Shore Bound ~ painting a seagull in flight!

My painting entitled Shore Bound was a scene that appealed to me because of the churning surf close to shore, which encompasses the seagull in flight and creates a lot of activity in an otherwise peaceful beach setting.  Two thirds of the painting is calming and the other third is a bit frenzied.  

This particular seagull is coming off the sea and getting set for landing on the sandy shore. I like the way the tail feathers fan out and the wings are fully extended. The yellow legs and feet are bracing for touch down.  

    Shore Bound    by William R. Beebe, 22 x 28, Oil on Canvas, $3800

Shore Bound by William R. Beebe, 22 x 28, Oil on Canvas, $3800

The gull is highlighted from the sun above, with most of the body and wings in shadow. Between the delicate feathers and the motion of flight, much of the detail is lost but the face is in focus and the eye intense.

   Shore Bound   by William R. Beebe, detail shot

Shore Bound by William R. Beebe, detail shot

The upper and lower thirds of the painting were painted with a brush, while the middle third was created with a combination of brushwork and a palette knife. The palette knife is a great way to apply clean thick paint creating texture and movement, which helps give the surf some added life.  

   Shore Bound   by William R. Beebe, water detail

Shore Bound by William R. Beebe, water detail

Gulls always provide me with good birding activity at the beach. For one thing, they are almost always there. They are often scavenging for something to eat. Quite often they can be seen in a frenzy over breadcrumbs being thrown by young children.  When resting on shore their reflections in the wet sand provide beautiful compositions, and when flying low over the water they mesmerize.  

Shore Bound is yet another in my series of in-flight paintings. I hope you are enjoying the series. I find that photographing and painting birds in flight provides a welcomed challenge and I enjoy trying to capture them while in motion.  

I’m in the process of choosing my next in-flight composition and then I’ll most likely be undertaking another scene of downtown Charleston.  Thank you for reading my journal and for your continued interest in my art!


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