A major emergency has been declared at Sampson Flat in the Southern Mount Lofty Ranges, north-east of Adelaide, South Australia. The out-of-control bushfire is acting erratically and unpredictably, and is burning freely in all directions, driven by shifting, gusty winds and scattered thunderstorms.
My first two images of the forming smoke clouds were taken yesterday afternoon, and the following four images were taken at about 10am this morning as massive smoke clouds built up again. I live a safe distance away near to the south of Mount Lofty, so am able to take these photographs from an elevated position looking north-east across the Adelaide Hills. These fascinating and quite spectacular formations are only a minor part of the devastation happening unseen to me down on the ground, and I hope that the great work of all our emergency services can save lives and property over the coming days that this fire is expected to burn.
I’ve been working on several different pieces for my continuing Tales of Quahnarren project, and have finally finished, after much delay, one of the earliest illustrations I had planned: ‘Black Hunter.’
This was always a tricky image to compose and produce, particularly because I desired to show a night scene with a dark horse and rider. Exactly how to go about achieving this, whilst still making the image readable, was something I had to experiment with a little. This illustration evolved quite a bit as I progressed and it took some time for the final design of the rider’s mask and armour to emerge – the mask shape was heavily influenced by a very interesting gnarled piece of wood that I noticed at a nearby winery. It can help to be observant of nature!
I used a few custom brushes in Photoshop to produce the effects I was looking for – notably the various cloud shapes in the background and the detailed, textured finish for the horse. I’m happy that the final artwork has the darkness and mood that I was searching for, and yet still has enough contrast and light to be an effective illustration. It is also nice to see it completed…