Walking on the edge of Autumn, is a wonderfully creative zone to be in. Cool mornings finally settle into place. Scorches of summer heat have scarred the land however, in monochromatic crisp browns.

I left early for my walk, grateful for the invigorating morning air and full of curiosity. Wondering. What things of interest might I find today?  Even if,  its the dry edge of Autumn.


Bushland landscape in oils, debiriley.com
Dry Bushland, Oils


The Landscape is Dry

No, at first I wasn’t duly impressed.

As you probably realize – I Adore Color!  This can be a distraction.

A flaw, in a way.  Its not a good thing to overlook the bare bones beauty of the Tones and Shapes of the subject in front of me…… to try to find the showy, the flashy bright pretty colors that I ‘want to see’.



Flashy  is not always BEST.

Substance, a good underlying structure and foundation is though.  I did learn this from Simon Kogan…. post Light and Shade, the Lily.   Simon Kogan also introduced me to the incredibly amazing art of Morandi.  Morandi was able to distill tones, shapes and patterns into paintings that are simply beautiful. The bare bones of light and shade.


Work on Areas of Weakness

I have had to work hard on this area!  Its a struggle.

I know it is a weakness, I know it is there.

So I have to compensate.  I make myself look for the Bare Bones of the scene first… the Big shapes and the Tonal Values for success.


What I found was a cool pale sky, with monochromatic assorted browns of grass and foliage.  Nothing earth shaking.  At first glance.   Maybe a second, a third glance. A side glance!

I am determined.


bushland oil painting, landscape, debiriley.com
Dry Edge of Autumn

I am resolved,  determined.

Fine!   My husband might be correct in his opinion…. ‘stubborn.’    But,  I refuse to let things conquer me.  I can overcome them, if I persist with my efforts.

That, right there  is a great tip for  every Beginner artist – painter, watercolor, oil, what have you.




Taking several shots along my walk, mostly all in browns I came home to download the images.  Finding a few interesting ones to inspire me, I glanced at them, made mental and written  notes and set to work.



In The Studio

To the studio to get my oil paints out.   Which colors?  White, burnt sienna, burnt umber, cerulean, raw sienna.



My working process was fast and simple. I scrubbed the sky in. Using a cotton cloth I rubbed white with a bit of cerulean to rub in evenly in all over, smoothly. Like velvet.

Foreground browns were brushed in, as fast as possible.  Making sure the bottom had a hint, a suggestion…. of darker tone to ‘anchor’ the foreground.

The focal point foliage was next.  Using an old and nasty, bristly brush that was quite splayed and bent,  I dipped it into 2-3 colors.  Then roughly jabbed upwards.  This created a rough and ragged top of the foliage.



Balance of calm to busy I was aiming for was 2/3 calm and serene.   With 1/3  busier, that had more visual interest for the viewer.


The overall image  intent I believe was conveyed.   It speaks of Dry Summer heat and a stillness that waits.  For the rains to come.


A close up ‘detail’  of  Dry Bushland

bushland oil landscape, debiriley.com
Detall – of Dry Bushland







You can see I did not copy,  try to duplicate the photograph shown.

I chose to interpret and to feel it;  to express how I felt about it and what I heard it communicating to me.

When I paint the Land – I do my best to convey the Spirit of the place.  The essence, as opposed to the exact specific identifying crossroad sign or street numbers.

I aim to make the viewer  feel  something. I want to evoke an emotion in the viewer when they see the landscape painting.


This is finished. I won’t ‘add’ more embellishments to it.   No frills, no frou-frou.


I was determined… and I did find manage to uncover some tiny scraps of color here and there!   Which you will see in upcoming posts.