top of page
Begley tools.jpg
sunflower seeds saving.jpg
Begley fence making.jpg
DB-child and oak galls.jpg
Begley planting strawberries.jpg

From The Ground Up

A guide to creating and running gardens for art with children in a school or community setting - with David Begley

Live Online Sessions 4-6pm Plants and Colour UK 
17th September, 24th September, & 1st October 2024

In this series of talks, David Begley will share his experiences growing and nurturing gardens with children in schools, on a home school project, and in a community allotment. The talks will include a screening of David’s film The Keepers, created to highlight the importance of art and gardening for children and using the garden as a source for art workshops.

David will demonstrate art activities for children and share his lesson plans. This series will be of interest to artists, parents, facilitators, teachers, and community groups. David will discuss practical aspects such as working with schools, equipment and material lists, child appraisal, risk assessments and safety, insurance, working with weather, and how challenges create opportunities to learn.

Further information and bookings here


tree drawings_edited.jpg
seed and materials with text.jpg
The sower 2023.jpg

Botanical Inks with Artist David Begley
at Chester Beatty, Dublin


Saturday 27 July, 10am – 4pm

To celebrate the Heavenly Flowers: The Hamilton Field Book of Hours exhibition, join artist David Begley at Chester Beatty, Dublin, for a day of making and painting with botanical ink. David will demonstrate how to gather and prepare materials, how to grind, bind, cook, and transform them into inks using ancient and contemporary recipes. This workshop also includes a short tour of Heavenly Flowers and an opportunity to respond to these illuminated works.

€75 per person, materials provided but please bring your own pestle and mortar. 

Fully booked

Notebook acorn cap ink © David Begley.jpg
elder ink.JPG
Begley reed pens.jpg
Oak galls heritage park.jpg

Medieval ink making demonstration
with David Begley - Sunday June 09th 2024

Irish National Heritage Park, Wexford
12pm - 3pm 

David will be giving medieval ink making demonstrations on Sunday 9th June from 12pm - 3pm at Irish National Heritage Park, Wexford, as part of Monastery Day. Visitors can try their hand at writing or drawing with a quill and oak gall ink. David will share his knowledge of medieval pigments and manuscript making.
Also on the day: Bee keeping in Medieval Ireland with Murt Laffan, Volunteer Gardeners’ Herb garden tour, and
St.Columba / Columcille talks with costumed tour guide.

Entrance ticket to the park includes these events:

Online charcoal animation demonstration
with David Begley - 14th May

Plants and Colour UK (online)

Tuesday 14 May 2024, 4pm - 5.30pm 

Making a charcoal animation is fun, immersive and exciting – seeing your image begin to move and come to life is wonderful. With basic tools and a little knowledge you can create surprising results.
For my drawings and animations, I make driftwood charcoal. Driftwood charcoal gives a deep, soft black and is ideal for animation as it erases easily. In this demonstration I will explain how to bake charcoal and set up your drawing for stop motion animation recording. I'll discuss how to storyboard and plan an animation, using a digital camera to record your drawings, lighting, frame rates, editing, software, and sound design.

I'll share and discuss examples of my animations,
followed by Q and A. 
£35 pp. Bookings via Plants and colours 

tripod shot.jpg
whale and brush.jpg
David Begley The keepers.JPG



David has worked as a visiting lecturer in Ireland and Wales and has taught drawing, painting, print and animation to adults and children for over 20 years.


If you are interested in one-to-one tutoring or mentoring write to for more information.

Fees for online or in person mentoring: €150 per session,

including feedback on 8 - 10 images in advance,
a one hour me
ntoring session and written debrief where relevant.

David is available for workshops for small groups.

Write to for bookings.

Begley charcoal tin.png

Exploring drawing in charcoal

Friday 22 March 2024, 11am - 2pm 
Culture Connects, Richmond Barracks, Dublin

David has made charcoal for drawing and animation for many years. In this workshop participants will learn how to select timbers and bake their own charcoal, explore mark making, draw from observation and with intuition, as well as using additional drawing tools – sandpaper, erasers, a selection of drawing papers, chamois and burnt cork.

Fully booked

Collier's tools.jpg
DBegley Burnt cork tin for web_edited.jpg

Burnt Cork For drawing and painting
Plants and Colour UK (online)

Saturday 02 March 2024, 4pm - 5.30pm 

Burnt cork is a wonderful, versatile medium. For drawing it gives a warm dark grey and its ink is a transparent colour full of character.
I use burnt cork to draw form, to create volume and weight. It is excellent for life drawing as its broad marks build forms quickly – with a few marks you achieve a sense of the figure. Cork is suitable for drawing flesh as it’s such a soft medium. For drawing backgrounds and space, it is ideal. It erases easily with a putty rubber. Burnt cork is also fantastic for working outdoors, drawing clouds, trees, mountains etc. Its warm tone is compatible with charcoal.


In this demonstration I’ll discuss how to select corks for burning, how to burn or bake them, what papers to use, what additional tools can be used with cork and how to make and paint with your unique burnt cork ink. I’ll share examples of my work in this medium, followed by Q and A.

