We arrived back in Darwin, put our vehicle into storage and met Amanda and Gordon, our tour guides, at the Mindil Beach Markets. After wandering  around and watching the sun set into the ocean, we all headed back into the city for dinner.


Monday, the 26 people that form our group got to know each other over drinks on the balmy veranda of the Holiday Inn.


Tuesday, our first painting day,  we headed down to Government House , spread ourselves out on the rolling lawns opposite, and filled in the morning painting under the shade of a banyan tree.


The afternoon was hot, so we found a shady spot opposite our hotel and painted the fringe of vegetation between us and the Arafura Sea


Off to Kakadu and three days at Cooinda Lodge, Our coach driver had a tremendous knowledge of the aboriginal people of the area, having lived and worked with them over the years, He took us around Nourlangie and filled us in on many of the aboriginal customs and beliefs.




Whistling Ducks – Yellow Waters. Except for the fact that these guys are walking around, they are the most artificial looking animal I have ever seen. They don’t  like getting wet either, happy just to stand beside the water.


We watched this Croc cruise past our boat accompanied by a large Barramundi with a death wish.


Red Lillys – It may not look like it, but every bit is edible!


Pair of Jabiru (Male with dark eye)


Cruising Black Cockatoo – they fly slowly in formation like a flock of B52’s on a mission.


Wetland Waterlilies


In the afternoon heat, an old Akubra in front of our lodge was a more comfortable option for a painting subject. Just so things didn’t become too comfortable, we limited ourselves to just two colours.


Home Billabong at Cooinda Lodge was dotted with shady clearings looking across the water – great places to paint.


Home Billabong – Cooinda


If this little fellow hadn’t hopped, we would never have seen him


South Alligator River, meandering across the wetlands


Arnhemland Escarpment


Ranger Uranium Mine


South to Katherine


Gold rush architecture, Pine Creek NT


Another shady Banyan tree, this time in Katherine


Some transparent watercolor washes and a lot of pale Ultramarine Gouache made this demo a lot of fun.


Splashes of Alizarin, ink marks, charcoal pencil lines and fine rigger strokes suggest a lot of complicated detail without being too descriptive.

17 thoughts on “OUTBACK WORKSHOP 1

  1. Really impresive painting !! Beatiful paintings.
    I’m an advertising man that left painting for make business, but trying to recover the times lost.
    Your painting is an inspiration !!
    I’m bookmarking your blog.
    Best regards,

  2. Amazing pictures!
    At first I thought this post was going to be the usual field trip report with girls squeeling everywhere seeing the boy they like in cool clothes and stuff like that.

    But turns out to be an amazing picturesque post!! I’m amazed at those paintings you (and your friends?) create. The edgy splashes and the combination of the watercolor is -speechless-

    Anyway, what kind of camera did you use? XLR? I’m quite convinced what ever it is, it’s not digital cam..

    I wish I can go too Darwin ;a;

    • Hi Juveniliare,
      Thanks for your comments and I’m glad you are enjoying the blog.
      The camera I use is a Pentax K20D. I’ve had Pentax film cameras for years and have accumulated some great lenses. Fortunately all the old pentax bayonet mount lenses are still compatible with their SLR digital cameras. My new favorite lens is a sigma 10 -20 mm lens designed for digital SLR’s – really wide – you have to watch your feet don’t sneak into the shot!


  3. John,
    Thank you for sharing such amazing inside in to our country. Allowing the group of Artists to see true beauty of the Land.. To teach them watercolour with significant, depth and two colours is certainly a learning curse.

    Barbara Fleming
    Happy Painting

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