I did this young Bald Eagle study some time ago, working this time in oils instead of watercolor as I usually do. I actually prefer the look of immature Bald Eagles as apposed to the adults of the species - probably because I haven't been able to properly resolve painting a basically white head against the contrasting dark body. Perhaps some day I'll be able to work it out but until then I am enjoying working on these young eagle studies. Size is 12" x 9" (30cm x 23cm), oil on board.
After much time spent working over the rocks, I decided to finish the figure trying to bring completion to the work. I started by slowly laying in washes of color building up tone and form. This process took a surprisingly long time but eventually I got to the point where I was happy. I'll put the painting away for awhile and will probably do some work to it at a later date but for now this is as far as I can take it. Size is 22" x 30" (560mm x 762mm), watercolor on Arches paper.
Most of the rocks are complete at this point. Usually while working, I'll step back from time to time and see what areas need more work and selectively pay more attention to those parts as needed. It's a case of fine tuning when I'm this far along, seeking a balance and if needed, I'll scrub out some areas so that I can re-work them, trying all the while to get closer to the final image I have in my head. I'm also adding subtle washes to the figure and slowly bringing it along as well. This painting has been a bit of a marathon, working on and off for a few months - hopefully not too far to go now.
I completed the first pass of the large rock using mostly thin washes as before then followed with smaller details for both texture and to help shape the various rock forms. More work was done to the further rock shelf keeping things light and underdeveloped at this point. Washes to the figure also helped maintain a general tonal harmony as I was careful to keep both parts of the painting coming along at the same time. This helped me get a better overall feeling of the work and was easier to see what part to work on next. It's getting there but still lots to do though!
After quite a bit of work on the rocks, I felt a little happier. The tones were still too light at this point but I would adjust them later on when I had almost completed the painting. At this point it was mostly just a case of laying down thin washes of color, slowly building up the form and textures of the rocks. I tried to keep things interesting and used a dry-brush technique here and there for added texture. I also put in the beginnings of gentle waves in the background and dropped in my darkest tones in the lower right.
I started this watercolor a few months ago and am still working on it! My largest figurative work to date, I tried not to be intimidated by the large expanse of white paper. This one took a lot of initial drawing and some erasing of misplaced lines using a soft kneadable eraser - this I hoped wouldn't leave any marks on the delicate watercolor paper surface. After I was happy with the drawing stage, I washed on some raw sienna to establish a background tone then started with some of the rocks building up color from light to dark. The figure got a few washes too as I was initially unsure how things would look. So far, not quite the brilliant start I had hoped for but I was confident that it would come together towards the end.
Some time ago I did a smaller study of this scene which turned out okay so I felt it was time to do a larger version. Still the finished work is not that large - only 12" x 9 " but is big enough I feel to more easily capture my thoughts and emotions that I have for the coast and for the sea. Growing up as a boy in Bude on the North coast of Cornwall in the UK, I spent many an hour beach combing, watching birds and climbing the cliffs around the harbour, so I suppose this painting is a reminder of that time. Oil on canvas, 12" x 9" (30cm x 20cm).
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!