Flinders Ranges to Kangaroo Island – a natural history

The drawing below is a compilation of some of the sketches made on my last big camping trip through South Australia, redrawn and rearranged to suit the large sheet of paper. (To see some of the original sketches, visit my October 2013 archive). The sketches tell part of the story of the trip through the foliage, seeds, nuts and insects, with annotations as in my sketch book. These are from the dry inland areas, I am planning to do a companion piece using the objects found on the beaches and riversides.

The drawings have been amended a bit, tidied up and re-interpreted in some cases, but they are still the essence of what was journalled at the time – working with them transported me back to the hot, dusty days in the Flinders Ranges (Arkaroola and Wilpena) and the cool, damp greenery of Kangaroo Island.

The drawings were done with pen, then painted in watercolour, the annotations written in pen, on Magnani Corona paper. 70 cm x 50 cm

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35 thoughts on “Flinders Ranges to Kangaroo Island – a natural history

  1. Perhaps you are related to Beatrix Potter. Mostly she is known for her children’s books but she spent an enormous part of her life studying nature (fossils, fungi, plants and animals) and documenting her findings with drawings and writing.
    What beautiful studies you have done – and I can see you loved doing them. How did you find this particular paper from Magnani? I can see why you chose to use watercolour rather than pencils. Pen and watercolour are wonderful companions. Also I’m impressed how you managed to keep such a large sheet of paper so clean – when much of it is pure white.

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    1. What a compliment! Beatrix Potter’s letters were delightful with her perfect little drawings, far better than I can aspire to. But I did enjoy doing my little drawings, once I had accepted the idea of using watercolour the whole thing came together remarkably quickly. I got this paper because it was recommended by James at Magnani because it is a good smooth drawing paper and comes in very large sheets. This is a half sheet, a whole one is 70 x 100 cm. I was relieved that it took watercolour so well. It wasn’t hard keeping it clean surprisingly, probably because the whole piece was relatively quick, so I wasn’t leaning on it too much. Thanks for your lovely comments Julie!

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  2. Magnificent work! The text and the soul are as beautiful as the illustrations. This would make a fabulous print, of course. You should be a best-seller on the fine-art print market with such things, along with all of your other splendid art. Thanks, always, for sharing!
    xo
    Kathryn

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  3. I remember these drawings Anna and thought at the time they were such a gorgeous record of that camping trip .
    I’ve been catching up slowly … aha the HUGE piece of blank paper .. looks like virtually the same size was facing us both !
    Put together as a larger compilation your observations and little watercolours really work so well .. my eyes kept roaming round the page from one seed pod to moth to leaf … .
    Lots of potential for expanding here …
    Tales of the riverbank and seashore to look forward to then 🙂

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  4. It is a big piece of paper Poppy – the next challenge will be to use a WHOLE sheet! Don’t think I have ever gone that big tho … but the sea shore one will be the same size as this one. There are logistical issues in using large pieces, as I’m sure you found too, not really enough room on my drawing board, I found I was making dents in the edges, but I don’t think they are obvious. The new one hasn’t quite started yet, that is a job for today! So glad you enjoyed this one, hope you will like the next instalment!

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