Celtic design, and very nice portrait drawing

10-02-2010, 03:56 AM
amazing title page!
and I definately see alluring eyes in Morrigan

I look forward to seeing more of your work...and I am interested in seeing your exploration of Celtic subject matter...and I will definitely take no offense to you posting work about Wiccan or Pagan subject matter.

I once looked into that a little myself when I found out an ancestor of mine was an accused witch in the Salem Witch Trials...of course those trials and what was thought of as witchcraft back then is nothing like what Wicans practice today. Like I said, I don't know a whole lot about it myself, but I think you should be able to explore any subject matter if it opens your mind and your knowledge. :)

10-02-2010, 08:26 AM
Thank you to all who have commented, it is greatly appreciated :thumbsup:

Stacey, I put the tattoo on her face as I figured as a goddess of war she might tattoo herself like the male warriors do. First example of a "Jackie interpretation" rather than a factual bit of knowledge :wink2: I think spirals were very symbolic of the cycle of life to the celts so I felt it fitted my idea of the Morrigan.

Today I drew Cernunnos, his story/myth is very interesting to me and I will probably keep re-visiting him as a drawing. I don't draw male faces often (I think it shows!) and I feel this character could be interpreted in many ways. For this version I went for a younger Cernunnos and was trying for slightly sinister but not sure it came off! I added the decoration to his clothing and background as a salute to the celtic style of decoration and the spirals to symbolise Cernunnos' role in the cycle of life. I didn't finish it all perfectly as I feel that sometimes the cycles don't always complete themselves and some parts of our life are less than perfect.

First, my notes (I did this on facing pages - big mistake - when I sprayed with fixative, the pen from the notes bled through to the Morrigan on the back in a perfect mirror image :eek: )

Drawn in graphite pencil ranging from H to 9B with a tiny bit of coloured pencil.

So much for not boring you all........ :rolleyes:

10-02-2010, 10:33 AM
I think you did a wonderful job on a male portrait! the shading is perfect :)

do you use reference photos when you draw these faces?

10-02-2010, 11:13 AM
Jackie, great male face- I think we all draw our own gender the easiest because it is what we see in the mirror daily! I think all my "from imagination" female portraits look the same... because they probably resemble me! Much harder to switch to a male- I can't get the beard or 5 oclock shadow right, just looks like a dirty face. Your dotted effect worked great!

10-02-2010, 11:29 AM
This looks great! I don't think I've really ever drawn a male until recently when I tried drawing my boyfriends face. It didn't work out as well as I'd expected. Yours is very good and very masculine :)

10-02-2010, 01:55 PM
what an interesting theme and two very cool portraits. Love your notes. . . and the thought of using the journal as a learning experience is so cool

Vivien Maloney
10-02-2010, 02:29 PM
This is fascinating Jackie! Go girl, you're doing a wonderful job!

10-02-2010, 09:20 PM
:lol: Hmm, yes it seems male faces are difficult for a few of us! I thought I had gone a bit too far with the shading and made it look "dirty" but then I figured a lord of the forest might be a bit shabby on the hygiene!

A lot of the ref photos I use are from old hairstyle magazines, but I confess mine never actually end up as "exact" renderings but good enough for illustrating stories about people we don't actually know their exact looks!:evil:

Viv :D you gave me a laugh, thank you so much!

I found a small snippet about one of the Morrigan's offsiders called Nemain. Not a lot of information but I figured she might be a frightening sort of girl so I had a go at a more sinister female face. :confused:


These sketches are not meant to be finished works of art - rather, getting some ideas down for pursuing at another time, however I find once I scan the work and it is on the screen I can see areas where the tone is not what it should be. At the end of the challenge I might go back and tweak some of these..........:rolleyes:

10-02-2010, 09:31 PM
When doing initial research for our book series we started reading about Norse legends, Russian, German, Celtic, Greek, Native Americans, esp Alaska-Northern Canadian legends, and on & on. Got most of our info off the web and the many volumes purchased at McKays Used Books.

I am really looking forward to seeing you bring to life all these beings and their legends. I like what you have done so far, will be following this closely with great interest. :thumbsup: Greg

Thanx 4 posting, these pleaseth our eye.

10-02-2010, 09:41 PM
Oh MY LORD WOW honey these two portraits are FANTASTIC. You have really captured that MALE ESSENCE perfectly and the "mean girl" is FANTASTIC, very scary!!!!!!

