"Big Blue"
24x30" acrylic on canvas
(C) Cara Bevan 2010
big blue peacock fan tail dance bird portrait acrylic painting
I started 2010 (the entire first month!) with my largest and most complex painting yet – “Big Blue”. I’ve always admired peacocks; they’ve been in my family since I was born. A beloved  peacock, a grand white one
named Whitey, died at age 18 but his best friend Big Blue (the subject of this painting) is still strutting his stuff.

Peafowl are among the most colorful birds in the world and belong in the pheasant family. There are many varieties, but the two natural kinds are the India Blue and the African Green. Domestic species include
black shoulders and white. Each peacock feather can have unique hues and colors, changing with the available light. In my painting, I counted over thirty colors used for each tail feather. With a standard peacock,
the tail can trail five feet long – their wingspan, six feet! With their tail displayed in a fan like shape, each end will touch the ground. To attract females they vibrate the feathers to make a gentle hissing sound, almost
like rushing water. They often “dance” in place and rotate to catch any roving eyes.
Even though the peacock has been adopted as a royal bird, they are very gentle and social with all types of birds and animals. Our peacocks share the aviary with ducks, geese, chickens, guineas, and the
occasional cat with little protest. They are gentle with the tiny wild ducks and kind to all the hens. If there is a commotion, it’s in their nature to avoid the situation. Big Blue is the leader of our peacock group – Whitey
used to be, but Big Blue was the decision maker. He has claimed the coop and won’t let any other peacock in unless there’s bad weather. He keeps the younger peacocks in check. A wild peacock can live up to 20
years, and I hope our Big Blue will exceed that!

This painting took much longer than I thought it would, but I enjoyed every minute of it. Even the repetitive tail strings. There is actually a level of detail greater than what I’ve done – each tail feather tendril has
thousands of hairs on it. I just painted the general color but it carries the same effect. The 100+ hours I’ve spent on it, and the painstaking 74 tail eyes, has been well worth it.
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  • Original acrylic on canvas
  • Gallery edged canvas. Sides
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