Fully booked


DBegley burning corks.png
DBegley Char dust sieve.png
DBegley Saucer burnt cork.png
DBegley alder-cones-small.jpg

Alder Ink with David Begley

Plants and Colour UK (online)

Saturday 4th November 4pm - 5.30pm 

Alder cone yields a rich, transparent, amber colour. When oxidised and combined with metals and modifiers, it is possible to deepen and darken the colour, and increase its opacity. Like oak gall, its tannic acid reacts with iron water to produce a permanent black. 

For this workshop David will discuss the versatility of alder cone ink compared to oak gall ink and its ease of preparation. David will demonstrate how to cook alder cones to make a variety of different colour inks; working with different modifiers and equipment to alter the ink and demonstrate painting techniques he’s developed. David will discuss a selection of his works in ink and this will be followed by 20 minutes of Q&As.

£30.00 per person, booking via Plants and Colour

Fully booked


Monotype print workshop


Monotype workshop with Barrow Vallery Art Group, Carlow
Sunday 25 February 10am - 4pm

David will demonstrate monotype techniques and participants will explore this versatile, painterly and immediate medium through creating their own hand made prints.

Fully booked


Botanical Inks with Artist David Begley
at Chester Beatty, Dublin


Saturday 09 December, 10am – 4pm
& Sunday 10 December, 12noon – 4pm


Due to popular demand, the Chester Beatty welcomes back artist David Begley for 2 days of making and painting with natural inks. David will demonstrate how to prepare materials, and how to grind, bind, cook and transform them into your own unique inks using ancient and contemporary recipes.
Participants will enjoy painting and experimenting with botanical inks and learn of their use in illuminated manuscripts in the Chester Beatty collection. Materials provided but please bring your own mortar and pestle.

Fully booked


Ink making and painting with David Begley at 
Chester Beatty, Dublin

Saturday 12 August, 10am-4pm

To celebrate National Heritage Week, join artist David Begley at Chester Beatty, Dublin, for a day of making and painting with natural ink. David will demonstrate how to gather and prepare materials, how to grind and bind, cook and transform them into unique inks using ancient and contemporary recipes.

€50 per person, materials provided but please bring your own pestle and mortar. Limited to 10 participants, booking required.

Fully booked

Email David for future workshop details:


Ink making and painting for children
Crinniú na nÓg, Blackbird Culture Lab,
, County Wexford


Saturday June 10th, 1pm
A fun and free workshop for children  ages 7-12 and their parents. 
Participants will learn about tannins and how to make ink from  alder cones and iron water. They will then use the ink to draw a portrait.

Limited to 15 children

Fully booked


Medieval ink making workshop


Sunday June 04 2023

Join David for an afternoon of making and painting with natural ink and learn how medieval illuminated manuscripts were made. David will demonstrate how to prepare materials and transform them into your own unique inks. 


12pm - 3pm, Ferns Community Centre, County Wexford

Fully booked

DBegley bottle table.jpg

Ink making workshop


Saturday April 29 2023

Join David for an intensive and fun day of making and painting with natural ink. David will demonstrate how to gather and prepare materials, and how to grind, bind, cook and transform them into your own unique inks. 


10am - 4.30pm, Blackwater, County Wexford
€150 per person including materials


Fully booked


The Magic of Trees and Charcoal

Blackbird Cultur-Lab, Foulksmills, Co Wexford

A free event for Cruinniú na nÓg
For ages 6 -12 years

Saturday June 11 2022

Join artist David Begley on an exploration of the magic of trees and charcoal at the Blackbird Cultur-Lab. This family workshop, suitable for young people ages 6-12 years and their parents, is designed to make connections with the biodiversity around us. After going on a short walk to look at trees (weather dependent), participants will learn about how charcoal is made, and make their own charcoal drawings of trees. 

Fully booked, to join waiting list see: ​

whale and brush.jpg

Drawing the Tale of The Wexford Whale


Artist’s talk and film screening with David Begley
and musician Ruah Pearson

A free event for National Drawing Day 2022

Saturday 21st May via Zoom, 5pm - 6.15pm


For this year’s National Drawing Day, David Begley will discussed his work in creating The Wexford Whale animation. Featuring drawings and animations by David and pupils of Scoil Mhuire National School, Rosslare, County Wexford, this 12 minute film is inspired by the true story of the 25 metre blue whale captured by Ned Wickham in Wexford in 1891.


David discussed the fun and challenges involved in making the film, the children's fantastic drawings, the joy of recording foleys with Scoil Mhuire pupils and Richard Sabin’s (Principal Curator of Mammals, The Natural History Museum), contribution to the film. Ruah Pearson discussed her cello score and this event also included a screening of The Wexford Whale. 


Animation Demonstrations

To request an animation demonstration for a group or one to one via zoom please email


Saturday April 2nd 2022, 3pm via zoom

Animation demonstration (fully booked)


Monday March 14th 2022, 10.30am via zoom

Animation demonstration (fully booked)

Saturday March 12th 2022, 10.30am via zoom

Animation demonstration (fully booked)

Monday March 7th 2022

Animation demonstration (fully booked)

David will discuss how he creates his charcoal animations including materials, equipment, filming, lighting, editing, and sound.

bottom of page