Gentle Hugs, Stacey

10-02-2010, 09:53 PM
Wonderful job on these. The notes and portraits are phenomenal.

10-03-2010, 02:19 AM
Liking your celtic style, that is something I like to learn one day... great job with the pencils, can't wait to see more.

10-03-2010, 02:48 AM
Great celtic portraits, I like the way you are using your theme to learn more as well as practice the art

10-03-2010, 02:49 AM
Your portraits are excellent, Jackie! Nemain looks Celtic to me in your rendering - very fitting.

WC Lee
10-03-2010, 04:52 AM
great stuff :) I get a chance to learn something new while looking at the artwork ..

10-03-2010, 05:01 AM
Jackie, these are amazing! I love the theme and your realistic figure work! :)

10-03-2010, 07:19 AM
They mightn't be intended to be finished works of art however I'd wager they're art in their own right. :)

10-03-2010, 12:18 PM
Great portraits!!!!

10-03-2010, 12:48 PM
I love the detail in your work - very nice~

Joan T
10-03-2010, 02:13 PM
Oooh, Jackie! Your sketches are wonderful!!! I like that you are including text along with the sketches, so we get a bit of information about each of them.

10-03-2010, 04:56 PM
These are terrific Jackie. I'm just getting aquainted with Celtic art and myths so will really enjoy this October sketchbook.

10-03-2010, 08:27 PM
You hooked me with the first page :)

10-04-2010, 01:58 AM
Thanks everyone! I really appreciate all of the comments made ;)

This morning I was flipping through a book by Courtney Davis called The Art of Celtia (I have owned it for some years and I look through it quite often). I came to the story of Taliesin and was more interested in the character Gwion who is later reborn as Taliesin. I was thinking more about the boy reborn as the man and the elements along the way.

Graphite pencils 2H to 8B with graphitint pencil washes. I don't like how the colours turned out but may tone it down some other time :D


I want to play with mixing my realism with the celtic style of symbolism, after this effort, I think it is going to take a bit of experimenting :wink2:

10-04-2010, 02:05 AM
Wow, Jackie, another great piece! The pose and musculature is really nicely done.

10-04-2010, 02:14 AM
Thanks John - I have a heap of anatomy and pose books from when I studied life drawing...... :)

10-04-2010, 02:17 AM
Splendid pose. Great symbolism.

10-04-2010, 02:33 AM

oops just realised I didn't put the notes in...... it sort of explains the story a bit.....

10-04-2010, 09:42 AM
wow, I actually love how those graphitints look with that graphite drawing. Its beautiful. Excellent modeling and gesture on the figure. Really, really nice.

10-04-2010, 11:38 AM
I really like the notes that go with each piece, it gives us more insight to the meaning of why they look like they do and what you are thinking about. I really like the addition of the color on the last one. Just think a whole month of enjoying these!! woo hoo

10-04-2010, 02:40 PM
great characters! this is a really interesting one to follow :)

10-04-2010, 04:45 PM
What an interesting story to go along with that last portrait. I really like the "border" that you drew along the last portrait. When you are drawing these characters are you drawing them how you see them in your head, based off references from your books or a little of both? I would love to hear about your thought process when you're drawing these characters :)

10-04-2010, 06:14 PM
Jackie this is going to fantastic! It is already! Love anything celtic but really would like to know more about it, especially as half of my ancestry is Welsh! Plus - your "wheat" reminds me of the corn dollies I used to make as a kid around Harvest tim! Can't wait to see more.... :-)

10-04-2010, 06:16 PM
I particularly am enjoying the celtic caligraphy

10-04-2010, 06:20 PM
Really nice!!

10-04-2010, 06:20 PM
Nemain looks very cruel, also very distinctive. I love the character you gave her face, especially her mouth expression. That's powerful. Gwion is incredible. I always loved the legend of Taliesin and this is a wonderful illustration! Thank you for doing these themes so well.

10-05-2010, 08:47 AM
I do like the color washes you added to Gwion! My first initial look was a WOW!

10-05-2010, 09:24 AM
I think wow is the only word to go here... the pose is beautiful and strong, the symbolism is great and the border/framing!

Joan T
10-05-2010, 12:35 PM
Gwion came out super...love the shading of his muscles!

10-06-2010, 01:38 AM
cool sketch and celtic design, very strong pose... think I might check out that book sometime... good job!

