Spreading My Wings ~ Who’s Next?

I’m excited about just starting a painting of a Brown Pelican and wanted to give you a glimpse of it after its initial base-coat.  The upper yellow area will become crashing surf and is the area I will be developing first.  The whitewater in the surf will pick up a little of the still drying yellow paint, giving the water some warmth from the sun. The darker, green water will also blend with some of the yellow paint and help create a sense of translucency.  

Brown Pelican painting (base coat) by William R. Beebe

Brown Pelican painting (base coat) by William R. Beebe

Once I add the bright white seawater it will establish the lightest areas around the pelican’s head and from there it will be easier to work in the mid-tones and darker colors throughout the painting.  

Jen and I were walking the beach in Duck, NC a few years ago when we saw this pelican in the surf.  He continued up onto the sand, laid down and took a little snooze right in front of us.  We were quite close and our presence didn’t seem to faze him a bit.  

My photo of a Brown Pelican on the beach in Duck, NC

My photo of a Brown Pelican on the beach in Duck, NC

It was the first time I had seen a pelican that close.  A passerby told us that this was quite an unusual sighting along the beaches of Duck.  At the time, I knew he would make a wonderful subject for a painting, but I was busy painting ships and landscapes.  

Now that I’m “spreading my wings” and painting birds, I thought this is the time to take on the challenge of re-creating that special moment we had that day on the beach and paint Mr. Pelican!

Here is a picture of me in my studio standing alongside my pelican painting (base coat only) with a few of my most recent bird paintings, all still in the drying process.  

Me in my studio

Me in my studio

I’ll post a follow-up blog once the pelican is further along, or finished.  Look out ospreys, eagles, glossy ibises, egrets, woodpeckers, warblers and kingfishers; you might be next!


One of the joys of being an artist is having the freedom to follow my passion...
— William R. Beebe
What's next?    Drawing by William R. Beebe

What's next?   

Drawing by William R. Beebe