During a trip to Wilmington, Delaware recently, a walk took us along the Christina River where I saw this scene. The sun was setting off to the right illuminating the sky full of wonderful cloud shapes that were back-lit hanging over a simple landscape of grasses and trees. I painted this small work pretty much just as I saw it and is a first in a series of studies from Delaware.
Early Evening Clouds, 8" x 10" (20cm x 28cm), oil on canvas.
I did this drawing a while ago but still remember how wonderful it was sitting in front of this magnificent falcon. I enjoy drawing but for me it has always been a means to an end. That is, I realize how important accurate drawing is, but seldom feel satisfied with a black and white image. I almost always have to continue on and get to the painting stage - and that is where my struggles usually start. Still it is what I do so I have no complaints there, And I'm very thankful that even now after all this time I get the chance to draw and paint every day, Gyrfalcon Studies, graphite on Arches paper, 22" x 15". Sold.
In Hong Kong I mostly see Spotted Redshanks in their winter plumage - as with this bird. Higher tides in Deep Bay brings waders right up the the boardwalk hide so one can easily study them at closer quarters than usual. It was one of these birds that I first drew in my sketchbook last year - this became the idea for this study. A small watercolor painting was started (in my sketchbook) then I began work on this painting laying in a series of background washes. I painted in the bird as usual building up tones and finishing off with the reflection. Size is 11" x 7,5". Watercolor on Arches paper.
One of the very first birds I saw in Hong Kong many years ago when I first arrived there were Black Kites soaring over the harbor. Later when I moved from Kowloon to Lamma Island I used to see them every day so began studying and painting them. This bird has always had a strong association with Hong Kong for me and over the years I never tire of watching them, this is probably the main reason that I have done so many paintings of them.
With this painting, I had watched a female kite through my telescope as it sat resting before flying off early one morning so went to the same rocks it had been on and started a painting. Later in the studio I added the background and then the bird trying all the while for an early morning feel to the work. This oil took a few weeks to finish but I was happy with the completed painting. Size is 36" x 24" (90cm x 60cm). Oil on canvas. Sold.
After working on the arm and back a little, I darkened the overall tone of the whole work using more layers of graphite. When I felt that I had reached a balance, I signed then photographed the drawing. Unfortunately I couldn't get a decent pic of this one, I'll try again with different lighting and another camera. The thing that bothered me the most with the photo was that I lost a lot of the deeper tones while lightening it - also a lot of texture came through although it isn't that way in reality. Still, I'm happy with the original. I used the same 2B pencil throughout the whole work, perhaps not the best way to go but with the paper I was using, I felt that it was necessary as using a harder lead kept it from being too textured overall. I'm not sure where to go next with this one, perhaps this drawing will lead to a study in watercolor or oil, I'll have to give it a few weeks and see. Finally I would like to thank Paco for helping with the reference for this one. Size is 12" x 11", graphite on Canson paper.
Working more or less all over just to get some tone down helped me see where this drawing was going. I could see that there were a lot of areas that were still too light and would need further layers of graphite but this was fine - dedicated time in the studio would take care of that. At least the work seemed to be going in the direction that I wanted. Working on the ear, I laid in the deepest darks then slowly built up tone creating shape and form but further shaping and definition would come in the final pass. Next I'll work on the arm and back then darken everything overall to finish off.
After deciding that I had done enough to the braids, I worked around the eye and the nose a little, again keeping things lighter that I should. I'll be working over most areas a few times until I attain the correct tonal value. I also worked for some time on the area around the ear and started to add more details to the hair directly above, feeling my way along as I'm a little unsure how to created the correct effect. Still at this point, I'm happy with the way this one is going so far.
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!