I just finished this watercolor painting two days ago. I was in the panhandle of Florida in late May, and we visited a fish market called Joe Patti’s. It is in Pensacola, right at the shrimp docks where the fishing boats come in. This pelican was sitting there, and he
probably enjoys what is left over from the catch each day. He was quite tame, and allowed me to get pretty close to take a shot of him sitting on this piling.
I started by painting the bay, the distant land, and the sky wet on wet. I used mainly blue and violet. After that dried, I painted the spit of land on the left, and the dock. I used a toned down violet and blue green for this. At one point, I used a spray bottle over zealously, and my dock piling paint started to spread more than I wanted it to. I lifted that out. Lastly, I painted the bird, in yellows and brownish oranges. The bird is actually more gray, but I wanted some warmth in the painting as a counterpoint to all the cool blues and violets, so I made him orange brown and yellow. I also put some of these oranges, yellows, and browns in the dock, water, and land to unify the painting and bring it all together. I put a touch of yellow in the lower part of the sky to bring more light into the picture.