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Sunday, July 28, 2013

Pastel Demo...Great White Egret in the Marsh

'Long White is Watching'              12x12            pastel           ©Karen Margulis SOLD

"With quiet alabaster poise the great egret wades through the shoal waters of marsh creeks, ponds, sloughs and lagoons."  So writes Todd Ballantine in his wonderful book 'Tideland Treasures'. We are always on the look out for 'white birds' whenever we travel.  Often we are fooled by white plastic bags hung up in the grass that we call 'white bag birds'. 

But on Pawleys Island there were an abundance of white birds both the Snowy Egrets and the Great White Egrets commonly known as 'Long Whites'.  Today's painting is a portrait of one of the Long Whites that frequented the marsh behind the cottage. Enjoy the progress shots with my commentary. 

12x12 Uart paper. Drawing with compressed charcoal

Blocking in the darkest shapes. I am using all Terry Ludwig pastels

Blocking in the shadowed areas with medium value colors. Finishing the eye.

Adding color to the marsh background. Using the colors I used in the bird

Adding color to the beak

Adding the lights to the feathers with a warm pale yellow

Adding a brighter white to the feathers and finishing marks in the marsh. 
A note on this painting. I am working from a small 2x3 reference photo as I have been for all of the Lowcountry paintings in this series. I really like how not being able to see details allows me to add more of my own personal touch to the subject.


Gloria said...


Anonymous said...

Nicely done!