Old Rusty

The Story Behind the Painting

While camping at Wuruma Dam I noticed a few abandoned car wrecks in one of the paddocks. Apparently this car was owned by two brothers that help build the dam wall and maintain the landscaping in the area.

My Painting Process

After the pencil outline of the car I gave it a light wash of red ochre (Which is not in my colour pallet) and burnt umber.

I thought right from the start that my trademark is animals so I added a goanna under the front wheel arch.


Next I started committing too much darker paint values. I also found I was getting a much more realistic look if I painted everything in a downward stroke.

This was to simulating rain running down the car following it shape and creating the rust.


More fine details in the grills but I was getting worried if I could make the chrome look convincing, so I put it in the too hard basket and left it till last.


I started added a little bit of old paint on the car and more convincing rust marks on the back seat area of the car.


Most of the car complete, I started working on the foreground and adding a little bit of rubbish. Now I didn’t want to distract from the car too much so I eliminated the background but maybe a light grey or green wash would have been good.

I also added a cactus and a burnt tree stump to add a little balance in the photo and create a visual triangle with the other rusty car part on the ground.


Time to work on the goanna and add some stones into the foreground.

I do this by splattering some brown paint on the paper with my stippling brush and see what shapes it forms.

With a brush lightly filled with paint I start joining the dots and this starts to create stones. I then add some shadows and some highlights.

Next I add the goanna under the car arch, this was photographed under my own car while at Agnes Waters. At first I only saw the tail as I was opening the car boot and thought I was about to get bitten by a snake.


Now with a long thin brush I start adding grass strands and if you look closely you will see flattered grass where the goanna has supposedly walked over.

I should have made these the same length only bent over, next time I’ll take a photo of where I walk and see the difference, as small details make a convincing painting.

This is the final shot that I made into a post card which differs slightly from the finished artwork.


This image was taken just before I posted it off, the changes are more rust on the bumper bar, darker shadows inside the car and under the wheel arch.

Truth be told I was taking a photo of the butterfly to show the scale and its the only photo I have of the finished artwork. (lesson learned, if you make changes don’t forget to photograph the final artwork).


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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