10-06-2010, 05:39 AM
Thanks again everyone, it's great encouragement reading your comments :thumbsup:

denyalle - I sometimes see a reference photo of a face that just has to be drawn and look for the story to fit the face. Mostly I enjoy the story or myth and then look for a face that seems to fit the personality of the character or an expression that just matches the idea in my head. I start with the face and then work the other elements around it - I don't often have a plan and sometimes it falls into place, other times it is just a mess :evil: I was the bane of my art teachers' lives, as I never seem to follow the logical sequence whether it be drawing, watercolour, calligraphy etc...... but that is how I enjoy drawing and can't help myself!

So..... I had a bit of a play (doodling really) and tried out the more stylized celtic illustration style. It is not a natural way to draw for me as I like realism but here goes (I have to show the not so good aswell as the not too bad :D )

Pigma micron pen with inktense pencils:


Back to graphite pencils ranging from 5H to 6B for the drawing

With this one I was trying to make it look as though the crow was evolving or emerging from her hair (almost like shapeshifting) but it didn't work as well as I saw it in my head! I do like the transition of tones in this one - I am finding the 5H pencil is very light and gradually building the tone is better than starting with the ordinary HB I would usually use.


10-06-2010, 05:43 AM
5H to 6B graphite pencils again....



I think this is my favourite one so far. :D

10-06-2010, 06:22 AM
Great theme! And you've got an apt visual journal to go on with it! Hope to see it bloom!

10-06-2010, 07:59 AM
Jackie. . . wow, you do wonderful imaginative portraits! Just awesome. Love the crow in her hair and the veggies on the second one (and jewelry). Wonderful hair!

10-06-2010, 08:06 AM
Gorgeous portraits! If this is what you do in your sketchbook ...

10-06-2010, 09:35 AM
Yes I think it has to be one of the best :)


10-06-2010, 10:37 AM
Jackie, thank you for explaining how you come up with your portraits. I fall more and more in love with them every day! I think Aine is my favorite one so far, especially with the pumpkins and the gourds in the portrait, there's just something about them in there that I love :)

10-06-2010, 02:57 PM
love the animal totem! and your portraits are amazing..I love crows, so that one is my fav, it's gorgeous :D

10-06-2010, 11:02 PM
Wonderful, wonderful drawings and writing. Just amazingly good.

10-07-2010, 12:48 AM
Every picture tells a story- it is a great style you have here! So much to look at in every image. Keep up the creativity!

10-07-2010, 01:56 AM
Jackie, your work here blows me away - it's incredibly well done!

10-07-2010, 03:54 AM
I agree with Greeble... these are just fantastic! Love, love, lovveee the one with the crow especially, the head and the feathers stemming from her hair is excellent!

10-07-2010, 05:28 AM
:clap: thanks again! I appreciate the time taken to comment, I know how long it takes me to look through the challenge sketchbooks each day! :lol:

Today's entry to the sketchbook is Caer. I thought she sounded like a traditional/classic beauty and found a great model/photo in a magazine. The last few girls have had flowing locks that remind me of the celtic knots (might have to tackle that soon - a face with celtic knots for hair?!).

This one is graphite pencil again - at this stage I have been concentrating on getting the forms and shapes correct - colour can come later..... :crossfingers:



Have a long day at work tomorrow, so I will have a rest from drawing.....:evil:

10-07-2010, 09:05 AM
beautiful. . . its amazing how you take these stories and create these drawings that capture them. Love your script as well. a beautiful, beautiful book so far Jackie!

10-07-2010, 10:09 AM
Very nice!!! What kind of sketchbook journal are you using? I just actually admire the texture of it. :)

10-07-2010, 01:10 PM
What a beautiful story! Wonderful job on the two swans in love, and I can't wait to see you tackle the celtic knots. It would look awesome to see it in their hair :)

10-07-2010, 04:12 PM

this is going to be a beautiful book when it's done!

10-07-2010, 08:42 PM
Another spectacular character drawing! I'm so impressed with your work in this sketchbook. :clap:

10-07-2010, 09:37 PM
More lovely work. And that would be so awesome to see the hair as Celtic knots.

Vivien Maloney
10-07-2010, 11:51 PM
Jackie - The drawings in your Journal are superb! I love the ones of Aine and Caer, and also the information that goes with them - brilliant work! When your Journal is finished it will be a work of art. Did you think of publishing it?

10-08-2010, 12:10 AM
the details you put into the last sketch look great, can't wait to see more...

