American White Pelican, Part Two: Painting and Habitat

Add some color and give the bird a home.

By: Tom Park
Photography by Tom Park

Previously I demonstrated how I carved the American white pelican. The article ended with the pelican textured, sealed, coated with gesso, and ready to paint. In this article I will describe the painting of the bird and the construction and painting of the pier posts that provide the base.

I will use the same technique for painting all of the white areas of the bird, that is, everything except the bill, pouch, primaries, and feet. I paint the shadow color at the base of the feathers (where two feathers overlap). Then, working from the outer edge of each feather, I apply straight titanium white and draw it toward the base of the feather, wet blending the white with the shadow gray. I try to work quickly so both colors remain wet until blended. The aim is to have a smooth transition from the stark white of the feather edges to the darkest shadows at the bases without any hard lines between white and gray.

Read the rest of this article in Wildfowl Carving Magazine's Winter 2014 issue!

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