COUNTRY AUSTRALIA - student project

Greetings from Country Australia: where I live, in one of the sunniest states, Queensland. This will inspire my postcard series. I love different textures, sounds and movement, outdoors. I hope to capture some of that, and what we do on our five-acre, property. I created some texture line-work for inspiration:


COUNTRY AUSTRALIA - image 1 - student project 

I really like round shapes. All these reminded me of the rough, random and sometimes symmetrical textures, found outdoors. I don't think I will use all of them, but I have a few ideas for some.


COUNTRY AUSTRALIA - image 2 - student project

This line-work, demonstrated movement and changes of perspective, really well. It creates the appearance that disturbance has taken place. Either in the atmosphere or ground. I wanted to use one of these, but found it just didn't fit the subjects I've chosen. Ideation time: or gathering my ideas together, in some kind of attempt to be organised!


COUNTRY AUSTRALIA - image 3 - student project

My focus will largely be on outside living elements, but with some domesticated elements as well, to denote a human presence. I want to create a casual, laid-back atmosphere, with the appearance of lots of space. So then it was time to scour my personal photos collection for references:


COUNTRY AUSTRALIA - image 4 - student project


I chose a native bird, and a domesticated hen - as well as a native eucalyptus tree and a man-made trellis, that goes up too! The idea was to show the contrast between the natural elements and man-made ones. But also the similarities

This idea came after the ideation phase, because browsing the reference photos made me realise, I needed to narrow the focus to what makes living here, unique to us. Which is our attempt to cultivate nature in our garden, via edibles and chickens, against a wild backdrop with plans of it's own!


COUNTRY AUSTRALIA - image 5 - student project


I was surprised my first attempt at planning the thumbnails, were the only ones I needed to make. As I was happy with the composition and values. It took me a while to make the actual postcards though. As a few other priorities came up. But I was happy to finish them before October.


COUNTRY AUSTRALIA - image 6 - student project


The Kookaburra was perhaps the easiest, and why I started with him first. I used ink washes, and a brush pen to finish the details. I added texture with feather shapes and some hatching. A little bit of the wood-grain texture was used at the bottom of the stump too.


COUNTRY AUSTRALIA - image 7 - student project


This was actually a fun piece to put together. The reference image didn't have free-range chickens, as they were in the chicken-tractor at the time. But I just used some simple chicken shapes and made them different colours, to help with perspective. For the shrub on the right, I used the scallops texture, which made it a bit different. This feels like a patch-work quilt to me, with so many different textures. But it somehow works.


COUNTRY AUSTRALIA - image 8 - student project


This hen, received quite a bit of texture, and I was able to incorporate the cobblestones at the bottom too. I think I liked the thumbnail of this better, as the background of the finished piece, seems a little sparse. It's difficult to know how much detail should go in the background though, especially with such busy texture, in the foreground chicken.


COUNTRY AUSTRALIA - image 9 - student project


I used more wood-grain texture in the tree-trunk, where this perspective sums-up the natural elements on our property. Utterly dwarfed by the vegetation. Eucalyptus trees are fast growers too. So unless you're disturbing the ground on a regular basis, these giants muscle there way in, before you know it. 


COUNTRY AUSTRALIA - image 10 - student project


I still have much to learn, using different ink textures with washes. Neither did I get to use any lettering like I was planning to either. But it was fun sharing my little part of the world with you all.



Chris Riley
Living the creative life