I have been trying to work out a way of depicting the vegetation on the rocky hillsides of Mt Augustus – a huge rocky mountain in the Gascoyne area of Western Australia. We went there a few months ago and I was intrigued by the delicate-looking bushes and small trees that grow in an incredibly inhospitable environment. These small trees remind me of the carefully controlled plants you see in Japanese gardens. The leaves seem to shimmer and have a softness that contrasts with the red rocks and pebbly surface of the hill. The sketches above are explorations of how I might be able to convey this. There is a photo of the hillside behind my sketchbook. Below is another attempt in pencil.