Sunday, 13 October 2019

Sketches of the Birds of Banks Street Reserve and 'Wild Impressions' Exhibition

After two years of visiting Banks Street Reserve, a beautiful urban park at only five kilometres from the Brisbane city, I felt like starting a series of small-size watercolour sketches about the birds I can see there. Starting with an Eastern Spinebill and a White-browed Scrubwren.

I am very excited to be part of this coming exhibition in Brisbane with the Queensland Wildlife Artists Society, I will be demonstrating on the Sunday afternoon. 

For those of you who are on Instagram, you can now follow my artwork and photography there too! I post some material that does not get share anywhere else like some of my best photos taken after my birding outings.

Sunday, 15 September 2019

Double-barred Finches - Indian Yellow - The Holmes Art Prize for Realistic Australian Bird Art

August Dry (Double-barred Finches) Handmade watercolour on Khadi handmade watercolour paper, 30 x 42cm, © Matteo Grilli

I was visiting a popular birding spot in Brisbane, Oxley Creek Common, on a very dry August day, a small flock of Double-barred Finches was busy finding food on the path and on the dry grasses nearby.

Indian Yellow makes a wonderful primary yellow, it leans towards orange in thick applications while it becomes a lemony yellow in light tints and washes. The Indian Yellow I make mixes beautifully with Prussian Blue for very natural greens or with Madder Red Deep for muted oranges, and Carmine for bright oranges and reds. It is staining and only lifts to a degree. Find it on Etsy.

One of my watercolours (Summer's End - Chestnut-breasted Mannikins) was selected as a finalist together with 34 more artists for the Holmes Art Prize for Realistic Australian Bird Art 2019, all the amazing artworks will be exposed at Mary Cairncross Reserve, Maleny until October 13.

Saturday, 17 August 2019

Making Terra Pozzuoli

Terra Pozzuoli is a natural red-earth colour, although originally from southern Italy, it can be found in  many other locations around the world, to me it would be the perfect colour to paint the Australian desert and similar landscapes. It is a very strong colour with a big personality, while mixing, a little will go a very long way, overpowering all other colours, it is in fact, the strongest of my palette. Used in small amounts with other colours can create the most beautiful, natural and harmonious mixes ideal to paint anything nature-related, from landscapes to architecture, wildlife and portraits.

Handmade Terra Pozzuoli watercolour paint on Etsy

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Eastern Spinebill

Eastern Spinebill, 30 x 42 cm, Handmade watercolour on Khadi paper, © Matteo Grilli

The Eastern Spinebill is one of my favourite birds, I particularly like its colours and pattern, I believe the three primary colours making up the plumage of this bird represent the prefect palette for me. A Subdued blue and red and an earthy yellow. A minimal palette for this winter visitor in Brisbane, this bird in particular was seen at Gold Creek Reservoir, a favourite Birding place for me.

Sketchbook showing palette tests.

I would like to invite you to visit my new blog on the bird-life of Banks Street Reserve, a place I regularly visit for bird watching. At the end of 2017 I decided to adopt Banks Street Reserve as my birding patch. Living only at five minutes drive and only cycled by the creek a few times years ago, I had a feeling the place may have held some surprises. So my New Year resolution for 2018 was to visit Banks Street Reserve at least once a week. Surprising it was indeed... 

Friday, 14 December 2018

Mulga Parrot

I completed this painting of a male Mulga Parrot during the Australia Wild 2018 exhibition last month at the Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens. It reminds me of an amazing trip to the beautiful dry inland Australia, Alice Springs and surrounding areas. I love the rough texture of this Khadi handmade watercolour paper.

Mulga Parrot, 30 x 42 cm, Handmade watercolour on Khadi paper, © Matteo Grilli

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Australia Wild 2018 Exhibition

Australia Wild 2018  exhibition has been a great success, we had many visitors and it was such a pleasure to meet other artists, share their processes as well as meeting the public and answering all their questions. I was told more than once how my work was an inspiration to some, which I found flattering and I felt very thankful for it.

The Pale-headed Rosella watercolour was awarded the People's Choice Award and all but one of my paintings sold. 

I had lots of fun while demonstrating, here is an unfinished Mulga Parrot.

Thank you to the Queensland Wildlife Artists Society members and volunteers and to all the visitors from the Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens.

Monday, 22 October 2018

Upcoming Exhibition: Australia Wild and Old Schoolhouse Gallery

I will be exhibiting a selection of  five original framed watercolour paintings at the Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens exhibition Australia Wild, 8-11 November, The Auditorium, with many other members of the Queensland Wildlife Artists Society.

I will also have two paintings exhibited for the whole month of November at the Old Schoolhouse Gallery 124-126 Shore Street North, Cleveland Point, QLD 4163, open Friday, Saturday and Sunday 9.30 to 4.30.

Sunday, 8 July 2018

Summer's End - Chestnut-breasted Mannikins and Handmade Watercolours Video

Summer's End, handmade watercolours on Fabriano watercolour paper, 45 x 38 cm, 
© Matteo Grilli.

I painted most of this watercolour while demonstrating at the Logan Art Gallery during my last exhibition. A the end of summer, Chestnut-breasted Mannikins gather in large groups including all the young birds. I saw this family of five at Sandy Camp Road park on the eastern Brisbane suburb of Wynnum North.

This video shows how I make my handmade watercolour paints, I hope you enjoy:

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