Mother and Child

The Story Behind the Painting

This is the second of three paintings from O’Reilly’s at Green Mountain in Lemington National Park on the Queensland, New South Wales border.

This was my second day camping and I’d just made some lunch as a little pademelon just appeared and started munching grass right in front of me. To my surprise she had a little joey in her pouch, who seemed to be enjoying the world with inquisitive eyes.

I must have watched the pair for a good 20mins before they decided that the grass was greener on the other side of the camp site and disappeared.

Throughout the day I must have observed about six pademelon around the campsite, they were curious but also quite timid so you couldn’t get that close but luckily I have a 40x zoom on my camera.

I love traveling and seeing new animals is always a bonus for me as you never know what your going to come across.

one of the Pademelons

My Painting Process

After select one of my own images on my iPad, I start with a pencil outline using a 4B pencil. Once I’m happy this it I almost rub out most of the pencil work so the graphite will not smug the paper..

I usually start with the parts of the image I’m going to have most difficulty with. In this case I knew I was going to struggle with the grass.
So on a scrap of paper I decide to try a few different methods.
Unfortunately having not painted for 23years my colour mixing skill are almost no existent and I was struggling to remember the basics.

Also only having one green was not helping me much.

Having about 5% confidence in grass I decided to tackle the real thing.

Next I worked on the baby Joey and was rather impressed with the results.

My confidence was sort lived and the Pademelons face started looking like a fox, I was about ready to give up. It was getting late and I thought this painting had the better of me had I finally come across a painting that was going in the bin. In this case I slept on it and started again in the morning.

My problem was my own photograph was not very clear so I had to search the net for a clear image to see how the fur fell on the face. Once I studied a few photos I could then see my problems in my brush strokes.

Having fixed the face I continued on with the rest of the Pademelons body fur and tail.

Next I painted the shadows to ground the image and a few touch ups and signed my name.

The next morning something wasn’t looking right, I seemed to have some fluro grass and not the deep green grass of the campsite.

I spent the next 1hr or so playing around with all the blues I had mixed with yellow and all the greens mixed with yellows and reds.

As you can see I came up with a nice little colour chart as an experiment.

I also stopped in at the art shop in Maryborough to ask Tammy for a little advice about colour mixing which she was happy to help.
I was at Maryborough for the opening night of an art exhibition at Gatakers Artspace to see how things run on the night as I will be exhibiting here in a few months time.

Armed with some colour advice I was still contemplating do I try and fix the grass and possibly stuff it up or leave it alone and never be really satisfied with the result.

After a week and a few painting later I decided to tackle this painting once more and dull down the green and make it a more natural dry grass.

I must say that I’m more than happy with the result as I now have more variation in the grass and its not all the same uniform green as it once was.

Sometimes you need to revisit a painting after a few days and look at it in new light.

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

Enjoy, Chris Osborne

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