Grumpy Kookaburra in Gouache

Well happy New Years to everyone hope you are all well and well rested after the silly season.

I started this kookaburra at my sisters place, as I was visiting for Christmas, I managed to get a few hrs to paint while people were playing on their phones.

Bark undercoat

This guy was photographed early one morning while I was camping at Futter Creek Camping reserve. This is a free camp beside the main road about 2.5hrs away from mums place in Queensland.

I must say that my Australian road trip is giving me an endless supply of subjects to paint, I’m having a hard time choosing which animal to paint.

More bark work, eyes and beak

I must have followed this guy around the creek for a good 10mins trying to get some nice shots. The ground close the the creek was like sinking mud, so I had to step from grass tuft to grass tuft.



I’ve painted an under coat for the breast and head feathers, adding a little shadow to give a more rounded look.

Also I introduced some extra green colour into the bark as it was looking a little bland and wanted another subtle colour that wasn’t in the kookaburra.

I think this was a favourite tree of the kookaburra as it was covered in poop, which I decided to only paint a fraction of it.

This is where I got up to while at my sisters trying to find a nice balance between been social and not too antisocial while pursuing my hobby.

Thanks to my sister and family I had a gift voucher to spend on more paints and my mother and Brian also gave me money. I now have new brushes, Paper, art folder and watercolour book to study.IMG_3654

A little shot of me painting showing you the scale of the painting and small brushes while trying not to place the paint brush on any white bits.

This is 95% complete, just adding a few more shadows and some nice blues and greens  on the wings.IMG_3655 2

Overall I’m very happy with this grumpy fella and can’t wait to see it framed up.

This is the first painting of the new year 2020 unfortunately I’m not very good at writing 2’s, so that’s something I’ll have to work on. Trouble is you only get one chance at signing the artwork when you have a white background.

I’m enjoying painting fur rather than feathers so maybe I’ll do some kangaroos or possums next. Maybe a koala but I’ll probably have to visit the zoo to get some good photos of them as there hard to find and way up high in the trees.

Not that we’re going to have many left with these bush fires all over Australia, its killing millions of animals and destroying massive amounts of habitats. Don’t be surprised if you see some bush fire themes coming into my paintings over the next couple of months, I find this heartbreaking.

Two weeks ago I was in an area where massive bushfires were less than 5km away at Glenella Guesthouse. I was lucky to have friends at the bottom of the mountains where I could stay away from the fires and continue you painting, Thank you M & D.

For all those that are concerned about me and my family I’m now 1400km away from the Blue Mountains fires and safe in Bundaberg. There are fires in Queensland but not too close to us at the moment.

I feel for my friends and their families that are still in fire affected areas and hope you all remain safe.


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