Owl eye (the devil is in the detail)

Owl eye (the devil is in the detail)

I am appreciating the little things , as the summer draws to a close and the lovely autumn colours are making an appearance. A walk last weekend with my husband, along an old railway line, was brimming with late summer colour.

As I gaze out of my studio now, I am loving the bright colours of the rudbekia , which have been flowering now for weeks.

Then to be able to watch the bees in all their busyness , gather from the nasturtiums , wow, how a bit of sun makes everything shine

 

And so detail is what this blog is all about, I like to paint some things in precise detail and people often comment on the eyes of the animals and birds I paint. Here is a detailed close up of an owl's eye...it might help to show you how I do it and you could maybe transfer those skills then to other animals ( altering the size a colours of course!)

So as always I sketch out the eye first.

And I look very carefully at an owl's eye so I understand what I am painting.

 

Here it is close up

 

First I add a pale wash of yellow ochre.

Then while it is still wet enough, I add a darker shade , cadmium orange.

 

I take out the area that you can see is lighter with a clean damp brush.

 

Then I get darker again, perhaps adding a bit of red brown to the orange.

 

Now I can start on the pupil with cerulean  blue.

You see I am hinting at the landscape reflected in the eye here.

Then I go over that with a mixture of sepia and indigo. I leave parts of the blue

showing through.

Then I go around the eye, and make sure it sits properly in it's socket .

I like to paint the rest of the owl loosely in paynes grey and lots of water. 

 Have fun, get out your smallest pointiest brushes....and see what happens x

 


1 comment

  • Diane Hayward

    I have really enjoyed making the most of what the changing season has to offer how I love Autumn, the owls eye is full of the ever changing Autumn landscape vibrant colours make him so alert, you capture that so perfectly.
    I am going to try and follow your tips to give my eyes the alert alive look, sometimes they just don’t pop!
    Thank you another great blog tutorial, thank you for sharing

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