Sunday, September 20, 2015

Ireland Part 5. Dublin.


Our first visit in the city was the Trinity College Old Library and the Book of Kells Exhibit, the oldest book known in Ireland.

A5 Handbook, pen, ink and watercolor.

This is a sketch of an image displayed at the exhibit to explain how the scribes who wrote this book used color on vellum made of calfskin. This is text on the wall and it quotes: 

"Methods and Materials
Most of the pages in the Book of Kells were written in a brownish  gallo-tannic ink known as iron gall ink. The wash was made from oak galls (or oak apples) mixed with iron, sulphate and wine or vinegar. A carbon black was also used, but less commonly. Some lines of writing were yellow, purple or red. 
Pigments were made from a variety of mineral and organic sources in early Medieval Ireland. Research at Trinity College Library has revealed new information about the pigments used in the Book. The blue pigment, previously believed to be lapis lazuli, is an indigo dye extracted from the wood plant (lsatis tinctoria species). When mixed with white, light blue tones were created. The white pigment was derived from gypsum. The predominant yellow came from the mineral orpiment (yellow arsenic sulphide), known as auripigmentum, or gold pigment, in recognition of its lustrous golden quality. Purple was created from the dye of an orchil lichen (Rocella tinctoria). This was mix with white to create pink. The two greens included vergaut, made by mixing orpiment and indigo, and copper green, known as verdigris. Verdigris was unstable when damp, darkening and perforating the parchment in some places. The scribes applied their pigments with great creativity, as pure color, in simple mixtures and sometimes in opaque or translucent layers. Areas of design were often accentuated with red dots made of red lead".


A5 Handbook, pen and ink.


During the visit to the Old Library, I ran into Tommy Kane, a talented New York artist whose artwork I follow. He was kind to let me take a photo. We chat a little bit and we introduced each other's spouses. I still cannot believe I met him in person!


Later we went at St. Stephen Green Park, a private park that was open to the public thanks to Arthur Guinness. We had lunch there.
A5 Handbook, pen ink and watercolor.


We visited St. Patrick's Cathedral. This time I didn't sketch. I played with these metal plaques placed inside the cathedral meant to be used by children. Needles to say it was used by a bunch of adults. I wasn't the exception. I rubbed a golden crayon on a piece paper on top of the plaque which is hold by a frame made of wood. It's not a sketch, but still made on location, ha!


We tried to find the Temple Bar, instead we found this pub without knowing it wasn't our target where we had a drink and dinner. It happened again, we were totally clueless. I mean food was good and we enjoyed it. I wondered why the wall were green,  I though they were red, maybe they painted it. Wrong! Later we went to the real one, oh boy! Was it crowded! 

A5 Moleskine , pen, ink and watercolor.


A5 Handbook, pen, ink and watercolor.

The hop-on hop-off bus was a great choice to visit further places. Geraldine, the tour guide, told us funny stories related to the history of Ireland. She explained that everyone who asked us "are you all right?" wasn't because we looked illed. It's the Irish way to say "how can I help you?" Ohhhhhh.


A5 Handbook, pen, ink and watercolor.

This the tower of the former Royal Hospital of Kilmainham, now the Irish Museum of Modern Art, IMMA. We didn't come in, it just happened to be walking distance from the Gaol Kilhmainham we just visited.


This is one of my favorite visits in Dublin. The Jameson Distillery. For those who are not familiar with whiskey I'd like to share something I learned. Whiskey is made of barley. The more times the whiskey is distilled the smoother it is. We had a taste of 3 of the top brands. Jack Daniel's, American whiskey is single distilled and it's made with corn. Johnny Walker, Scottish whiskey is double distilled and is made of smoked barley and. Jameson, Irish whiskey is triple distilled and made of barley. The winner for me? Johnny Walker.
Here's a sketch of the Jameson Distillery bar, conveniently placed near the entrance while we waited for our group tour.

A5 Handbook, pen, ink and watercolor.


A5 Moleskine, pen, ink, watercolor and watercolor pencils

This is my final sketch the day prior my flight. A church across the restaturant of the hotel. It was full of South Eastern people. A group of kids was outside, I guess they couldn't find any fun inside the church. It caught my attention the draining pipes, I don't recall the name of it, the were so ornamented! They were black but I left them in white so the detail could be seen. Also the roof had weeds/plants growing on it!

Farewell Ireland. It was a fantastic trip. Exhausting but very worthy. 


  1. I love the sketch of Stephen's Green in the centre of Dublin City. I was about 14 when I was allowed get the bus on my own to the city and me and my friends would mess around in the park after smelling all the perfume in Brown Thomas. Many is the lazy summer afternoon I spent there. Thanks for the memories.

    1. I glad this sketch brought you nice memories. Bob and liked it so much we went twice! It's indeed a beautiful park.