‘Dry Bushland’ Landscape in Oils

bushland oil landscape, debiriley.com

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.












Published by debiriley

The act of creation, in any media is a fascinating and magical process. I simply love to create. Expressing in color, line, tone, texture - as if, they were words upon a page. Creating a uniquely me, interpretation. Enjoy More of my "one-of-a-kind" expressive art at society6.com/debiriley and, redbubble.com/people/debijriley/shop

35 thoughts on “‘Dry Bushland’ Landscape in Oils

  1. Love the tonal values and textures in this Debi. And I love what you wrote: I want to feel it and evoke that feeling in the viewer. Good reminders for us. If we could all paint what we feel most and somehow communicate that joy, that intensity….we’d all create masterpieces. 💜

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  2. Most Beautiful Oil Painting Debi !!..Australia is most fortunate to have you living there!!. .. WOW!!..i love the feel of your impressions!!..(ps. Is this on Canvas ?) .. Much regards, Joanne

    Liked by 1 person

    1. hello Joanne! thank you…. and a question for you I keep looking for your website/Blog but never find anything! Might there be something coming along down the track, perhaps?! Maybe?? It would be lovely if so 🙂 cheers, Debi

      Liked by 1 person

  3. 😊lol.. THANK YOU DEBI !!.. I signed up as a blogger : I know !.. Then had no idea WHAT to say or share .. You are so encouraging.. By following along. .. I have inspiration, photographs, poetry, that I ALMOST posted this week. .. Short answer, A photo?? .. And poetry for a MAYBE.. Joanne

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  4. I appreciate your sentiment that you are wanting to evoke feeling in the viewer, you strip down the busy scene and present it humbly. Your striving is very spiritual, well, at least it comes across to me that way, simply capturing the essence of nature and offering the viewer your humble yet wordless opinion. 🙂 Beautiful little painting.

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    1. thank you Jennifer, Less is More …. can be a struggle though sometimes!! I guess thats when I know its time to go off on a side tangent and let loose what ever needs out.

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  5. So lovely….And your thoughts on the feeling in a painting…. without that where would any of them be? Your work is always full feeling, and capturing the essence of your subject. Beautiful work, and I enjoyed reading your thoughts about your process! ~Rita

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    1. thank you!!! that is one of the best comments and insights – “your work is always full of feeling”
      Have a wonderful and more relaxful, weekend Rita. cheers, Debi

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  6. My first feeling was “dry, desert” and then I wanted to feel hot, but I didn’t. It actually felt like there might be a cooling breeze after a hot day. Or maybe that first refreshing breeze of morning . The heat is in the land and the relief is in the air. If you had put some yellow in the sky I think I would have felt hotter. This bluish gray colour makes the air bearable.

    Those are the feelings your painting gives me. Definitely dry though.

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    1. yes! it was still early morning, you are right 🙂 its about the only time right now I am able to get out to stroll. Thank you for all your thoughts on this painting and the atmosphere!
      Wonderful to get your insights 🙂

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  7. these colors are so wonderful and calming and you made the best out of it. I know this kind of colors from Greece in the autumn, too. At first everything looks rather dead but you can still find a lot of beauty in it. cheers Mitza

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thanks!! everything has its time, its place and season….. our calling as artists is to Find, the beauty. as you do so well, with your doors, and windows, and those flowers 🙂

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