Possum Cottage Night Sky

The Story Behind the Painting

I’m currently the resident artist at Possum Park Kowguran (Miles), Queensland. this was an old secret military base during World War II RAFF Kowguran Sub-depot to No.3 Central Reserve Explosive Store.

Possum Cottage was the old explosives laboratory and now this has been my accommodation since Australia Day 2021. I have a small gallery and shop in the foyer where I display and sell some of my artworks and prints.

I was playing around with numbers the other day and discovered that this painting was going to be my 200th painting since I started painting again back in September 2019. So I thought what could be a special milestone painting in my career and Possum Cottage seemed to be the artwork, where I started to introduce my artwork to the world one traveling camper at a time.

I thought how could I make this artwork a little more different and a part of my black label collection. I also wanted to include a Possum since I recently saw one in the backyard a few months ago and thought this would be a nice addition to my painting. Since possums mainly come out at night, the answer was a night time shot of Possum Cottage with a full sky of stars as a backdrop and a Possum hidden in the trees.

My Painting Process

Once an outline was on the paper I didn’t realise how difficult this was going to be painting all the little bricks and different light sources.

Looking closely at the photo I discovered that the sky was not in fact black, the trees created a silhouette and were the darkest part for the painting, so I needed to create a lighter sky.

This part was quite fun creating all the stars, I used my stippling brush to flick paint all other the background and masked the rest of the painting with paper towels. Maybe I should have also covered half the table and my poor iPad.

I also used this splatter technique to create all the tiny stones on the ground.

Now time to start adding some tree branches so later I could add all the foliage, I find this works best for me and sometimes I just leave trees with dead branches.

I also start adding some colour to the night sky as not all the stars were white.

Now time to see how much variety of bushes and trees I can come up with using only a handful of greens, yellow and pinks.

More distant trees were added and also some black paint just to create some tree outlines.

I also added a few Boganville as this is one of the main plants at Possum Park and such a pain to prune.

Now this is where I really struggled and I’m sure in time I will get much better and faster. I started adding a lot of yellow to the windows, trying to create light and a nice warm glow.

I lost count how many times I re painted the bricks on the side of the house with more yellow.

I think it wasn’t until I painted trees on the other side of the yard that the brickwork and light from the cottage windows really started to become believable.

Final tree leaves were added and a slight splash of yellow added to the bushes and anything close to the windows. Also a little possum was added sitting in the tree, which was only a few mm of paint really but it seems to work and people have already commented on it.

Finished artwork ready to hang and 30 limited edition prints will be made available soon, but only available for purchase at Possum Cottage its self.

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 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

2 Comments on “Possum Cottage Night Sky

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