Throughout Kakadu National Park, the landscape is dominated by the Arnhem land and Kakadu escarpments. In their own  right, these bands of ancient sandstone are spectacular sights. Seen across the wetlands and  through curtains of paperbark trees, the escarpments add a rich, warm shot of colour to a fairly monochrome landscape.

In this painting I want to use a sickly pink acrylic pigment to exaggerate the warm hues of the escarpment. To really give this colour some impact I will contrast it with some raw Ultramarine Blue


The spectacular Kakadu escarpment

The range of colours for this painting is very small. Medium Magenta Acrylic being the only unusual pigment.


On the extreme left, above, is a small water spray. Not in the image is a 3″ Hake brush


A rough sketch sketch provides just enough information to place the various elements. The first washes are gradations of Ultramarine Blue and Alizarin Crimson.


Once the first washes are completely dry, the foliage can be suggested with varying mixtures of Quinacridone Gold, Alizarin and Phthalo Blue. In order to make the shapes appear random and uncontrived, the paint is splashed onto the paper then the edges are adjusted before the pigment dries.  The important thing to remember with these shapes is to put as much variation as possible into the edges.

The horizontal bands of white paper will later be tinted to represent the horizontal line of the waters edge.


More detail is added to the foliage and reflections. The pure Ultramarine that will form the shadow at the bottom of the escarpment is dropped in and softened with a damp 1″ brush

A liner brush is used to add the fine twigs and branches. The paler, main tree trunks, are lifted out with a damp 1″ flat brush.


Finally the sickly pink acrylic is dropped in over a wash of Quinacridone Gold and Alizarin Crimson. A wash of Phthalo Blue cools down the water. Graded washes of Ultramarine Blue darken the outer edges of sky and water.

With the painting once again , thoroughly dry, pools of White Gouache are dropped into the sky and water and adjusted with a dry hake brush and water spray.

The last step is to add some Burnt Sienna Ink marks and Black and White charcoal pencil lines to suggest  finerl detail.


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