My ‘drawing day’ last week really paid off (despite my grumpiness at missing a great day’s wildlife spotting…) Having a great batch of drawings to develop into paintings has been very productive! I’ve had a good week and made time to paint A LOT this week…so I’ve got plenty to show you! My brushes have been focused on ‘cute, fluffy owls’…possibly because I spent a lot of time at the weekend with the birds themselves! I know I’m obsessed with Eagles and Buzzards, but there’s just something so adorable about owls.
(An amusing comment from Lon, the Falconer, I’d like to share with you…”Despite our assumptions that Owls are clever and ‘Wise’, we are assuming incorrectly: Owls eyes are so big in their skulls, there is very little room for much brain – owls are in fact a bit daft!! They are creatures of habit, therefore easy to train – until they hit breeding season when nature and hormones take over!” ….you learn something new every day!)

So now, some paintings…I began with a couple of drawings, using water colour pencils, just as practice to get my eye in. The subject is a very rare black (mellanistic) barn owl called Eve.

I have since blended these with water which has improved the intensity slightly, but I prefer the following watercolours…

Eve, Black Barn Owl, Watercolour.
Eve, Black Barn Owl 2, Watercolour.

I was on a roll, so also painted ‘Irwin’ – a very cute Boobok Owl
native to Australia.

Really enjoying the freedom of watercolour, I had another go at a Eurasian Eagle owl….

I love the intensity of his stare!

Having indulged in a fair few owls, I couldn’t resist the temptation to paint Alfonzo, my favourite Eagle…he’s a Chilean Blue Eagle Buzzard and I love him! The paper I used for this drawing wasn’t suitable for watercolours, so I grabbed the acrylics and accompanying brush set, and escaped into my eagle dreamland!… I always start a new bird with the eye and beak, then work my way down the rest of the body…I got this far and thought ‘I’ve got it – that’s him!’

Detail: Alfonzo, Acrylic

I didn’t stop here though, I carried on, and although I initially thought I’d ‘finished’ the painting, I now know I need to do a bit more to the background.

Alfonzo, Acrylic.
I’m feeling a few head detail paintings might well be next on my ‘to do’ list!
To finish my painting this week, I did 4 small watercolours of owls. I purposely decreased the scale to see if I could keep the freedom within a small image – its much easier to work loosely on a large painting! See what you think…
Grace, Spectacled Owl, Water Colour
George, Barn Owl, Water Colour
George 2, Barn Owl, Water Colour
Irwin, Boobok Owl, Water Colour
That brings me to the end of my Art Week and takes us into March…only 4 months left to complete a whole body of ‘exhibition worthy’ artwork!! I’m looking forward to a weekend with my feathered friends – I’m sure this will provide more than enough inspiration for some new paintings!
Mandi 😉