WC Lee
10-08-2010, 03:27 AM
wonderful details on the last one

10-09-2010, 03:16 AM
Hi Jackie

Gwion is GORGEOUS - I LOOOOOVE the strong colours as this gives the image muh more impact and strength.

The Celtic Animal Totem is just DEVINE, LOVE the rich and vibrant colours, and the overall composition is very good.

Babd is very GOOD, LOVE the crow and the strength of the tonal work.

Aine is STUNNING!!!! LOVE the additional veges and fruits - really brings the meaning to life!!!!

Caer is just ABSOLUETLY AMAZING, I am GOB SMACKED at your talent!!!!!!

Gentle Hugs, Stacey:grouphug:

10-09-2010, 12:05 PM
Love the recent faces! Wonderful shading.

10-09-2010, 08:56 PM
Now doing so many sketches so fast is one thing, but so many excellent sketches......it just blows my mind! :eek:


10-10-2010, 12:55 AM
What a fantastic book you are creating, I am enjoying seeing what the next pages reveal. Beautiful work.

10-10-2010, 04:47 PM
All these Celtic figures are so wonderful. I'm loving looking. Awesome. I think you could do some great Celtic Tarot cards! (or maybe Celtic and Tarot don't quite fit - but something along those lines)

10-11-2010, 09:38 PM
Well, I didn't really want a few days of not adding to my journal at all but sometimes life just gets in the way or procrastination hits....... :o

Thanks again for your kind words! I doubt I will get close to filling this sketchbook at the rate I am going, but I am pleased that I am amassing a collection of drawings that are meeting the goal I started out with. Most require a bit of spit and polish but they are a good starting point if I want to use them to base paintings on in the future! I am enjoying reading the stories that go with each of these characters.

Rachel the journal was a cheap one made by Mont Marte, 100 pages, 150gsm A5 landscape. It is a creamy off-white colour which I find pleasant rather than a stark white. Some pages are textured and some are smooth - randomly placed so you never know what the next page will bring lol! I paid about $5 aussie for it.

Viv and Xina, nice thought on both ideas, I would never be brave enough to think that ambitious :eek:

David - thanks - I struggle with the rough sketches and want to keep honing it further (the virgo in me!) although I managed to loosen up in some of the other sketchbooks before this one!

OK, so here we have the next installment....


Drawing is graphite 5H through to HB only this time, this one could be taken way further but I am conscious of trying to get more done so will come back to it later. The cross in the background is to symbolize Lugh is a god and it has a sun face in the middle....


Lugh has been based on a ref photo of the actor who plays Arthur in the series Merlin (Bradley James)

10-11-2010, 09:50 PM
Another winner, Jackie! Not only is the portrait great, but the armor is really well done also. I look forward to each update to your journal! :)

10-11-2010, 10:48 PM
Speechless... again!

10-12-2010, 02:48 AM
excellent :)

10-12-2010, 02:35 PM
These really would make a nice book

10-12-2010, 10:04 PM
Nicely done. Lugh is very impressive.

10-12-2010, 10:08 PM
great detail, really enjoying you work

10-12-2010, 11:49 PM
your latest installment is awesome...

Vivien Maloney
10-13-2010, 01:16 PM
Jackie, your work is awesome!

10-15-2010, 02:56 AM
Hi Jackie,

Lugh is AMAZING, the shading and details are FANTASTIC, LOVE IT!!!!!!

Gentle Hugs, Stacey

10-25-2010, 08:08 PM
Thanks for the last comments everyone! I kinda lost my way with the challenge, I had to work for a few days - got busy - and before I knew it I had let my sketchbook slide :eek:

To be fair, in between I have been looking at zentangles and doodling some patterns down, so I have been doing "something" but nothing "productive"!

Here are the latest installments:

The Green Man, colour pencils - experimenting a little more, so not polished in any way and rather disappointing. I didn't like the cp's on the texture of this paper at all.

Lleu next. This one is more experimental in layout and unfinished... Graphite pencil, colour pencil and graphitints. The paper cockles with water added (need to get the iron out lol!)

Last but not least Blodeuedd. I haven't written notes for this one yet but the bare bones of her story is that she was made from flowers as a wife for Lleu by his uncle. After attempting to kill Lleu (who took the form of an eagle as she and her lover attacked him) Blodeuedd became an owl.

