Australian Chiaroscuro

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An Australian talking about painting the landscape and comparing it with other countries' always says, "the light is so different." What they mean is partly the unusual colours of this "wide brown land," but also the intensity of sunlight and the depth of shadow, the sort of thing that makes oils so convincing and watercolours often such a disappointment here.

These chiaroscuro (from the Italian 'light-dark') drawings with brush and ink capture the intensity and are maybe as convincing, to me at least, as more colourful landscape renderings - you just have to fill in the colours yourself, if you wish. The challenge from an artistic point of view is to create a composition where shadows, rather than outlines, create the forms and the illusion of 3-dimensional space.

(The variations in background tone are due to my scanner, not because they're on different kinds of paper.) 

Update, 2023: I have bound images from the 2009 Campervan Trip and some of the ones below from the Australia years into a book.

'Two blokes parking their ute outside a country pub

  A classic weatherboard holiday cottage typical of the Blue Mountains since a century ago

  A pub and shops in Carcoar, a sleepy mining town from the 1860s in central New South Wales long since left behind by the march of history...

Edge of town somewhere, with gum trees dotted about on the steep paddocks behind...

Eurama Castle is a ruin, once the home of Australia\'s \'Father of Federation\', Sir Henry Parkes, on the edge of Faulconbridge in the Blue Mountains. Built in 1882, it was twice destroyed by bush fires.

Urban Sydney ... neighbours in a highrise in Darlinghurst east of the Sydney CBD

Miners' cottages in Portland, an old quarry town west of the Blue Mountains

Newtown is a hip, feral part of old Sydney south of the University

The Orient Hotel, in the Rocks area of old Sydney ... a favorite pub

Poker machines, always available with grog in clubs and pubs, skilfully separate the working classes from their hard-earned wages....

A set of abandoned houses, probably for railway workers, in an old industrial town in central New South Wales

Homestead on a summer day somewhere out west.

Terrace houses just east of the Sydney CBD on a steep hill below Oxford Street

Somewhere out on the road to drought-afflicted Mudgee

Along the railway line in Enmore in Sydney's inner west

A small town pub with the sun high in the sky

Like most Sydney beaches, Mona Vale is a crescent bay edged by huge sandstone headlands

A small, unrestored terrace from 1888 in Sydney\'s inner west

  Tamarama is the tiny beach between Bondi and Bronte with its moderne Surf Life Savings Club commanding the sandstone headland

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