Shadow dancer

The Story Behind the Painting

This photograph was taken a while ago, in fact it was the first day I was aloud out after lockdown. It was good to watch the little bird dancing around and chirping to its own shadow, it seemed so free and happy.

The bird was jumping between the large and smaller rocks and I was willing it to hop back down to the smaller rock where the afternoon sun was casting a beautiful perfect shadow on the large rock.

My Painting Process

Now I’m still working on water and its something I’ve always struggled with and I guess if you don’t practice your never going to get any better, so here goes.


Next I started working on the large stone undercoat with the shadow. Now sometimes undercoats look good and other times they just look crap and you think, will I ever recover this painting. Also brown just has a tendency to look horrible as an undercoat and can really kill your confidence.


The more I looked at the large rock the more colours I saw in it, this was now starting to take shape.

I also liked painting the smaller Bargara volcanic rock with all of it’s pits and holes.


A shot of my setup while camping, including my swag and my washing drying and top right my solar shower trying to warming on an overcast day.


Another one of the Bargara rocks added and, time for lunch.

It’s also a good time to put away my washing, people are curious as they seeing you painting and its not a good look if they almost get hit in the face with your drying underwear. It sends the unprofessional vibe but its also funny has hell.

Karma got me back and I had a Luke warm shower as the overcast day didn’t warm my solar shower up fully.


Another day a lady decided to bring me a hot cup of soup to warm me up and she almost got a slap in the face with my wet socks drying this time, also funny.

Time to work on the little bird and correct any of the shadow it’s casting.

I worked on the last foreground rock and added a few more reflections into the water and happily signed my name and photographed my artwork.

Camping at the dam is a very social activity and it was now time to have drinks and dinner with the neighbours. For some reason because I’m friendly and travelling on my own in a swag, people love to feed me.

Tonight drinks with home made Jaffles, other nights Iv’e had fish on about 5 occasions, red claw, a roast, baked scones, pear crumble, pasta, curry, BBQ’s and copious amounts of wine and cider.


So I was looking at my photographed artwork and didn’t like the foreground rock, as it didn’t match the other two, see last photo above.

I decided to darken the rock and add more pits and holes and am now much happier with the overall painting.

I think the shadow is the main focus and then the bird thats casting it, which is a little different to the normal.


I have decided to make a market range of paintings that are in budget frames, this reduces the cost by about $80 rather than a gallery frame.

Most of the market range will be much smaller mini paintings that are easily transportable and I can paint while traveling around Australia on my road trip.

These will be for sale at my campsites if you ever run into me, look for the well fed guy in the swag.


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

2 Comments on “Shadow dancer

  1. Living your life Chris, loving your work, your enthusiasm and seeing you happy.
    Live takes many turns, who knows we’re it ends up but if it makes you happy keep on doing it
    Your work makes many others happy, and impressed with your talent

    Like

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