Uluru Dreaming

The Story Behind the Painting

This was a family micro holiday that we had started doing, where we fly away on a Friday morning and come back on the Monday night. We found it was easy to get everyone together and only take two days off work in seperate weeks.

This 2016 micro holiday was to the red centre of Australia to visit Uluru also known as Ayers Rock. My sister photographed me balancing on two poles trying to take a panorama of the spectacular views.

Artist at work

As you can see below the 180deg panorama turned out reasonably well apart from a few bumps as I lost my balance.

This was one of the best family holidays I’ve had, we also got plenty of walking in as it’s a 10km hike around the base of Uluru. We also had a 3 course dinner under the stars and went camel riding, All theses videos can be seen on my YouTube channel under Australian Red Centre play list.

Uluru Panorama

My Painting Process

This was supposed to be a nice blue cloudless sky but when I started painting on the wet background it already started drying out. I didn’t realise as I was mixing my blue and playing with the masking tape.

As it turned out I rather like the effect I got, looks like summer clouds with a little movement.

Now this is where it pays to use your own photos to paint from. Walking around Uluru and getting up close aloud me to see all the different textures on the rock.
I could see where the rain had channeled groves and created holes that support life.
The same water that cascaded down in waterfalls, stained the rock a rainbow of different colours. So when I was painting these I painted them as the rain would fall, down the rock.

The little blobs of dark brown on the rock aren’t small pits they are actually large caves, the scale of this thing is enormous.


I added some base sand allowing a little extra for overlap as you want the shrubs to grow over the sand and not stop where it meets the sand.


Here you can see I added a block colour of yellows and greens where the grass tuffs and shrubs will go. I also started adding little trees and shrubs in the distance.

I also changed the big cave shadow to look more like a heart shape.


Now all the fun begins, hours and hours of grass, I found the trick is to make each tuff of grass a little different. Always work from background to foreground that way the grass can overlap the dirt and other shrubs.


More grass and shrubs this time with a few flowers added.
At this point i got fed up with all the grass and was finding any excuse to get away from my painting, so I called it a day and updated my blog.


Todays challenge was adding dead grass around the base of all the shrubs and grass tuffs. I still haven’t mastered them yet but I guess this will come in future paintings.


I got my love for this painting back the next day and worked well into the night to finish it off.

I reworked the dead grass and added more shrubs and a few purple and yellow flowers.

I spotted a twig that looked like a little snake so I added this as some people think the outback is overrun by snakes, my dear stepmom included.

I also added a few trails of ants as they are everywhere once you stop walking and look around. See some of my videos for this.

I revisited the distance shrubs, added bits of red into the dirt so it wasn’t to even. Now to mess the painting up a little I added stray grass, twigs and a few leaves to make things a little more realistic.

Overall I’m happy with the outcome, even though this painting took twice as long as I was expecting.

I think the more Landscapes I paint the more wildlife I’ll add as its good to have a few hidden bugs and critters for people to find.

Oh and the grass drove me mad so more dirt or rocks next time.


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 www.ChrisOsborneAdventures.wordpress.com

Enjoy, Chris Osborne

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