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Tag Archives: owl

There is an owl where I have been working, on site, recently! No, I have not seen it but the owners offered me a photo they had taken of him/her. I have searched for what I think this owl might be and decided it may be a  short eared owl due to the distinct dark markings around the eyes and the bits of tawny color that showed through the downy white fluff. Maybe he/she was young or molting ?

Painting him was a bit of a challenge as I had not rendered many night scenes. The following was my approach.

 first washes

The above is the initial drawing and simple washes. The background was a wash of burnt sienna. I don’t know that I will use burnt sienna as a first wash in a night scene, again. It seemed to dull the background darks.

 branches and tree trunks

I then mixed a gray and set the tone for the background tree trunk and the speckling on the branches were created by leaving the white of the paper. Ibegan working the black mask around the eyes.

 working the background

This step was the most lengthy. It took several washes applied wet -n wet to create the dark purpley-blue in the background. The tree trunks were varying shades of burnt sienna, sepia and a little of the background color. I furthur detailed some of the facial features around the eyes and beak.

 final painting

The final step was to darken the branches and detail the owl.  In the end I used some white to accentuate the downy white that still covered him in spots. I believe he might be the tawny color I see poking through on his upper left chest. His eyes were yellow orbs and he had a dark and prominent beak.

Stephen Quirke painted an owl he snapped a picture of last winter (his summer) here. I think it was remembering his image that made me want to try this.

Ryan of Smalltowndad thinks there is a possibility this might be a barred owl.