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).
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!