One of my Fred William’s inspired experiments escaped into the wilds of Flickr a bit sooner than I was ready for (image on the right). It is based on a series of bracketed photos I took in the Deadman’s Gully park/wetlands behind Clifton Beach, just north of Cairns. I really liked the abstract patterns of the light and shade, particular as captured in a series of autoawesome HDR* images google had produced BUT whilst the shapes where amazing the colours where not realistic and somewhat hideous. I felt they did not convey “a true sense of the place”.
The problem of getting the colour right might not worry many but Fred Williams definitely did honestly represent the colour and texture of the Australian landscape. He also likely to being the process out in the landscape as a way to anchor his works with a true sense of the place. I actually don’t have a sketch to go with these images but I do have a couple of pages in my sketchbook that document all the water based media for sketch I had taken on my trip to north Queensland,. It wasn’t hard to scan this and use it on Corel Painter Essentials 4 (yes I haven’t updated yet!) to modify the palette of colours used in my strips. I then autopainted with a standard round watercolour brush to resample these images using my colour palette to give a more watercolour/gouache look. Much closer to what I remember of the place but still about the shapes and textures.
The final step was to place the strips over another HDR image from the set and now the images is working much better as a classic William’s painting that changes your sense of the place as space as you interact with the image. To do this display the Flickr image below full screen. Being by looking in detail close up and slowly step back still focussed on the image. You should soon reach the point where you feel you are there. Enjoying the shade and respite from the burning glare of the sun. Perhaps you are looking for your next meal, a large eel lurking in the pools, perhaps a fat mud crab hiding in the gnarled roots or perhaps you have an eye peeled for that crocodile looking for his dinner.