Dunamase – Oil Painting



This impressive ruin is all that remains of the Norman fort of Dunamase in County Laois. A natural outcrop of rock, this most certainly would have had a role to play in pre-historic times, but the current structural remains date only to the 12th century. There is an historical record of a Viking raid on the fort in 845ad. It was assumed that these raiders came from Dublin, the closest known Viking settlement at that time. However, recent research suggests that there was a huge inland Viking fort at Dunrally not too distant from Dunamase and from here its more likely the raiders came. There is a short history in Wikipedia (here) and Dunrally (here) if you are interested.

Dunamase Photo

Dunamase Photo

I include here the reference photo I used to create the painting. As is usual, a photograph really is only a reference. The construction of the painted landscape always needs that bit more to connect with the viewer. A single viewpoint is so limited in telling the story. In the painting I’ve included what I remember of the landscape. The historical background and the sense of former glory add a drama not conveyed in a photograph.

My next post will include a video of the painting process. I’m trying to get back into the habit of using larger brushes to avoid getting tied up in too much detail. This approach is a faster method of painting. The painting was completed in about an hour and a half.

See you in a few days.


2 thoughts on “Dunamase – Oil Painting

  1. Brings up the discussion of using photos as a source for painted images. Sometimes this is essential, but as your example shows there is more life in working from life – brilliant work my friend…

    • Thank you John. I also reminds us how difficult it is to be expressive using still photography as an art form. Its almost easier with movies (video), something I intend to get involved in at some point.

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