Pelicans Twilight Flight ~ Cruising the Surf!

We love to go down to the beach late in the day to enjoy the last sunlight hitting the breakers.  Now that we’re into bird watching those moments are even more magical when we’re treated to a flock of Brown Pelicans cruising just above the surf on their last mission of the day.  

The painting I just completed, Pelicans Twilight Flight, represents just such a moment, which we experienced one evening along the coast of North Carolina.  The image of the Pelicans in formation flying low over the water is one that makes me long to go back to the beach.  I could stand there for hours watching them.

Pelicans Twilight Flight by William R. Beebe, 12 x 18, oil on board

Pelicans Twilight Flight by William R. Beebe, 12 x 18, oil on board

The moments happen quickly and are over all too soon.  The big birds move on and the surf keeps on churning.  I wanted to try and capture that movement and moment with the paint.  Much of the painting was done using a palette knife in order to create the turbulent surf and the motion of the birds.  In order to create the overall sense of serenity, I brushed the sky smooth with many layers of paint using the warm colors the sun created.

Pelicans Twilight Flight is now in the drying process.  I’ve moved on to a new painting, but I keep glancing over at it and studying it.  It makes me want to pack up and head to the beach.  It makes me nostalgic.  I hope it will conjure up the same feelings in those of you who have enjoyed similar moments at the beach, at twilight!


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