Monday, 28 December 2009

Birds and a landscape

I love it when we stay in one place for a few days because I can get some serious painting done! I seem to be stuck on birds at the moment but there's a landscape in there as well... a place that we camped for a couple of days called Mikkira Station. This open paddock is surrounded by a forest of Manna Gums which are the type of eucalypt that koalas love best... hence they are full of koalas! I loved the play of light captured in this moment...

Friday, 25 December 2009


Happy Christmas!!
This is Vicki's dog Monty which I painted for her for Christmas. It's the first of my 6x6's that I'm actually happy with...!

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

More quick paintings

Here are some more quick paintings. A White-necked Heron on a log; a mother walking along the foreshore of Coffin Bay with her daughter at sunset; a sheep in Dunked - south of the Grampians...

Monday, 14 December 2009

Quick paintings

A few more 6x6's. I thought I could do a better job with the colours of the pelican, so I tried it again... it turned out very similar though! The next painting is a small church we went to in Huskisson and lastly an emu crossing the road in the Flinders Ranges.


Thursday, 10 December 2009


After looking at some of the 6x6 daily paintings online, I've been reinspired to do some more myself. Here are 2 I did today...

Saturday, 5 December 2009


This is Bonnie, at least it's an interpretation of Bonnie. Portraits aren't like doing trees. There's a lot of liberty in painting a tree... who's going to know if it's like a particular tree? Not so with a particular face... must keep practicing!

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Portrait of Lili

When I look at other people's work, I'm often most drawn to portraits and figurative paintings... secretly itching to try it myself but hesitating for good reason. Anyway, with Lili around as a willing and very photogenic model, I couldn't resist trying my first portrait. I had to re-do the face completely a couple of times. It's hard enough just to do a mouth, but to do a particular mouth, that's challenging to the extreme. I'm seriously feeling the need for some instruction, but will continue practicing and trying to work it out until I can get some lessons. I want to try another portrait next...

Wednesday, 25 November 2009


It's hard not to fall in love with the many types of gum trees as we travel from place to place. They are especially beautiful at dusk. If only I could do them justice in a painting!! I can see a million things wrong with this painting but had enough of it now. It's A3 size (all my previous landscapes til now are around A4)...

Monday, 23 November 2009

Having trouble with grass

This is the Grampians as seen late in the afternoon from Dunkeld, a town to the south. I tried doing the grass in the foreground 3 times without success so have left it as is. Must study the art of grass making...

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Venus Baths

I tried something a little more abstract this time and I think it worked pretty well although I still want to get my brush strokes looser. This is the Venus Baths at the foot of Wonderland Ranges in the Grampians, a spectacularly beautiful spot, we should have take our cozzies!

Monday, 16 November 2009

Along the road to Ballarat

Here is my latest painting which was done from a photo I took along the road the Ballarat...

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Cloud study

I visited a gallery in Daylesford and was inspired by the artist owner whose work was on the walls - lovely and very large painterly landscapes. She said that she does them really quickly, so I decided to do this cloud study much quicker than I would usually take - around 1 and a half hours. This is Lake Mulwala in Yarrawonga, where the Murray River has a weir that created this lake and killed a whole Red River Gum forest.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Kiama sunrise

Here is my latest painting from a photo I took in Kiama.

Snowy River & Wolumla Church

Here are my latest 2 paintings that I did after getting some guidance from an excellent book I picked up in the art shop in Wangaratta (can't resist an art book!). Before the painting in colour you do a study in black and white to get the value relationships correct. It's been a bit of a breakthrough for me and I'm looking forward to doing more...

Snowy River - Orbost

Church in Wolumla

Thursday, 29 October 2009


I'm not sure if the plural of iris is irises but anyway, there's more than one iris here in my latest painting. These were at the Bright caravan park and inspired me to have a go (from a photo once again).

Sunday, 25 October 2009


Here is my latest effort in oils... our neighbour (Brian) in the caravan park in Bright reading his paper by the river. I just met him and he loved the painting. Actually, since landscape painting is so hard because of the constantly changing light (ETC), I decided to do this from a photograph (see below) while still having the subject (for a while at least) in front of me for reference. This proved to be a good idea since eventually the light was completely different, Brian packed up and left, and another caravan arrived next to us that blocked my view of him completely. I think I may work this way from now on... I was much more relaxed because there wasn't as much urgency.

Monday, 19 October 2009

En Plein Air on the road

Vicki and I are on the road and I'm embarking on an 'en plein air' painting journey. After getting into a bit of a swing with oils in the studio, I'm feeling rather out of my depth. If only the clouds would hold still and the sun stop moving. Everything changes from minute to minute. Now it's sunny and warm, now it's cloudy, windy/raining and too cold to be outside. Much frustration and scraping off of paint!!! Watercolours have been great for a bit of indoor painting (since the weather has been so wet) from my photos displayed on the computer. I'll put up some of what I've done and hopefully over the next few months there'll be some development and progress. Thanks for looking!

