Ancient Greece, Inspiration

A Look at the Ancient Lyre

Golden lyre, rightful joint possession of Apollo and the violet-haired Muses, to which the dance-step listens, the beginning of splendid festivity; and singers obey your notes, whenever, with your quivering strings, you prepare to strike up chorus-leading preludes. You quench even the warlike thunderbolt of everlasting fire. (Pindar, Pythian, Poem 1)   …

Artists, Inspiration

Inspiration: Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema

Self-Portrait by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema

Biography Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema was born in the Netherlands in 1936. Even though he was Dutch, he is more renowned for the work he produced with the Royal Academy in London. A contemporary of Lord Leighton and Godward, his realistic paintings often depict scenes from the Ancient Greco-Roman world. He …

Inspiration, Resources, Review

Ideation Lab by Sterling Hundley – Review


Top Five Podcasts

Top Five Podcasts;

When I lived in Fukui Prefecture I used to drive a lot and got into the habit of listening to a number of podcasts. Now I have less driving but more housework so they help me to get through all of that instead. Here are a few of my favorites. …

Pencils, Sketches

Sketchtember 2016

Sketchtember 2016;

For this year’s Sketchtember Challenge I decided to focus on working from screencaps of some of my favorite movies and TV shows. I’m such an ancient history geek.

Pencils, Sketches, Watercolour

Junebugs 2016

Junebugs 2016;

A collection of the bugs and other creepy crawlies I did for the #junebug art challenge.


INKtober 2015 – Week 1

INKtober 2015 – Week 1;

INKtober is well underway. This is my first year attempting the challenge and it’s been a good deal of fun. It’s definitely a bigger time investment than the sketching challenge I did last month but that’s good. It’s helping me to carve out more art time in the day and …

Inking, Pencils, Sketches

21 Day Sketching Challenge 2015

Earlier in the year I jumped on the chance to get a special rate for a lifetime membership to It is a video based art tutorial community that offers a number of video tutorials, challenges and has a private community forum for sharing work. While the videos tend towards …

Oils, Pencils, Uncategorized, Watercolour

Roman Isis – WIP

Roman Isis – WIP;

aka Adventures with New Techniques.  It all began a few months ago when I stumbled across this painting of Tam Lin. I’ve always had something of a soft spot for that particular tale, and the painting was so striking that I just had to track down the artist who turned …


Online Art Courses

After hearing about Rebecca Guay’s SmART School, I got rather excited about the idea of studying online. As it stands, most of the classes on SmART School are unavailable to me because EST afternoon is midnight Japan Time, and EST evenings is usually work day mornings over here. So, I …

Inking, Work In Progress

Eternal Regret – Inking

Eternal Regret (WIP Inks) by Bronwen MacDonald 2015

  Last week I finished reworking the composition of my vampire piece. Thanks to the feedback from my mentor, Angela Sasser, I was able to fix several problems. The first of which was how boxy the top and bottom laurel wreath panels made it feel. By changing them for the …

Reference Photos

Bonsai from Mikuni

I found myself looking over some photos that my mother took when my parents were over here in Japan in April and May. My father has always been a bonsai fan, and one of the earliest exposures I had of Japan was from a bonsai book that we had at …

Pencils, Work In Progress

Eternal Regret – Sketch and Process

I grew up with role-playing games. Many of my high school and university years were whiled away at a friend’s house rolling dice, eating Cheetos and, most importantly, telling stories. I don’t regret it one bit. When I move to Japan I spent some time playing computer RPGs but it …

Inspiration, Reference Photos

Awara Iris Festival

Every year my city holds an iris festival up near Lake Kitagata. There are over 150 different varieties on display in the iris garden, many of them for sale to casual gardeners and visitors alike. This year I decided that I’d try and grab a few photos to use at …


My Inspirations

I was going to write this response to Julia Harrison’s post on her art inspirations in the comments but I realized that it was going to be way too long. So I decided to make a post of my own exploring my influences and inspirations.

Inking, Portfolio

Ghost Samurai

Ghost Samurai by Bronwen MacDonald (2015)

  Title: Ghost Samurai Medium: Ink on paper Size: A4 (unframed) For Sale: Yes (note that original has pale blue pencil sketch under the ink work) Prints: No

Coloured Pencil

The Making of ‘Torso Study’

I recently finished this torso study and sent it off to a special friend of mine. Here is how I went about working on it

Bargue Plates, Sketches

Copy-work – Bargue Plate I, 3

I suppose that in many ways I am rather old-fashioned. I love doing copy-work, whether that is writing out Latin or doing cast study copies. This curriculum developed by Charles Bargue are a series of plates that were designed for students to copy. The intention is to prepare both the …


Apollo Belvedere

Apollo Belvedere by Bronwen MacDonald (2015)

  Title: Apollo Belvedere Medium: Graphite pencil on paper Size: 31 × 21.8 cm (unframed) For Sale: Yes Prints: No

Inking, Portfolio

Ksenia Anske

Ksenia Anske by Bronwen MacDonald (2015)

Title: Ksenia Anske Medium: Ink on paper Size: 29.7 × 21.0 cm (unframed) For Sale: Yes Prints: No

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