Kookaburra in Eucalyptus – Illustration In Watercolour

Kookaburra in Eucalyptus – Illustration In Watercolour – +/- 28x36cms – Available

This painting has had a funny little story to it coming to be, and I am really just so happy with how it is finally coming to life. There are a few classic subjects I love to illustrate in our character filled Aussie birds – well, I love all of them really – but the Lorikeets, magpies and the Kookaburra are a must paint subjects for any Australian bird artist but boy do these days and years fly by us so fast!




I realised it is actually some years since I last visited these classics, and that didnt seem right at all. So about a year ago I designed this Kookaburra painting, drew it all up to start with enormous enthusiasm… then got totally sidetracked with other projects. My Kookaburra has been packed up and stored safely away for this day, and this morning I got straight up knowing it was time, so I pulled it out and have not stopped for a moment on it since. Theres a time and place for every piece I find, and today its just the right time at last. Honestly, the alignment today felt so good!

Finally this painting, which I immediately loved, is coming to life. What incredible subjects the kookaburras are too. Incredibly textural and intricate, their palette is mousy earthy and simple colours, a wild swing from my last study of the Rainbow Lorikeet in Orange Flowering Gum! Still, striking and beautiful none the less. Making colours sing in their softness and subtlety is something I adore exploring. I knew as soon as this little guys eye went in, I loved him, and I hope you do too. Every brushstroke seemed so in tune, breathing life into him with every touch and detail until a personality I felt was so familiar stared back at me from the page. Its wonderful feeling that.





Rendered in watercolour, this study features a spectacular yellow eucalyptus surrounding for my kookaburra and measures around 28×38 cms in image area. Itll be a striking but delicate piece and statement, encapsulating the essence and beauty of the Aussie bush. This kookaburra has been inspired from my friend and photographer Peter Caddy, and its an honour to be able to create this study from such lovely reference and inspiration.

The eucalyptus was a discovery I made some years ago now, grinding to a halt on a stretch of highway in nowhere land upon the sight of this breathtaking tree, amass with flowers. I leapt out to capture it and even after this piece, I would truly love to capture it on a large scale again sometime…. so if that sounds like a good match for you, let me know! In any case, I have this latest painting drawn up and underway, starting with the kookaburra, the star of this story. I am loving every bit of it and look forward to sharing the journey of this painting with you as I go. Thanks everyone ⭐️

10,000 tiny brushstrokes later, my kookaburra is complete, with his gorgeous, distinctive kookaburra tail and splash of beautiful blue on his feathery shoulder. Every feather is its own little work of art, together its a lovely story that has a real sense of tranquility and peace to it. Excitingly, this is also the very first painting I have created with MY OWN RANGE OF BRUSHES! SO EXCITING! I know, a few years got away from us with stupid Covid but were back, on track and will be launching these for everyone to enjoy in the coming days. I can definitely say, I am happy with them so im definitely feeling pretty chuffed and excited on that front.




Now work has begun on the yellow eucalyptus flowers and what stunning colour it is. These large gum blossoms and the subject in general, really do capture such a classic Aussie feel, and are a perfect compliment to my kookaburra illustration. Of course, to me the botanical illustration elements to my paintings are my primary inspiration in my work, and this eucalyptus overwhelmed me with its beauty when I first saw it. It still does! I captured this on my travels, growing by the roadside and it has taken me far too long to paint this gorgeous tree in one of my paintings. But here we are, exploring it so beautifully here in this study. Its a lot of work but its coming together nicely now.








Next come the stems, branches, those gorgeous clusters of gum blossom buds, with their licks of the same flower yellow ribboning through their milky white surface… and all the tiny details that connect the existing elements together. It’s fussy work, like it all is, but it’s a stage that brings everything to life and substance, meaning and purpose and that’s a really satisfying thing to see in the evolution of a painting. This painting is taking shape nicely now and it remains a delight. With the kookaburra, the gum blossoms, gum blossom buds and stems in we are left with just the leaves to complete this beautiful bird illustration.







Now I begin the intricate task of rendering these wonderful eucalyptus leaves and surroundings for my kookaburra. Gum leaves of soft blue greens, delicate mauves, warm earthy browns and the zing of those stunning yellows gum blossom flowers flush through this element in perfect harmony tying everything together with a dash of fun, light and life in the mix. I love colour playΒ  and relationships as you well know.

So here we have the lower half of the paintings foliage painted in, and its time to drift through the scene to the top, bringing the last of the leaves to life, and the completed painting together.















Now weve completed the top left corner of eucalyptus blossom, branches and gum leaves and weve reached the conclusion of this beautiful journey and story. I have thoroughly enjoyed creating this bird study, and exploring the eucalyptus botanical illustration element in this piece too. The colours have been a delight to work in and it has been awesome to return to painting a kookaburra after so long, thats for sure. I really love this piece actually, it has that same sense and calming character as the kookaburra himself, a celebration of two completely gorgeous and iconic Australian personalities!














Kookaburra in Eucalyptus is available so let me know if you have any enquiry on this classic aussie piece