The nights are drawing in and the weather is getting much colder. I tend to paint along with the seasons and here in Mid Devon it is most definately winter. Yesterday was a bright cold frosty day but we have our fair share of grey, dreary dull ones too. I like to hunker down and sit up in my little room with my cat for company and get lost in my world of painting . So this is how I painted a barn owl which, I think it quite suits my wintry mood.
1. Draw a simple sketch of the owl, I think I used Pixabay as a reference here.
2. Now the eyes, I want there to be so much life in my owl's eyes. So there are many layers and colours in them. You need to leave some of the white paper showing through .
I like to fade the edges of the white with a tiny bit of water, and take out some colour under the pupil to show where the light hits the eye too. It takes a lot of practice and a steady hand and my advice is to try it and when it looks right stop.Many a painting has been messed up by over fiddling ( mine included).
3.I repeat and work on the other eye. Take your time and have a break if you start to loose concentration. A barn owl also has lovely colouring around the eyes and the beak, I want these to look realistic and for the painting to get looser the further out I go.
4. Now I want to add a dark, wintry night sky and I want to get looser as I go. Lots of water and lots of lovely indigo paint, I also want the owl to be a part of the night so I want lost edges and texture. I used some cling film around the owl , and then my advice is to walk away, let the paint and water and clingfilm do it's thing
5. Now as I am good at giving advice but maybe not taking it. I probably didn't leave the painting long enough , it is best to leave the clingfilm overnight but I fiddled, I wanted to get on with it so I added some white acrylic snow, I painted out a moon using clean water and then paper towel to blot it away, even some gold ink on the feathers. have fun but be warned I have ruined many a painting by going too far . Keep standing back and look at what your doing
I like to think of it as controlled mess, anyway have fun x