The thinking behind this one was to incorporate some of the patterns from the zentangles that I have been doodling into a "celtic" stylized form of drawing. I used Pigma Micron pen with graphitints very randomly and included the elements of Blodeuedd, Lleu in eagle form, the uncle who created her and the flowers she evolved from.....

The paper in this journal works well with graphite or very hard and very sharp colour pencils. Pen is ok on the smoother pages but it bleeds - paper is very soft and the ink seems to soak in like blotting paper does. The washes look ok but need to iron the pages flat again - it cockles a lot!

10-25-2010, 10:28 PM
wow, these are all wonderful. . . so imaginative and intricate. But that Green Man is super cool. Love him. The color and the way the hair morphs into leaves. Amazing.

10-26-2010, 01:03 AM
I love this book. I've just caught up on three pages at once, war goddesses and grand totems, glorious detailed knotwork and realistic renderings, crows flying out of hair, lovely, lovely Aine, and now this love story of the swans. I can understand how they came to symbolize enduring love and marriage. Clever of him to court her AS a swan, his dance was probably magnificent and a swan would have no trouble finding his own mate no matter how large the flock!

I love the Green Man in your interpretation. Beardless isn't traditional, he's usually got the leafy beard, but he looks so romantic and moody as a youth - that's the Green Man in spring, he looks like, or early summer! Wonderful. Lugh is glorious. So is Lleu. The little details are all perfect, the decorations always right and secondary to the character, the legend pages lovely calligraphy. Blodeuedd came out magnificent too, in a completely different style. I love the set of her lips, her beauty and the way her eyes are shrouded.

Have you considered publishing this book when it's complete? It's wonderful!

Joan T
10-26-2010, 03:06 PM
Your work is so great!!! I love your portraits, especially the "green man."

10-26-2010, 05:52 PM
Your grasp of the characters from Celtic mythology is awesome. Your Green Man is just so magnificent.

10-26-2010, 07:05 PM
this is a really lovely series

and I like Celtic mythology and patterns too so the whole thing works for me :)

10-26-2010, 08:41 PM
Thanks for the positive comments :thumbsup: Funny, but I was soooooo close to ripping the Green Man out of the book because I was disappointed with it! I am always amazed and fascinated how we all see things so differently :wink2: Mostly I am very happy with how this little journal is progressing (if a little slowly on the artists' part :evil: )

:wave: Robert, I don't have the confidence to contemplate anything like you're suggesting! However, I have been thinking I might get some blank cards printed or have a go at a calender maybe :confused:

Branwen is next. I have reverted back to the style of drawing that I feel most comfortable with. It may be boring but it is what soothes my mind best while actually drawing! I found the reference picture for this and it just made me think of desperation and a certain "wildness" of someone close to losing her mind! I felt it fit the story of someone who has been brought down and might be desperate to escape. I suggested former "glory" with the ornate neck line and some jewellry.

Graphite pencils ranging from 5H to 6B.



10-26-2010, 08:58 PM
This is some great stuff, I like your sketches, the green man looks great... Your latest sketch is very nicely done, composition and all. :)

10-26-2010, 10:52 PM
You can just see Branwen's despair. Very well done, indeed.

10-27-2010, 10:34 AM
Wow, Jackie, the group of portraits since I last checked in is just spectacular! Wonderful stuff! Of course my favorites are the ones where birds are incorporated into the legend and motif (I knew those d*mn starlings were good for something)...! :)

10-27-2010, 05:00 PM
beautiful. . . love her eyes and the bird

10-27-2010, 07:51 PM
Thanks Chuck, Debby, John and Rainy. I liked the eyes too - sort of desperate and a bit unhinged....... :lol:

I am on a bit of a roll - sketching more than two days in a row :evil:

Brigantia is next. I wanted to try for the "warrior" aspect, keeping her attractive but not perfect (if that makes sense :confused: )! I think she came out a little bit too hard faced, but that could be in the shading? I got a bit carried away doodling the background in - not historically correct but I didn't want to leave it bare...... Again, graphite pencil from 5H through to 7B I think this time.



10-27-2010, 07:52 PM
Ps John - probably should have worked on the starling a little more than I did but at least it is in there - birds are tricky little things to draw!

Vivien Maloney
10-27-2010, 09:43 PM
I love your work Jackie. I'm glad you didn't rip the "green man" out of your Journal - your drawing of him is magnificent. Branwen would be my favorite, so far, but they are all wonderful.

10-28-2010, 01:47 AM
Brigid is wonderful. You do amazing work.

