The Mountains Are Calling

The Story Behind the Painting

I must say that this is one of my favourite places in the mountains, and without the crowds like at Lincoln’s Rock. I accidentally found it while checking out the aerial maps to find a good spot to watch the sun set. It’s just off Tablelands Road, Wentworth Falls below the phone towers. To the right you can see all the crowds at Lincoln’s Rock.

My friend sent me some photos the other day of this area in the Blue Mountains, which prompted me to paint this photo I took on 08/03/2013. The only change I had to make was a few more grey hairs.

I guess every great artist paints a self portrait, so this is mine.

My Painting Process

I’m still trying to master a sky in gouache before I make the move to water colours. The only thing stopping me at the moment is lack of art shops in the regional areas.

I was trying a different approach this time without using white unfortunately once I mixed the colours I forgot and painted to the horizon.

After getting the basics of the clouds in I started painting myself and my beloved Osprey backpack of 12yrs which my brother is looking after in the UK.

It’s funny painting something you have traveled around the world with. I know every mark and scratch on that backpack and it’s been on hundreds of hikes throughout the mountains. Ok maybe I miss it a little bit more than I should, don’t tell the new one !

I started painting the mountains in the distance working towards the foreground. This consists of varying light green washes to show various mountain valleys.

Lots and lots of little dots to simulate trees and trying to blur them in the distance to show depth. Also the sandstone cliffs were added, which are loved by rock climbers from all over the world.

Next I started to work the undercoat of the rocks, this is when I knew it was going to be a successful painting. This place just brings back so many memories of the mountains, often when I finish a big walk I will then drive to this area and walk the 200m to the lookout.

A little work on the reflections and more lichen work on the rocks.

Another day working on the rocks, reflections and re working the distant mountains. My shoes started to disappear so I had to make the ground a little lighter and darken my shorts.

Over all I think this painting captures myself and the things I love about the mountains and the equipment I use to hike deep into the valleys of the Blue Mountains of Australia.

I re worked a little more blue into the sky and added more blue to the blue mountains. Cooler and windy days they are not as blue because it’s the eucalyptus oil that evaporates that gives them the blue look and this needs some heat. (I could be totally wrong)

December 2012

Now I’m going to tell you a little story about this beautiful part of the world that I love to visit when ever I have the chance. I have often taken friends that visit me or guests that have been staying at Glenella Guest House in Blackheath to this magnificent place in the mountains. Also see how they are much blue in the photo.

I remember hearing about the bushfires while I was on holiday with my sister in Canada. So on my return to Australia the first thing I did was drive up to this spot to see if it had escaped the fires.

Oh Noooooooo…. I was devastated.

I sat on the ground and cried my little heart out as I saw there was so much destruction of this area. Some of these bushes will not recover because the heat was to intense but a vast majority will.

September 2015

December 2019

The fires are back with vengeance, unprecedented even, this because the new word for 2019 – 2020 “unprecedented” until Coronavirus came along and stole the show.

Now I’m not allowed to see my little piece of paradise, even if it escaped the fires because it’s in a different state. For now I have my photos and now a painting to look at.

This is what the Rockpool looks like without water and reflections.

Sorry to ramble but this place is close to my heart and hopefully some of you will get a chance to see it for yourselves.

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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