Brandberg project

The Brandberg is one of my favourite places.  It is a large granite plugin Namibia, about 200kms North of Swakopmund and 100km East of the Coast at Henties Bay.  The last time I went there I took some photos which I have been wanting paint ever since.  This morning I got up early to make a start – supported by Mia.  I am working on a sheet of Arches 600gm Cold Pressed 1020x1530mm which is BIG, for me anyway.

Here is my set up as I started:


I used the ruler and tape measure to get the dimensions right between the photos I am using and the drawing.  Each of the ravines and peaks are quite well known to people in Namibia.

Here is the drawing:


And here is the first wash I put in just before zooting off for a surf with my boys:


I am ready to do the first wash on the mountain and put this here as a commitment to move forward in spite of fear.  This is where the wheels often come off for my paintings.

The map referrence of the place where I took the photos is 21°15’46.29″S  14°36’57.28″E – I took this of Google Earth – you can see the stuff I am painting from 4kms up – awesome stuff.  If you look at the massif from higher you can it is round, probably an volcanic vent for rock that has long since eroded and washed away.

Here is the next wash:


I am now working out the detail for the foreground.   Maybe you can see the pencil.

Here is today’s work – I was hoping to do more but have to rush up to the Helderberg Nature Reserve to chat the guys there about a possible Exhibition…


Well today was not a painting day – but I had time to do some tonight.  Here is how my Brandberg watercolour looks now:


I hope it is just the warm light but it looks verrry yellllow to me – eek.  It was quite a mission to put all the detail into the mountain.  I have some gaps in my photos and each valley and peak needs to work.  I really want to go back – well after all I need to collect better info.

mmmm I may have to put a glaze over the sky –

OK here is my Saturday morning bit.  I think the mountain is pretty much done apart from some touch ups.  the next area is the foreground.


I am getting to know each of the ravines and buttresses – ready for version 2.  Of course wisdom would suggest that I should have done a smaller version, say on a full size Arches 300gm – but that would have been too, well, wise… heh heh

Here is how it looks at the end of Saturday.  So what do you think.  I am keen to finish this off tomorrow and get it out there.



12 thoughts on “Brandberg project

  1. Hey Bill – The big wash worked better than usual – maybe the paper had something to do with it. Arches is forgiving stuff and 600gm doesnt conkle at all. I used a squirrel mop which hold a lot of water and kept a bead of water and colour on the leading edge. I also used a porcelain bowl to mix up lots of colour with blobs on the side to steer the colour change as I went. The brush managed about 2/3 of the width of the sheet before I had to refill. S

  2. your painting GLOWS so far! Even though you put a lot of detail on the mountain I love the simplicity of the overall design. And yes, you were VERY BRAVE to work on paper that large. It will be a masterpiece when completed!

    • Thanks hey Carol – I have taken it as far as I would like – I am ready for the next one if time allows – I have a busy couple of months coming up – I am coming to see how you are going soon – S

  3. Exhibition? That sounds exciting! I did see this little sentence that you slipped in there but had to dash off before I could put some exclamation marks up about the prospect of you having your own show!!!!!!!!

    • Howzit June – I will put a post about it – I think it is an amazing opportunity. I have to make racks for paintings and 100 other things to be ready but I am so keen.

      cheers hey

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