10-29-2010, 12:08 PM
The eyes in the portraits are great. I love when you add hints of colour as in post 87.

Joan T
10-29-2010, 01:11 PM
The last two are wonderful!!!

10-29-2010, 06:32 PM
wow, very sensual and intricate.

10-29-2010, 10:12 PM
Branwen's sorrow and Brigantia's warrior nature both come through so well. You're bringing these stories to life so beautifully!

10-30-2010, 08:58 PM
Brigantia looks great, can't wait to see more...

10-31-2010, 03:11 AM
Brigid is absolutely stunning - your portraits in this journal are amazing!

11-02-2010, 12:34 AM
Thanks to you all for taking the time to look and comment - it is appreciated!

Hmmmm, didn't get the sketchbook filled for the October challenge but am going to continue on as much as I can. I returned to Blodeuwedd (I have found numerous spellings of her name..... :confused: ) as she has long fascinated me. I like the idea of her being created from flowers and turning into an owl, this version I have no owl. You might see a few versions from me on this one :D

This time I played about with the graphite pencils and graphitints. The paper is really unsuitable for washes but I don't care - I was just wanting to experiment with the subtle colours. :rolleyes:


11-02-2010, 01:23 AM
Gorgeous, Jackie! You really get wonderfully subtle color out of the Graphitints - it sure doesn't look like the paper isn't too suitable. Reads well in the image here. Looking forward to more Celtic info and illustrations!

11-02-2010, 02:18 AM
excellent looking sketch, the washes do give it a wonderful subtle color. :)

11-02-2010, 11:51 AM
This is a test. I changed the title of the thread in the first post and wanted to see the effect if I replied to a post with the old thread title.

Joan T
11-02-2010, 03:14 PM
Jackie - This one is just beautiful!!!! Your journal is so great!

11-02-2010, 06:22 PM
that is beautiful. . . what is a little cockled paper to get such lovely soft colors! love it!

11-03-2010, 11:45 AM
lovely subtle colours

11-03-2010, 06:59 PM
:wave: Thanks all! The graphitints seem to be a success?!

I used the graphitints, colour pencils and graphite on the next one, Aonghus - the guy who married Caer (who is featured a bit earlier in the sketchbook). Aonghus had four birds hovering around him which were said to represent kisses. I figured as a love god he might have "pretty boy" features as he is described as the equivalent of Eros or Cupid and they always seem to be portrayed as boyishly good looking. However, maybe I should attempt him again as a more "mature" version?!:eek: This one is definitely left unfinished and meant more as an idea for a final drawing sometime later maybe? There is so much wrong with it but you get the picture!

I don't often use blue as a palette so a bit of an experiment all round really :wink2: I ironed the page flat when finished so this one is a little smoother.

Sorry about the wonky scan!


11-03-2010, 07:07 PM
I think its beautiful . . HE is beautiful and I love the palette and the EYES. . . wow, those eyes. great cheekbones.

11-03-2010, 09:57 PM
love the soft, subtle colors in Blodeuwedd, it's beautiful
and the blue tint really works well in Aonghus, and the way it lets the white of the doves stand out is wonderful (especially with the one head-on in flight) :)

11-03-2010, 11:38 PM
Graphitints are a success. Oh my, you got that pretty boy look down well, especially the eyes. *swoon*

11-04-2010, 01:33 AM
Another winner, Jackie! He sort of looks like me when I was younger! :wink2: :lol:

11-04-2010, 02:24 AM
Rainy - thanks! I made the right impression? :clap:
Hope - could have done the doves much better but it really was more of a sketch this one... might revisit this some time and finish it off
Debby - *swoon* hehehe, made me laugh!:D
John - :thumbsup: :lol: Pleased I got that 'likeness' right then!

11-04-2010, 06:52 AM
Wow, Jackie, this is really cool stuff. Lots of wonderful work.:clap: Glad I'm catching up on some of the stuff in this forum.

BTW, I thought I saw Aonghus at the shopping centre today!:D


11-04-2010, 03:54 PM

11-04-2010, 06:18 PM
I missed this journal, it's always got the most beautiful illustrations in it - they all have individual and beautiful character, lots of small things to carry the whole theme together and such sensitive creativity put into them. I love the green man especially, Branwen's distant pensive gaze hoping her starling is bringing help and best of all Blodeuwedd... I could just stare at her for ages!

