Drawing blind is always fun. It basically means, as you are drawing you keep your eyes focused entirely on the the subject, and you’re not allowed to look at your drawing at all. It forces you to concerntrate on the shapes and the negative spaces surrounding your subject.
My colourful bird illustration in black ink and watercolour on paper, for the Game Conservancy Trust.
Acrylic on canvas.
One of the things I remember noticing in Australia is how different the quality of light is. Gum trees in England just look like any other tree but in Oz they glow bright white - hence the name ‘Ghost Gums’. The blue sky seemed almost prussian blue, sometimes so vivid and bold I almost expected to see stars appearing. Most of all I remember the rich and vast soil that covers the whole continent, unrepentant shades of yellow ochre, cadmium orange and red iron oxide. So I had a little play around with some oil paints and trying to capture the magic of the scorched earth of Oz.
Get Around Island Boat Tours asked me to paint a mural on their boat, on Magnetic Island - located just off the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia. I’d never painted a mural on a boat before but any excuse to stick around on a tropical island paradise seemed good enough to me! Unlike any ordinary murals, there was quite a bit of technical research into paints, primers and components needed before any creativity could commence. For anyone thinking about doing the same, I’ve written a step by step guide on how to paint a mural on an aluminium boat!
1) Firstly, if there are areas that won’t be painted, use masking tape and paper to protect them. Also – it is recommended that you wear goggles and protective clothing as marine grade paints can be pretty toxic! Always thoroughly read the instructions and if don’t do anything you’re not sure of!