Recently I was asked to make a painting based on John James Audubon's (April 26, 1785 – January 27, 1851) American White Pelican. The original plate was CCCXI part of The Birds of America. The original is pictured below. I took this commission up as a challenge and an opportunity to try something new. It is fair to note this would not be a exact copy of the original. For instance, it will be a 4ft x 4ft painting in acrylic paint, instead of an oil painting in a rectangle shape. You may notice that in the original painting, the style of the pelican and the background are different. Audubon painted his own birds while another artist painted his backgrounds. Just another challenge.
First challenge was to make a rough mock up drawing. I had to make a 3ft x 3ft charcoal drawing. In this drawing I had to create tree lines, shore line, and sky lines that connect to the lines in the original painting. Then make approximate rendering of the pelican. After that was done, I took the mock up to the client for approval to start the painting.