Anticipating Rain

The Story Behind the Painting

I was staying at Lightning Ridge in 40deg heat and decided to take a day trip in my air-condition car to see a few of the outback pubs, since visited the other attractions like galleries, opal mines and gift shops.

While driving I came across this lone tree on a very dry barren landscape set against an almost cloudless sky. I love the rich colours of the Australian landscape and the sparse flat plains where you can see for miles, or in the case of Australia kilometres.

My Painting Process

A nice light wash for the sky, I’m thinking I could have added a little more blue as I always forget that the sky dries lighter.

I used raw sienna for the undercoat for the scorched dirt and burnt umber for the cracks.


Now time to start adding white rocks and grains of dirt and little tufts of dry grass.

On the horizon you can just see some green crops of irrigated fields and the rest it bone dry.


I love painting trees and at some stage I’m going to do a study on them. Trees can be so different from their neighbour, as one may have been ravished by a storm or fire and the other untouched.

I’m definitely paying more attention to the branches of a tree not just paining them out to the side of the trunk. Trying to paint a branch coming towards or going away from you takes a little bit of practice, getting the light and shadows right.

I actually love this tree as a finished painting and it took me another half hour and half a block of chocolate to decide to add the leaves.


So now with a sugar rush I held my finest brush and started adding the leaves, which by the way took a few hrs to paint them all.

I have tried using a fan brush but usually end up with paint in all the wrong places. It seems to be fine to use a fan brush if you’re painting a clump of trees but not individual ones.

Once I had the leaves on I then finished adding shadows and highlights to the trunk and branches. Also a bit of rubbish to the ground, like dead branches and dry grass.


I was thinking about adding an animal but saved that for my next tree painting a few days later, or tomorrows blog.


Gouache and Watercolour Paper

I use Winsor & Newton Gouache on Arches France Watercolour Paper, 300g Cold Pressed.

My painting come from my own experiences that I have 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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