The techniques used to paint this Caribbean brown pelican watercolor are basically figurative with abstract overtones. The paper is very heavy acid-free Arches with deckle edges, so that no stretching is necessary. I was therefore able to manipulate the sheet to achieve the dripping effects under the influence of gravity. However, watercolor has a mind of its own, especially taking into consideration the tooth from the cold-pressed paper, and it is always a challenge to achieve these effects in a harmonious and balanced way. Sometimes it doesn’t work at all, and as watercolor is unforgiving, I have on various occasions had to abandon some of these large sheets which were beyond rescue.
This time, however, I was pleased with how the brown pelican watercolor worked out. The blues and brown tones worked together very well and the splash of yellow fuzz, typical of a young brown pelican, came out just right. It is wonderful when it’s possible both to have fun and achieve a pleasing result with this type of painting.
I love the brown pelicans as subjects and also paint them in acrylic and in pen and ink. We see a lot here in Antigua, where they breed on a little island in the north sound called Rabbit Island. They seem to choose small trees with spindly trunks and it is almost comical to see these big birds with their young on their nests which look like they are in danger of collapsing any moment…needless to say, they remain perfectly stable and upright!
Watercolor on 650gm Arches acid-free deckle-edged paper 22×30″ 56x76cm