Looking at the construction of space in Aboriginal Artists’ painting

Over the past year or so, I’ve been looking closely at many Aboriginal Artists’ work.  I’ve been admiring the complete finished works, and also looking at technique.  Because of my own work, I’m interested in how broad areas of ostensibly one colour, are painted, so that they are interesting to look at and not flat.  Here are some examples:

Large areas are painted with a wide brush, and with a thin wash, so that the background colours shows through, or the foreground hue is slightly varied, as in the white in the righthand detail:

Below are examples of monotone dots painted over backgrounds of varied hues, also lines and scrapes.  The righthand example shows monotone dots over almost monotone backgrounds.

In this one the dark red-brown background shows round the edges of the bright foreground colours:

And here a variety of background colours – many layers – are held together by a network foreground which is mainly one hue.


The works I viewed are in the collections of the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, and the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.  I apologise for not naming the artists as they are too numerous to list here, some paintings are collaborations; I reproduce portions of their work here with profound admiration for their talents.