Above the Falls

Inspiration:

This artwork was inspired by the view across the river valley from the top of Russell Falls in Mt Field National Park, Tasmania. It is a short walk from the visitors’ centre, following the river through rainforest surrounded by moss-covered ground and light filtering through the high trees. The track opens out at the base of the cascading tiers of Russell falls – probably the most photographed falls in Tasmania. This is for good reason as it is truly beautiful, and on this occasion I was lucky enough to see it to full effect after recent rainfall. I then followed a track that climbs up the side of the valley to the top of the falls, and watched the water as it flowed over the edge and down into the cascades. The trees directly underneath were a sea of rich green, transitioning to the more olive greens of eucalyptus in the middle distance, and to blues towards the horizon.

Snapshot

One of the snapshots taken from above the falls. I usually take a series of pictures at different light exposures when I find a place that I might potentially use for an artwork. I also write down a few notes about the colours.

Composition Sketch

This is a sketch to define the composition of the finished artwork. This is where I take elements from the different snapshots, and move things around to make a good composition.

Stage 1

First layer drawn, carved and printed. Very soft blue for the water reflections and sky. Soft muted yellow for bark highlights and sunlight on the distant hills.

Stage 3

The lightest greens have now been added, and the sky and distant hills completed. I can now get going with the mid tones.

Stage 5

Two further stages on. Still defining the subtle lights, working forwards into the middle distance.

Stage 6

Beginning on the darker shades now. I’m pleased with how the earlier subtle shading is showing through.

Stage 8

Completed work! As always, the addition of the dark shades brings it to life.

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