Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Great Horned Owl

I have been looking forward to beginning this owl painting.  I did the drawing while I was still working on the painting of the mice in the chrysanthemums.  I'm using Carel's technique again.  Unfortunately, I missed my opportunity to photograph earlier stages.  My first step - after I transferred my drawing - was to do the underpainting with Raw Umber, except for the mistletoe which was a mix of Raw Umber and Sap Green.  Like Carel does, I used my #0 liner, most frequently working with lines but sometimes using the side of the brush for larger areas.  Specifically, I used the side on the branches for a nice texture.  And I also used it to shade the feathers.  I notice that the chest feathers lay very smoothly over each other and form large vertical undulations.  So before I began the individual feathers, I shaded to create the larger forms.  After masking the owl and the moon - but not the branches or mistletoe - I used several washes to paint the sky and each wash was a slightly different color.  Successive washes concentrated more and more towards the top of the paper making the lower part of the sky the lightest.  Unfortunately I have a big boo-boo in the sky just to the right of the mistletoe.  While I was working on the underpainting I got paint on my knuckle and smudged it on the paper.  To correct that problem I painted over it with white, not thinking that it would change the way the paper takes washes, so it created this ugly blob.  I'll deal with it later somehow.

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