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Irish Car Bombs Step by Step

By October 5, 2016Artist Blog


Irish car bombs are fun to paint. I had this long nice piece of wood from a theater renovation and it was perfect for this painting. After prepping the surface, I grabbed a plain cheap piece of chalk and planned out where I wanted each glass.


The trick to a good car bomb is a good brown. Brown paint is tough to buy, and sometimes I feel its as tough as red. I need a strong pigment or it appears dull, or transparent, or too tan. If I can’t find one, I will make it using quality paints: cadmium red, cyan and primary yellow. For the head on the Guinness, I am using an ivory paint mixed with tan. It looks lighter than it actually is. I make sure to leave “bubbles” empty, showing the wood through and the edge along the top is not solid.



I am not working any darker colors into the head of the beer other than the original color of ivory and tan. I will work lighter, by adding just plain ivory highlights and little circles and dots, and then very little white within only the ivory. The top of the drinks are much lighter than the rest. For the Jameson in the shot glass, I use a transparent golden yellow only along the edges leaving the wood shining through the middle.

When I outline the glasses I use grey. I will then add a highlight in white, and follow it by a shadow in some places directly next to each other.


I added highlights to the glasses using an airbrush. I took the wood burner to the background of the glasses to add some depth, and added shadows behind the glasses to add to this depth. Then off to finishing it goes.

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