Blog Archives


in Meningie on Lake Albert.


Fiddled with this quite a lot, trying to get the jetty to stand out more. In the end, I had to increase the warmer colours of the jetty to make it stand out against the muddy green of the water. Still doesn’t completely work and I’m not sure why.

Station mailboxes

Mailboxes by the side of the road for two New Zealand stations:

station mailboxes

River and hills

Panorama (six vertical shots stitched together using Microsoft ICE) of river and hills outside Hanmer Springs in New Zealand.

River and hills

Clicking on the picture goes to Flickr where there’s a 4096px wide version.

Really must get to NZ in the early spring when valleys like this will be filled with glacial meltwater.

Off the bow

Coming up to the power station on Lake Manapouri.

Off the bow

Cloud line & tree fall

Line of clouds along the steep banks of Lake Manapouri.

cloud line

The whitish lines on the hills behind the clouds are where the trees have slid into the lake.

The soil covering the rock of the hills is only a few inches deep and this is all the trees are rooted into. When trees high up lose their grip, they fall into lower ones, causing them to fall and so on resulting in a long slide into the lake. It’ll then take hundreds of years for that strip to regrow trees.

Another, closer shot.

tree fall

Lake Manapouri islands

While in Manapouri, we took a Doubtful Sound cruise. To get there we had to cross Lake Manapouri to the Manapouri Hydroelectric Power Station and drive over a mountain on an incredibly steep dirt track. This is a shot of a couple of small islands in Lake Manapouri.

Doubtful Sound islands

Wood landscape

Chunk of wood found amongst the stones on a beach along the Riverton Rocks Highway. Looks like a landscape shot from the air.

Wood landscape

Really like this one. Maybe a little over-enhanced but it works for me.

Could make a dozen abstracts by selecting different crops within this shot Smile.

Painting: landscape continued

Had another go at the landscape painting I started the other day. I did indeed break out the better brushes I had and the sable ones were brilliant. I only used one but it held its point and was much easier to use. I’m not sure I improved the painting, though. Certainly, it’ll need more work.

dark hills 2

As far as I can see, the two things I need to work on are somewhat contradictory. I need to blend separate parts of a whole thing so that they look like the one thing, eg the dark and light bits of the hills look too apart, and I need to show that separate things really are so, eg two hills of the same colour need to look distinct somehow. I’m sorely tempted to take a pencil and outline all the hills Smile.

I think, perhaps, I’ve added washes that are too different to the underlying colours, or too intense, eg the red bits of the foreground.

I also have a pretty unsteady hand so find it hard working in A4 but that is what we’ll be doing in the new class so I’d better get used to it.

Maybe one more try tomorrow.

Painting: start of landscape

In one of my photographic magazines, I found a really nice picture of hills and clouds which I thought would make a nice subject for a painting. Here’s a scan of the photograph (from Digital SLR Photography, I think, possibly the May issue – don’t have it any more or I’d credit the photographer). Pretty poor quality scan so I don’t suppose the photographer will mind me uploading it as no one is going to want to steal it.

dark hills cutting

I wanted to try the technique of starting with light washes and then adding to them so that the image is built up.

I started with washes of a light blue sky, yellow ochre foreground and rose middle ground, figuring they’d give the best starting points. I then added layer after layer of different washes (white, purple, green on the sky; blue, grey and yellow on the middle ground; yellow, grey and green on the foreground) ending up with the following.

dark hills

Still got a long way to go. Bits have got a little out of hand so I’m wondering whether to continue adding to it or leave it like this and ask the new teacher on Wednesday about how to continue.

I also think I need to move away from my rough brushes and finally start using the decent sable ones I’ve got. It is difficult to get fine lines with the current ones.