40 x 60 cms Own Reference
Luminance & Prismacolor pencils on Canson Pastel Board
Landscape drawing and painting is challenging and involves the understanding, appreciation and mastery of a number elements and skills in order to produce successful and meaningful work. The study of light is a prime example. It takes years to gain the knowledge and confidence to draw or paint light correctly, both through acute observation and (later) in imaginative work.
I first began serious studies of light at Art School. The subjects were boring (cubes, spheres etc), but I learnt so much about direct and indirect light and the resulting shadows. I took this knowledge with me and 4 years later I began exhibiting landscapes with a strong emphasis on light and shadow.
Over the next 40 years I developed my art (especially drawing) with the Tasmanian landscape as its main subject. Not all my work has been realist-based. As I have gained experience (and age) my subjects have often been treated in a semi-abstract manner, even abstract on occasions.
The quality and colour of light varies considerably in Australia and there is much to inspire artists. The ‘pink’ light at the northern end of Lake St. Clair, the ‘yellow’ glow in the late afternoon at Sisters Beach in NorthWest Tasmania, the strong, sharp light of Tasmania’s Midlands and the ‘white’ light of the Ringarooma Valley in NorthEast Tasmania, have been very important in my work during my time in Tasmania.
Now I reside in Cairns, Far North Queensland, and I have been introduced to light of a different nature. Tropical rainforests are often dark, muggy and wet. The light streams in through gaps in the forest canopy and collides with all it meets. The impact at times is amazing, especially when objects are lit up to the point that they become transparent. Out in the ‘open’ the light is strong, sharp and direct. Some of the resulting shadows I have witnessed have certainly grabbed my attention!
This is a new world for me, an exciting time, but also challenging. This totally new environment is so opposite to what I’ve been used to and it will require time on my part to explore, look, document and catalogue what I see. I have made a solid start with 4 drawings in the past 3 weeks.
The featured drawing is of the impact of sunlight on some leaves in a creek bed in the Daintree. It’s almost finished and will be one of a series that looks at the impact of light on semi-submerged and submerged objects in water.