Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Pelican

‘Australian Pelican’
Oil on Board

About a month ago one of my friends here approached me with the idea of commissioning me to do a painting as a surprise for her husband’s birthday. She was very trusting because she has never seen any of my work! But, her husband has a love for pelicans, and I have a love for birds and painting, so we decided to give it a shot. I wasn’t allowed to tell ANYONE because she’s never successfully surprised him before, so my lips have been sealed :) Until today! Because his birthday was yesterday.

I really enjoyed getting back into oil painting a bit after a long fling with watercolor and acrylic on paper. It was interesting to see the evolution of my approach to oils as I incorporated a lot of my ‘usuals’ that I would normally only do with watercolor or acrylic paint. There is a lot of layering and the use of paper shapes in the background, and then the pelican itself is only nice thick paint. I used to fear thick paint. If I couldn’t see through the layer it made me uncomfortable, but with this little guy I went for it nice and chunky :) Those are a type of Australian fish in the background that this Australian pelican would be very likely to eat. Some of the papery texture you may (or may not) be able to see is the addition of a formation of circles cut from a dress pattern that showed the overlapping nesting areas of pelicans. All in all, I think it was pretty successful and I am definitely excited to start the next one!


  1. What an incredible painting!! I am so impressed! And I'm trying to think of what I could commission you to paint for me! :) Well done.

  2. i just really love this. youre amazing. especially all those little fish in the background and the hungry way that eye rolls around...=)