The Story Behind the Painting

In May 2019 I’d just started another one of my Australian road trips, this time with a proper 4WD and a decent fuel tank, so I could start exploring more remote areas.

The soil at Winton wasn’t as red as I was expecting but at the time I thought it would make a nice painting one day. I just love the trees in this area, I must have taken 100’s of photos from different angle of various contorted trees, all expressing themselves with dramatic poses.

I think because it was a 30min drive from our campsite and this national park was so flat and barren, it felt so isolated and remote. I was travelling with a new found friend so we went exploring dry creek beds and we found a billabong with a small amount of water left in it, where we went for a swim. Which was nice and refreshing in the mid day heat before we had some lunch.

Bladensburg National Park
Bent tree from another angle

My Painting Process

I’d been painting mushrooms all week and this was a good chance to work on something a little larger and less complex. I also wanted to complete a painting with a background.

As you can see its a nice simple sky wash and a super cool bent tree, which really spoke to me. I must have taken about 40 photos of this one unusual tree.

The ground was painted by wetting the paper and painting with a wet brush with a very small amount of paint on it.

Then a few grass tuffs were added to simulate distance.

I’m trying out some of this low tack tape to give the water colour a nice crisp white edge once removed. Hopefully this will stop the paper from warping too.

More grass tuffs were added and then some shadows and finally some ground litter, twigs, stones.

Next I covered up the sky with a sheet of paper and then used my stippling brush to flick paint over the lower half of the painting to look like dirt.

I rather like the simplicity of this painting because it shows the vast expanse of open space and flat terrain of the Australian bush.

It also feels good to fill the watercolour paper with colour.

About a month later I decided to revisit this painting as it just didn’t seem to be balanced and was also lacking an animal which is common in most of my paintings. So I feel the addition of an emu is just what was needed to make this painting a little more Australian and I saw a few just down the road.

Hopefully whoever purchases this will love the new addition of the emu.

Gouache Colour Palette

I use Winsor & Newton Gouache on Arches France Watercolour Paper, 300g 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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