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Saturday, February 8, 2020

Just Going For It

This is the third of my weekly just-for-fun paintings. They're acrylic, 8" x 10". My goal is to not think about it very much and not make a separate drawing first - to just go for it. And that's what I did with this one.

I looked through my old swipe file of magazine clippings collected over the years and found this little great horned owlet. The lighting really appealed to me. I decided to use black rather than white gesso, then lightly drew the owl with white charcoal pencil.

It had been a while since I last used my stencils so I got the file out, looked through it, and chose two. By the way, I made these stencils by drawing the black and white designs then creating the stencils on my Cricut machine - a handy little treasure that connects to your computer and maps the design into a cutting pattern, and, voila - a stencil!

There was not 'logical' reason for using the stencil - just wanted to. I used acrylics in two blue shades and one lavender and varied the color by pouncing my brush into the different colors before cleaning the brush. Also, working wet-in-wet blends the colors. If I were looking for a 'reason' for the stencil background, I guess I'd say the owl is against the backdrop of the tapestry of the night sky. The light blue dots could be interpreted as stars.

Here's the first layer. I included this photo because I wanted you to see how far I got with the initial painting session. And also to share a discovery. At this point, I needed to do a bit more drawing and picked up the white charcoal pencil. I liked the effect of the charcoal pencil over the paint! So I got out my pastel pencils and added quite a bit of detail. My plan was to spray the pastel pencil layer with workable fixatif. But when I did so, much of the pastel pencil detail was lost - perhaps dissolved. But it still showed some and I felt it was worthwhile.

From here, I added painted details, then dark blue washes around the edges of the background.

The finishing touch was a narrow 'frame' of glass bead gel over the entire edge, except not over where the owl touches the edge. I put the gel on with my fingertip. When the gel dried, it left the little glass bumps of the beads which I ran my finger - dipped in silver paint - over the tops of for a little sparkle.

This was definitely a for fun painting!

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