On a cold and blustery day in November, I was out photographing along the beaches of Qualicum Beach and down the coastline to Rathtrevor Beach in Parksville, British Columbia. Looking high up into the trees that line the beach I often see our wonderful Bald Eagles up in the trees.
This is the photo that inspired this painting of a Bald Eagle pair perched high up on the tree top of a wonderful looking “eagle tree”.
At the beginning stage is the question how to use this photograph and interpret it into a painting.
The first decision I made was to crop in and lose the bottom branches, but I wanted to leave in a lot of those lovely gnarly branches.
Then it’s getting the eagles positioned a little better. In the photo they overlap slightly, I felt it would look much better giving each eagle more space around it, so extended and changed the angle of the branch carrying the top eagle.
Now with the eagles positioned, I can make some decisions on their colouring, adding more golds and rich browns and putting in feather and wing details.
I also decided to add violet and sepia to the shadow side of the tree and warmth in the sky in front of the eagles.
A few more minor tweaks, and I am ready to call the piece finished.
And now for deciding on it’s title (I Decided to change around what I had for the working title) so the final title for the piece is– THE LOOKOUT
Here is the finished piece – hope you like it.
THE LOOKOUT – Bald Eagles
Acrylic on canvas, painting size: 30” x 15” (76 x 38 cm)
“I love the stark look of the bare, wind blown trees here – rugged yet strong, these trees seem to just be waiting for eagles to come and perch on their branches. Rathtrevor Beach, in Parksville, British Columbia is a great place to look up and watch the magnificent Bald Eagles perched in the trees high above the beach where they keep a sharp eye to spot prey from their “lookout” high above the water.”
Patricia M. Mansell