Egrets are often depicted along the water’s edge or perched on a branch, because they spend a lot of time feeding and resting. Since I’ve been working on a series of in-flight aviary paintings, I chose to paint an egret in flight from an unusual vantage point.
The Great White Egret has a very large wingspan of almost five feet. In my just completed painting entitled, Flying High, the wings are outstretched against a dramatic sky, as the graceful white bird soars among the clouds. It is a scene I photographed and always liked because of the strong lighting.
It is a 30” by 30” oil painting on canvas. It is a study in tones. With the exception of the strong blue in the sky and the egret’s orange/yellow beak, there is very little saturation of color. Light areas have subtle yellowish tones to indicate the warmth of the sun. Variations of warm and cool grays were used to develop the clouds and the bird.
I also applied multiple layers of paint using glazing techniques in order to create a smooth transition between lights and darks. Very little canvas shows through the paint layers, which creates a nice smooth surface.
The Great White Egret is a beautiful bird with its long S curved neck and all white feathers. It is majestic and graceful in flight and always a joy to watch, study, and paint.
I hope you like Flying High. Thank you for reading my journal and for your interest in my art. I will be returning to my series of Charleston paintings next, and I’m anxious to get started. Please check back soon to see what’s on the easel!