November Storm

The Story Behind the Painting

It was just on sunset in late November and I could see a storm brewing in the south, the sky was getting darker and more menacing. Illuminated with flashes of light followed by lightning bolts hitting the ground, I thought this would be some good photography, so I went back inside to grab my camera and tripod.

I hadn’t tried any long exposures on my new camera yet so experimentation was on the menu. I set the camera on 20sec exposure and ended up using the 30 sec exposers as the lightning wasn’t striking that often now.

After a little while the temperature dropped and the wind picked up speed, then out of nowhere a flash and a crack above my head almost gave me cause to change my underwear. Time to pack up and live to photograph another day I think.

This reminds me of another story that happed in the same place just behind my cottage, I know the other caretaker John likes to photograph storms and one had just started brewing up. Last thing I hear from John is “I’m going to photograph the lightning”

So after I have my dinner and its still lightning outside with no rain I go for a wander in the dark, its pitch black with no stars. I can just make out John so I wander over ask him how’s the photography going, no answer.

The next flash of light I realise I’m talking to a bush, feeling stupid I move on as I see john further down the paddock. “So hows the photograph John”, still no answer. Then a thump thump thump, another flash of lightning still doesn’t light up John.

I feel even more foolish this time as I was talking to a kangaroos about lightning photography. I guess it had no idea and hopped off. Well it was a funny story to tell at morning tea the next day.

My Painting Process

This was my first attempt at painting a landscape on black paper and I was trying another brand, Stonehenge Aqua Black Watercolour paper. The water seemed to soak in very quickly and I didn’t have much chance to blend my colours.


The next few layers of paint I didn’t dilute them as much and this seemed to work much better. I started adding blues and a slight pink which is hard to see in the photo from my iPhone.


I forgot to take photos of the next few stages so there is a big jump to finished artwork in this photo but I’ll explain what I did.

I worked more on the clouds giving them a harder edge and more white tops. I then started adding the lightning with different thicknesses to represent more strength with jagged angles.

Once I finished with the background I added a few trees in the distance, then some in the foreground using black paint.

It’s a little hard to see but I have also added lots of foreground grass and a few stumps so its not just black in the bottom 3rd of the painting.


Finished artwork in a mock up frame as the original artwork is currently getting framed at the framers.

I have another idea for a painting that will compliment this one. Its another night scene with my orange tent illuminated from inside under a full sky of stars.

Have you ever been caught in a lightning storm or do you mistakenly talk to bushes or kangaroos?


Gouache and Paper

For my Black Label collection I use Winsor & Newton Gouache on Black Mi-Teintes Touch Pastel Card, however this was painted on Stonehenge Aqua Black Watercolour paper.

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 www.ChrisOsborneAdventures.wordpress.com 

Enjoy, Chris Osborne

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