Watercolour, Huskisson (from a photo)

Watercolour, Eden Caravan Park

Watercolour, Eden Lorikeet (from a photo) 

Oil, Warri

Oil, Mallacoota

Oil, Mallacoota

Sunday, 9 August 2009


Here is my first attempt at a strawberry. The whole background took about half an hour and the strawberry took me about 2 hours! I'm more pleased with the painterly background than the strawberry... I found it hard to capture the texture and detail that makes a strawberry a strawberry. But it's ok for a first go... Now I get to eat it!

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Quick paintings

My dad came up last weekend and we played handymen (or handypersons for the politcally correct). Technically speaking I was the handyman's assistant... eg, dad: 'spanner', me: 'spanner' etc... As well as other very clever things, he sawed some MDF board into 6x6" pieces for me so I could start doing quick small paintings. Here are my first attempts, in order of execution...

I love the 6x6" format and size which is what many of the 'daily painters' use. (see I can finish one in a couple of hours which is great for keeping up the interest level as I get a bit bored when I do a painting that takes more than a few days. I'm really trying to keep my brush strokes loose. Need lots more practice!

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Still Life with summer dress

I've had quite a bit of work (as in earning money) lately so finding it hard to get time for painting. So I set up a slower painting that I could do an hour here and there during the week. My mission was to find a more interesting background and for lack of patterned piece of material I grabbed a dress out of my wardrobe. Well, I think I failed at capturing the pattern on the dress, but I'm pretty happy with the eggs!

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Mum's egg cup with eggs

This is a study of eggs, which were rather more difficult than I expected. Half the problem is, if it isn't the right shape, it doesn't look like an egg. The egg cup is one that mum painted years ago in a ceramics class. It's very cute! I would have liked this looser, but anyway, it's 'brush mileage' as my drawing teacher would say...

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Mexican Sunflower

I was told once that this flower is called a Mexican Sunflower. Not sure if that's actually the case but anyway, when they are in full bloom they look very bright and happy. There's a bunch of them growing down by the lake near here and I picked one of the last ones of the season yesterday morning. It was looking a little tired this morning but I decided to go ahead and paint it anyway. Half way through mixing the colours I suddenly noticed it was starting to droop alarmingly. So I quickly put colour here there and everywhere. The yellow would stick to the canvas properly (cheap student paints!) and it all seemed to be a bit out of control. Well anyway, here it is...

Tuesday, 30 June 2009


I haven't moved on from fruit and veg yet, I just got inspired by the only flowering plant in my backyard and decided I had to give it a go. I wasn't sure how to make it loose with all those details. Something to work on...

Monday, 29 June 2009

The three sisters

I struggled with this painting for a bit and nearly abandoned it completely. Having nothing to lose I let loose and actually ended up quite happy with it. It's my loosest yet!

Saturday, 27 June 2009


Simple but not so simple seeing that they go brown so quickly. I kind of had to guess at the right hand half, but I had mixed all the colours up first so not so bad.

Lemon Halves

Getting in the swing now and having fun! Pretty pleased with this effort, especially the plate (funnily enough).


Still trying to be painterly... ie. not too much Blending of colours.

Here's my reasoning from an artist called Kreutz:

In less grandiose terms, blending is also a problem because it’s not clear where to stop. Once you start feathering a little passage here and there, you want to do it everywhere and the picture gets softer and softer. Reworking areas becomes difficult because the perimeters are so vague that you can’t tell where one passage ends and another begins. Gradually the picture starts sliding into mud.

I'm really enjoying these quick paintings since I'm so Impatient. Learning heaps!

A tomato

I discovered some great artists who do 'Daily Paintings' and love the freedom of brush strokes. Now I'm trying to loosen up a little. Here is my first attempt at 'loooose'. ie. not very!

So I had another go with the same subject:

A little better...

Garlic, red onion and lemon

I struggled with the lemon looking flat and cut out, but some Carder Method forum members got me on the right track and it turned out alright. Really getting into fruit and veg now!

Pair of pears

Second painting using The Carder Method. I was pretty pleased with these. Starting to get into the swing of things and really enjoyed the 'organic' subject matter. No straight lines!

The Carder Method

I found The Carder Method online and was so impressed by the student works that I ordered the DVD. Here is the painting I did after reading all the theory, before receiving the dvd and getting properly set up...

And this is my first attempt using The Method, with all the gear (except I realised afterwards my studio lighting wasn't adequate - I was practically painting in the dark...)

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