Dreaming of Winter

The Story Behind the Painting

Just after Christmas I was visiting the New Sydney Zoo and was walking around the Australian section looking for interesting animals. This gives me a better opportunity to see animals that I can’t get that close to in the wild or sometimes are just too quick for me to photograph.
I was entertained by the little penguins swimming on top of and beneath the water at speed.

The one guy I liked was a single penguin stood on the side of the pool, who looked like he was daydreaming of far off lands.
I thought that this would make a good painting one day, so I took a few more photos.
Maybe it was just dreaming of a cool winters day, as it was a hot 41 Deg in the shade. This was one of the lucky animals to have some water to swim and play in.

I have never seen penguins in the wild but I do believe they are at Philip Island Victoria, so I will have to add this to my list when I start camping again.

Watermark Exhibition Exclusive

I have decided to create some Arches watermark exclusive paintings, this a painting that has the Arches watermark embossed in one corner of my artworks.
This will guarantee I’ll make no other copies of this artwork on greeting cards or limited edition prints, apart from social media photos.
Hopefully this will be a feature of my exhibitions, limit two watermarked paintings per exhibition.

My Painting Process

As you know I haven’t managed to paint sand with the stippling method, so currently I’m painting each grain by hand. This method is rather relaxing but takes a life time.

Over the weekend I purchased two stippling brushes and some tape, so hopefully my next sand / dirt scene will be much quicker to paint.

I made sure I gave the watermark plenty of clear space, as this is the mark of quality paper.


Next I moved onto the main parts of the bird, the eyes, beak and flippers. I always like to spend a lot of time getting these right as they usually the main focus of the painting and the viewer will spend most of their attention.


White is so hard to paint next to a white background as you don’t want to create outlines around your animal as its not a natural look. I used the lightest grey and blue to make the penguin stand out, while not making him a look like a grey bird.

Another focal point is the penguin feet and these took a little time to get right. They are becoming easier to paint if they are a different colour from the background, which they were in this case.


I decided to make the painting look a little more natural than the white concrete, so painted the penguin on some darker sand. Of course this meant another hours worth of painting dots.

I gave the painting the once over and then signed my name and went to bed.

However when I woke and looked at my painting once more, something didn’t quite look right. The blue shadow was bothering me.


In the photo the penguin was standing on white concrete, this was in turn creating a light blue shadow.

However when I painted some darker sand the shadow was too light in comparison. Once I had realised my mistake it was easily fixed, I painted darker sand, hiding the blue and once again the penguin and the shadow were one.


Gouache Colour Palette

I use Winsor & Newton Gouache on Arches France Watercolour Paper, Cold Pressed.

My painting come from my own experiences that I have lived and photographed while traveling. By reading this blog, you as a viewer can now hear The Story Behind the Painting. Where, when, what was happening while I was photographing the wildlife.
If you want more details about my adventures checkout my travel blog website www.ChrisOsborneAdventures.wordpress.com

Enjoy, Chris Osborne

One Comment on “Dreaming of Winter

  1. It is such a learning curve you are going through at the moment Chris, seeing you work every day and seeing the results is just amazing, keep up the good work

    Liked by 1 person

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