The Story Behind the Painting

This was another rescue frog, as they’re not supposed to be in the rooms so I relocated it outside my cottage. Most nights I can hear frogs and I’ve found their hiding spot during the day between the bricks. I rather like this photo because of all the textures on the branch and it was a toss up between this one and the final photo I used. I didn’t use this one as I found it a little grumpy, but may paint it in the future.

My Painting Process

I was trying the out of focus or Bokeh affect and well it just didn’t work on this painting. A thin layer of yellow was just too transparent and I just couldn’t get a soft edge.

So after a few hrs I gave up on the bottom yellow leaf and far left leaf. The water droplets just looked like holes in the leaf and I was getting a little frustrated.

I moved on to painting the background leaf and was happy with its water droplet and texture but I was still grumbling at the yellow leaf.

The last leaf I worked on was looking good and the water droplets made the other leaves look sub par. I was still annoyed with the yellow foreground leaf and had I finally found a paint that had me beat, is this one going to the trash.

I stopped painting for 3 days wondering how to fix this problem as I still had two realistic leaves and it would be a shame not to complete an artwork.

I tried and experiment using a wet paintbrush to lift the paint off the paper and wiping it on a paper towel.

I only lifted the yellow parts that I wanted green, the idea was to extend the background leave to cover the foreground leaf.

Now I started painting the green parts of the leaf and just like that the background leaf was in the foreground.

Next I extended the leaf to the right and repainted it to look like the others, complete with water droplets. I was finally getting back in to the flow of this painting and am glad that I never gave up.

Some times you just need to put your artwork aside and think outside the square or change the composition a little.

In the end I choose to paint all the leaves in focus and now the distracting yellow leaf is gone.

Now to start working on the frog, this will be my 5th frog I have painted in the past 2yrs.

I think my favourite part of a frog is its feet, especially the padded feet of a tree frog. It’s amazing a little bit of white can make them look wet and shiny.

If you look closely you can see where the frog has placed its feet and slid down the leaf on the left. I love painting this kind of detail, something you can physically observe as you take the photographs.

You may miss these details if you use other peoples photos and you also don’t have a background story to go with your artwork.

Close up using one of my six new brush I bought myself for my birthday.

A frog has lots of layers and this painting took ages because of all the little cracks, bumps and highlights, also I’m a fussy painter and love detail.

Just when I think I’m finished I see another highlight or colour change and get out a smaller brush.

Finished artwork with the rest of the frogs throat complete and a few more water droplets added to the leaves.

Finished artwork ready for my exhibition this coming September 2022. Surrounded by Nature.

This is my workspace setup, brushes to the left of artwork, I use an iPad as my reference photos that I can zoom in and out of. Then there is my paint palette to the right, the water is above this so I’m never carrying a loaded brush of water across my artwork.

Above them are two paintings I love, Deadpool on the left I received from a customers 13yr old daughter thats studying art at school.

To the right a painting of a dutch tree, a Pollard Willow, painted by my friends Charlotte’s husband in the Netherlands. This was a gift I received after I painted one of her photos, a sea urchin in seaweed for my exhibition and sent her number 1 print.

I also received other gifts, handmade paper, handmade watercolour pad, watercolour brush, and a personalised stubby holder. I’ve been treated to dinner, drinks, snacks and some wonderful conversations as people pop into the Possum Park Gallery.

I have had such a wonderful experience here and can’t wait till the people start returning around easter.

Gouache on Canson Paper

For my Black Label collection I use Winsor & Newton Gouache on Black Colourfix Art Spectrum Paper or Black Mi-Teintes Touch Canson 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 

Enjoy, Chris Osborne

4 Comments on “Peekaboo

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