The Story Behind the Painting

Two years ago I was staying at Mackay and was told I could find platypus about an hrs drive away, so I headed up the mountains to Eungella National Park at Broken River, and not long after I arrived I saw a few of them and a snake swimming in the water.

So I met two wonderful people today and we had a good laugh in my Gallery then in the Possum Park gift shop afterwards. Abigail asked if I had any paintings of a platypus, “unfortunately I didn’t but I’m planing to do one at some stage after my exhibition.” Later that night this changed and a platypus painting was born and here’s the story.

After dinner I was thinking of the wonderful people I meet at Possum Park and the stories they tell me, as the season has just started I’m missing all the interactions this brings. Then I thought why don’t I have a platypus in my collection, and I haven’t given anything away for a few months so a speed painting was called for as it was only 8:30pm.

My Painting Process

I dragged out my video light so it would be much easier to work with and adjusted it for daylight.

I then thought this would be much quicker if I painted it in black ink and not have to worry about colour. As I have only tried this once before I was a little worried if things didn’t work out.

I remembered Abigail also paints in gouache and I wanted to inspire her to paint when she gets back home so for the second time that day I set up my paints.

Pencil out line of platypus, but before I start painting I almost rub out all the pencil lines so you get a much lighter edge that will not show through the paint. Well thats the theory anyway.

A basic undercoat with a little more detail around the platypuses bill.

If I paint a small artwork I don’t usually take progress shots as they only take around 3hrs and to be honest I just forget.

About 9:30 I was getting a little tried as I’d been a painting a waterfall most of the day as well as running the gallery and shop so I took a photo and called it a night.

After playing on Facebook for half an hour to wake up I started work on the painting at 7am, hopefully this would give me time to complete the artwork and get it framed up before the guys left.

At this point I thought oh I really hope they do come and visit me before they drive back to Brisbane. It would be horrible for them to find out on my webpage that I made an artwork for them and they didn’t visit me before they left.

Sorry I got sidetracked, back to the painting process.

I added a little more green in the water then started working on the fur. Darker brown and a very small amount of black for fur in the water and lighter brown for fur out of the water.

I worked the eyes a little more and added darker grey to the bill and feet.

Unfortunately I didn’t take a photo at this stage for you to compare a before and after wet look. All I do is add pure white lines and spots on anything out of the water and this makes the platypus look wet.

Next I add little thin white wiggles on the waters surface and this makes the water shimmer and look like water. And there you have it simple with a few years practice lol.

Framed up and ready to give away.

As I was walking to hang my washing out they were walking down the drive, luckily I was not 2mins earlier or I would have missed them.

Anyway they came back as promised and purchased a limited edition print and I had the gift waiting for them on the table. Let’s just say we were all supper excited by my artwork, and free hugs and handshakes were received.

They look super happy with their limited edition print of a gang gang cockatoo and a freshly painted and framed gift of a platypus.

Gang gang cockatoo 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 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 “Platypus

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