11-05-2010, 08:35 AM
hehehe Chris - lucky you! ;)
Vivien - thanks :)
WYSIWYG - thanks so much!

the feedback is so encouraging - hope to get back to the sketchbook this weekend....

Joan T
11-05-2010, 01:20 PM
Love the last one. The subtle tones of the doves is lovely and he looks super!!

11-05-2010, 10:36 PM
Fantastic theme and terrific interpretations of the legends. muths.

Love the mix of images on th epages. Interesting that some evolve from zentanges. They are a bit like brain storming at times

11-08-2010, 06:07 PM
Thanks everyone :thumbsup: I greatly appreciate your time and comments!

This post is a little different. I discovered gesso at last! I've painted a few pages in various sketchbooks to try out different media over the top. So today's myth of the Children of Lir is graphite again (in keeping with the majority of the book so far) over gesso. What wonderful texture it is - almost like fine sandpaper and I added some swirly rougher bits rather than trying to smooth it out. You can see by the whiteness of the gesso just how "creamy" the pages of this sketchbook are.



Such a sad story this one is! One day (in a bigger sketchbook!) I might attempt this one with the whole 4 children and/or swans, but this was just a quick sketch last night ;)

11-08-2010, 06:10 PM
OH, that is beautiful drawing. . . but that is a sad story!

BTW, I have purchased some Gesso last month as I wanted to try out something like this. What other media have you used in sketchbook on the gesso other than the graphite so far? Just very curious. Does not look like the gesso crinkled your pages either. . . very cool! It is so fun seeing all the different techniques used in these journals!

11-08-2010, 06:13 PM
Another wonderful piece, Jackie! You definitely got the bright-eyed baby look.

11-08-2010, 09:12 PM
Sad tale. Beautiful drawing. I'll have to try that gesso stuff. It looks like an interesting surface.

11-08-2010, 09:24 PM
Nice drawing Jackie.

Some mornings when I wake and look in the mirror I see a swan, others I think the curse has been lifted. :D Which is worse???

11-09-2010, 01:02 AM
very nice sketches, great ideal with the gesso and interesting swan curse!!!

11-09-2010, 08:48 AM
sad - but good drawing and interesting technique of graphite over gesso

something else to try out :)

11-09-2010, 05:23 PM
:clap: Thanks again!

Rainy - have a go soon! The texture is great for graphite - yet to try cp's properly, but the watersolubles work OK too it seems :wink2: I think it could be really interesting trying to incorporate some wild swirls etc to pick up in the drawing, just gotta find the time to play with it.....

Thanks John, children can be hard to draw without ageing them too much.

Debby and Viv - yes! definitely have a go - I wish I'd found it years ago :lol: I think it might be interesting to try some gouache over it too :evil:

Thanks Chris and Chuck. Chris - I must have lifted the curse cos I don't see that swan look very often at all!!

11-10-2010, 08:28 AM
I gessoed five page in my journal last night, Jackie. The first one just plain white flat, which I ended up doodling on while on the phone with someone (so I'll post that as an extra page for today rather than the actual one!). Stay tuned. . .

Did you do more pages with Gesso? Or just the one at a time?

11-10-2010, 04:16 PM
Jackie, your Celtic Studies Sketchbook has all of the qualities of a classic. The drawings are superb marrying flowing lines and intricate details consistently in each. It has the folk tradition of a great culture of the world along with storytelling. The added symbolism brings the humanity and depth.

I love every bit of it.

Make more books.

You have inspired me to get closer to an idea I have toyed with which is illustrating the 64 hexagrams of the I Ching which is my favorite book on earth. I am sure you have inspired something in the other artists here.

Thank you for bringing this work into the world.


11-14-2010, 01:44 PM
You can also tint the gesso with acryllics. Pastel goes well on it too.

Great work on the quick sketch

11-15-2010, 07:07 PM
Thanks everyone! I have been working lots of hours at the "paid" job lately and not been able to get back to my sketchbooks :(

Rainy, so far I have just been doing one page of gesso at a time - I have quite a few sketchbooks on the go and have done one page in each! When I get out of here I am going to search yours out!

Diana - thanks! It is nice to hear I have inspired someone else :lol:

Elain - thanks for the info - I will definitely get onto trying to tint the gesso! I am not a huge fan of pastels (don't like getting my hands mucky!) but I can see how they would work really well on the gesso.

11-15-2010, 07:21 PM
I used acrylics in some of the gesso on my pages. . . its pretty cool. Really looking forward to seeing more of your work when you have time.