Sketching in paddocks

011_AW_13The 4 day sketching trip to Theodore was a really great break. Outdoor sketching always makes me feel more connected to my subject. I can be as messy and freed-up as I like as I’m not trying to make finished pieces, though sometimes there are little surprises worth hanging.

I have a basic kit that I can carry away from the car, and I like to stand when I work so the metal easel comes too. And a thermos. And some snacks. And cake. No point suffering…


This cattle property was just covered with enormous bottle trees, they show how much the farmers love them when every other tree species is gone. On the ecosystem maps I’m referencing (with colour), these trees would be in a ‘white zone’, and here they’re marching up the hill toward a protected ‘pink zone’.

Using gouache on Arches cold pressed 300gsm, I laid down colours that referenced the maps – magenta, green, oranges and then painted over this with white acrylic. Gouache is so perfect for quick outdoor sketching as it dries fast.

013_AW_13It does feel like something is happening with this little sketch, there’s a bit of whimsy. And a prickly pear in the foreground – what an interesting link to New Mexico and the region!

So, out of the paddock and back in the studio I’ve laid down some really light oil bases in those colours, letting it dry and will see what emerges over the next couple of weeks.



7 thoughts on “Sketching in paddocks

  1. Adrienne you are a star! Love your work, the country looks amazing as do your works 🙂

  2. I agree – I just love that little gouache sketch too! Can’t wait to get my paints out again … soon, very soon 🙂

  3. I somehow missed bottle tree country on my grand adventure round Oz in 1975, so hope I get a chance to see some when I’m there again in a few months.

  4. I’m sure you will Dave – if nothing else, there are 2 examples just off the Main Street of Childers! But certainly not the same as seeing them in groups in expanses of landscape … an artist’s expedition in Sept/Oct perhaps?

  5. Something IS happening with the sketch. I like these trees. Here’s to “messy and freed up” with some serious whimsy.

    I hope to follow your lead soon. I find that sometimes small, thrown-off panels capture something that is more difficult to get at on larger canvases. I don’t want to loose that attempting to make a “statement.”

    Trying to finish up new work for a group show here in a couple of weeks, then it’s off to the races with you all. Champing at the bit . . . CC

  6. Rather I DO want to loose it, I don’t wan’t to lose it! CC

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