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Friday, March 14, 2014

Impressionist Techniques: Brown Pelican

This week I decided to create an oil painting of a brown pelican using impressionist techniques.  Here's my limited palette:  titanium white, cadmium yellow medium, lemon yellow, cadmium orange, cadmium red light, alizarin crimson, ultramarine blue and phthalo blue.  These colors are sure bets for creating harmonious color.  I used small amounts of Liquin for thinning the paint when necessary.  The brown mixtures you see are combinations of white, cadmium orange, alizarin crimson and ultramarine blue.
I sketch the pelican using a very thin mix of ultramarine blue and alizarin crimson.  The canvas was a rejected thin acrylic painting.  Oil can safely be used on acrylics.  No need to waste a perfectly good surface.
I then applied paint to the pelican using the variety of rich browns and greys mixed in the beginning.  I added pure cadmium and lemon yellow for the head.   I haven't worked the background at this point.  I used thick paint for an impasto effect throughout this demonstration.

I worked the background using combinations of white, ultramarine blue, and cadmium orange.  I also used a variety of directions in my brushstrokes to add more interest to the overall look of the painting.

The eye of a pelican is what really makes it an interesting. lively bird.  The blue iris is more intense against the yellow feathers.  The light is coming from the left so I used lighter ultramarine blue (using more white in the mix) on the bottom right of the iris.  I placed a white sparkle dot at the upper left portion of the pupil.  This gives the illusion of light shining on the eye.

Here is a close up of the combinations of colors and strokes used for the feathers.

This is the finished painting.  I completed the piece in one session.

Copyright Mona Vivar, Pelican Post, 8 inches by 10 inches, oil on canvas
Appearing (as soon as dry) in my Ebay store at Mona Vivar Fine Art

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