Kata Jhuta

Alice Springs 2010 664

The photo was taken in 2010 on a rainy day – the sky was bleak and the Olgas were purple instead of the usual brilliant red-orange. In this painting however, I wanted the typical bright blue outback sky to complement the usual orange of the mountains, so I painted the scene in the colours that I had seen previously.

One day though I’ll paint the scene just as photographed.


To get started I made an orange mark on the canvas that had been previously gessoed. The canvas was 1200 x 900, used in landscape aspect.


I roughly added colour with a palette knife to the red sandy area at the bottom of the canvas. I used a range of reds, oranges, yellows, dark brown and green not taking care where the different colours were placed. 


The paint was scraped across the canvas with a large palette knife.


I marked sections on the canvas in proportion to the photo. A  green area was added where the tree line was. 


The mountains were sketched in.

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The sky area was painted with a wash of Ultramarine Blue.



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A range of warm colours from yellow to red-purple was palette knifed onto the red sandy section and a soft blue-green section was painted just below the tree line.

The tree line was loosely painted with dark green and some trunks were added.

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This is a close up of the picture above showing the appearance of the palette knifed areas. Some of the very first painted areas are still apparent. 

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The mountains were painted with a red-orange mix. Detail on the mountains was painted with a blue-purple mix. The sky was overpainted with Ultramarine Blue, Phthalo Blue and white.

More green mixes were added to the tree line and a few smaller trees were brought down from the tree line.

Random marks were scattered across the sandy area at the bottom.


Further work has been done on the sky. Clouds were added.

The mid value areas of the mountains were overpainted with various mixes of orange, red and red-orange. The mountains were highlighted with lighter and brighter mixes of red-orange. The creases in the mountains were highlighted with a lighter blue mix.


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A close-up of the lower area showing mark making and the addition of crayon scribbles.


A close up of the area just under the tree line


The finished painting.

Crayon marks were added throughout the painting.

A lighter blue-purple mix was painted randomly though the tree area.

A lead in track was added from bottom left.