I love to paint eyes they are the 'soul' of an animal painting and when you paint an owl they are the very essence of what makes an owl an owl. I thought this evening it might be fun to show you my process when painting an owl's eye. Step by step.
First I sketch the owl eye and note where the light hits it. I then paint the eye with yellow ochre and I leave a much paler part at the bottom of the eye.
Now I make the colours brighter, and make the contrast between the darker and lighter parts more prominent.I add orange to the darker parts and Windsor yellow. I want the colours in this eye to pop.
I want the colours to dry so I paint the beak in paynes grey, I want lots of water to create the illusion of feathers.
I now work on the pupil, it is cerulean blue and a very dark blue/ black. I want to add light by wetting the brush and wiping out the colour with a clean damp brush. I also need to work on the eye socket and make sure the eye sits in it.
The rest of the piece is simply wet in wet with paynes grey and lots and lots of water, leave it when it looks right , and let the eye do the talking