Reflected Beauty

The Story Behind the Painting

When I started taking these photos I didn’t think that they would end up as one of my best paintings as I was more into making videos at the time. This photo was taken on my last kayak trip with my friend Alison before I sold my kayaks. Just around the corner is were I photographed an amazing rock formation that became the background for my reflected beauty painting.

The lady that I was painting this commission for wanted a white bird because of the contrast with the black background. Unfortunately I didn’t have anymore great egrets so I used this one and turned it into a great egret.

My Painting Process

I love painting on the black paper because instantly you get nice contrast and the colours just seem to pop.

I wanted the main feature to be this stunning rock and the bird stalking its prey secondary. I used a lot of grey paint building up layers, using washes then a more dry brush to give a rough look to the bolder.

I also worked on the tree and a few of the smaller shrubs.

Since I wanted the rock to really pop and get your attention I decided to make it much brighter than the rest of the painting.

Iv’e found that its much easier to work on the subject and the reflection at the same time. That way you have the same colours, strength of paint and any textures that the add subject also in the reflection.

I wasn’t sure if the pink coloured tree would be a nice addition to the painting or not. However I think it softens the edge of the large bolder and will bring the attention back to the bird when its added later.

I love to paint stone and then add some weathered elements to it, like how rain would flow down the bolder and into the cracks leaving stain marks. Adding a little green near the cracks to represent moss and a smoother surface to the bolder’s top where animals would have walked over. When painting birds I always need a little bit of poop to make it look more natural.

Close up of the rock I’m so proud of, and let’s just say I really didn’t want to post this commission off once finished. As I put so many hrs into a painting it’s definitely hard to part with, some more than others.

A nice clean great egret with its reflection shimmering below.

I’m constantly adding little background elements in as I progress with the painting.

I usually work on the main subjects and reflections then move onto the background and reflections, followed by surface reflections, and some fish or other animals.

One of the last things I add to a painting is and initials if it’s a commission and then my own signature.

Finished artwork framed in none reflective glass, ready to post off.

Gouache and Paper

For my Black Label collection I use Winsor & Newton Gouache on Black Mi-Teintes Touch Pastel Card.

My painting come from my own experiences that I have experienced 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

2 Comments on “Reflected Beauty

  1. This is an amazing painting Chris, you have improved so much in the past couple of years.
    Proud of you


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