Friday, 20 March 2020

Australian Artist magazine article - Borneo rainforest

The latest edition of Australian Artist magazine is now available. It's titled 'How to Sketch in a Rainforest'.

The May edition is part 2 of this adventure where I will tell the story of my rainforest sketching experience and introduce you to some of the amazing creatures found in the Amazon rainforests.

Here are a few images from the article.



My sketching group stayed at Rimba Lodge, right on the Sekonyer River and we visited three orangutan rehabilitation stations: Camp Leakey, Tanjung Harapan and Pondok Tanggi.


This was my initial sketch for the rainforest scene. I added a page to the existing watercolour book which folds down back into the book when closed.



This was the finished pen and wash sketch of the rainforest scene with various creatures in the rainforest.

Watch out for part 2 of the Australian Artist article which is available in May, 2020.



Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Amorphophallus titanum

My painting of the Amorphophallus titanum (Titan arum) is finished. I painted on Arches 640gsm hot pressed paper and the size is 75cm high x 57 cm wide. It was definitely a labour of love and I enjoyed working with many techniques.

Some of the detail and use of masking fluid for the stem. 

Final painting

More detail on the spadix, achieved with masking fluid.


I will be painting a partner to this flower - same family and slightly different species. It is not often I have the chance to paint 'at my leisure' and have things nicely finished before an exhibition.

Thursday, 13 February 2020

Titan arum - new painting

Recently I visited the Cairns Botanical Gardens in northern Queensland. The very hot and humid conditions were ideal for their collections of tropical plants.

I fell in love with the incredible Carrion Lilies with their huge presence, colours and design elements.  They grow to about 3 metres.

Above is the Amorphophallus decus-silvae which is found in Java, Indonesia.

After returning from Cairns I visited the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney and discovered the wonderful Amorphophallus titanum - Titan arum,  which is an herbaceous flowering plant with the largest unbranched inflorescence in the world.

It is commonly known as the Corpse Lily due to its foul smelling inflorescence. The odour resembles rotten flesh which attracts the pollinators Flesh Flies and Carrion Beetles. The Titan arum is endemic to the hot and humid rainforest areas of Indonesia but they can be seen in many botanical gardens worlewide, including Sydney, Australia.

They only bloom every 4-10 years which make them a very special addition to any collection.

Below are the initial washes of my flower, and I am planning to do a second painting of the Amorphallus decus-silvae to compliment the Titan arum.








The spadix has a very 'bubbled' surface, so I applied masking fluid over a very light wash. More washes are to be painted over the masking fluid.

Still lots of detail to complete to finish off this painting - and this is the part I love the most!!!