At a nearby wildlife rehabilitation center (where I have often taken sick or injured birds and animals) I have noticed a red-tailed hawk that used to be in a cage outside the front door. This bird is not able to be released back into the wild so is often seen during events held at the center during the year where the public can approach more closely and ask questions.
In cases like this with the bird in front of me, I often sketch directly into my sketchbook or do smaller studies on watercolor paper. Then back in the studio, I take more time over a detailed study like the one above, trying all the while to capture something of the essence of these magnificent birds. This watercolor study is on Arches hot pressed paper, size 7" x 11.5". Sold.
Sorry for the lack of posts lately, I have been travelling and have been completely unable to log in to Blogger. Here though is the mostly completed painting. I completed the finishing touches concentrating mostly on the sea and the foreground rock. I also adjusted the values of the main rock, adding a few more details and slightly darkened the rock in the foreground (but I may have to make it a little darker still). The sea was done with a greenish-grey mixture with a very pale grey over the top to indicate foam and smaller wavelets etc and that was about it. As is with most of my paintings, this one will be put aside for awhile so I can come back to it with a fresh eye and see if there is anything else that I should do. Fisherman's Rock, oil on canvas, size is 8" x 10".
I completed the main rock using a darker mix of the existing colors then added raw umber for the area closest to the sea (the splash zone). The foreground rocks were painted in much the same way and allowed to dry. At this point I think that they look a little light so I'll have to address that later on. I continued with the sea working my way forward but holding off with any details for the moment - everything is just underpainting at this stage. After stepping back and considering the painting from a distance, I realize that the sea will also have to be darker so the work is put aside until the next day to give things a chance to dry off for a bit.
Here you can see that I have got quite a lot done. I should have taken a pic after I had completed the background but became so involved in the painting that I forgot! I used a mixture of greyish-blue for the sky, going slightly darker (and greyer) for the distant mountains - actually Victoria Peak on Hong Kong Island. I worked on the sea a little but I will probably have to do some more to it when I have got most of the painting done, The rocks were first laid in using a thin pale mix of yellow ochre scrubbed on with a bristle brush then over-painted with darker browns and a touch of ultramarine blue. Further details and textures etc were added with a smaller brush while the paint was still wet. Unfortunately there is a glare in the upper left of the painting caused by the wet paint but I am happy that this one at least is going in the direction I want it.
After taking a look at the smaller oil study that I did of this subject, I decided on a slightly different composition for this painting. A small drawing in my sketchbook helped solidify things in my mind then I drew the main elements of the scene on an acrylic-primed canvas. I used a thin wash of raw umber for this and although looking a bit messy at this point, I was satisfied that I had accurately transferred my idea from my sketchbook to canvas. Next I'll get some paint on - starting as usual with the background and working my way forward.
This small study was painted from a day I spent visiting Peng Chau (a small island in Hong Kong). Usually when painting on location, I use either oil or watercolor trying to get an accurate representation of the subject along with my own feelings for the place. I did this one quickly (in about an hour or so) and although not quite what I had in mind, it did serve as a useful beginning to a larger study that I'll post next time. Fisherman's Rock, oil on board, 5" x 7".
After laying in a slightly deeper toned background (and carefully painting around the bottle), I worked for awhile on thew shadow softening the edges and adding a slight translucent shimmer where the light came through. I feel I am close to completing this one now. I'll let the paint harden for awhile then take another look in case there are a few other areas that I want to work on before signing and framing, but for now, it's finished! Small Green Bottle, 8" x 8", oil on board.
I am an artist living and working near Washington DC in the USA. I was born in the UK but have lived abroad most of my life. I paint mostly landscapes and birds but have many interests so you never know what will turn up. Most of the paintings shown here are for sale so please contact me at jeremypearse (at) gmail.com if interested. Thanks for visiting!