Tuesday, April 5, 2016


Avocets are such graceful birds, truly elegant with their slim shape and the way they slice their bills through the water when feeding. This bird though had one leg tucked up and its feathers slightly fluffed out for although the sun was shining, a cold wind was blowing across the mudflats. I remember the way the warmer reflection on the underparts contrasted with the cooler blue of the water and wanted to recreate this in my painting. Starting again in the background, I worked on the mud trying to create patterns but also keep the handling light at the same time. There was quite a bit of back and forth before I was happy. Then the bird was slowly worked on building up the tones and slightly warmer colours of the underside until I was happy with how it looked.
The individual in my painting had some brownish markings on its back so was probably a female or a juv moulting into adult plumage. This is perhaps a simple painting but holds special significance for me as it takes me right back to my time in the reserve and the wonderful spectacle of the masses of birds there. This watercolor is 7.5 " x 11" (19cm x 28cm).


Vernon Washington The Wild in Watercolor said...

Hi Jeremy, I really love the subtle hues in this painting. This absolutely stunning!

John Holmes said...

The Avocets really are a big part of the "Mai Po spectacle" !

Candace X. Moore said...

Hi, Jeremy. Beautiful and nuanced image. Your connection to the subject clearly comes through. And I love your handling of the medium.

Also, thanks for your comment. I think I accidentally deleted it, but managed to read it first Much appreciated :D

Jeremy Pearse said...

Thanks so much for the comments, I am inspired to do more like this even though trying to capture something of the life and character of a wading bird is quite a challenge.