Sunday, April 26, 2009

Latest Progress - Great Horned Owl

Today, I took a little break from painting to get outdoors on my mountain bike. I am fortunate to live next to Susquehanna State Park which has nice trails to ride/hike and lots of birds to observe. If I'm not painting, this is usually where I can be found. It was a hot day here in MD; it got to almost 90 so I took many breaks. While on a couple of these breaks, I had some nice bird encounters. On the first break, I spotted a male eastern towhee, one of my favorite birds. I always love seeing them because I don't see them too often. The male is handsome in his black, orange, and white plumage. He was calling to his mate... or it could have been a rival. I heard another one returning his call off in the near distance. The towhee is on my long list of bird subjects I'd like to paint. Unfortunately, I'm lacking good photographic reference of them. Every time I've spotted one, I've been sans camera. Wouldn't you know it? Someday! On my last rest stop, I saw several blue jays causing a ruckus in the treetops. Apparently, a broad-winged hawk was perched nearby. He took off in the opposite direction of the jays and landed in a nearby tree. The blue jays must have set off some sort of warning because 5 crows swiftly came to chase off the hawk. Being a lover of raptors, I always feel bad for them when they get chased off.

Speaking of raptors, here is yesterday's work on the great horned owl.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Latest Work on Great Horned Owl

Here's the latest progess on the owl. I worked some more on the lodgepole pine bark making it look more rugged and ravaged by time and the elements. The background was also layed in. I wanted the appearance he was high in a treetop in the mountains somewhere in the Northwest.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

New WIP - Great Horned Owl portrait

This weekend, I started work on a private commission of a great horned owl. This is one of two owl portraits that my client is commissioning me to paint. The other owl portrait will be of a red phase eastern screech owl. They will both be 7 x 5 inches in acrylic. I started this piece by priming a Ampersand panel in a medium grey tone. I then transferred my sketch onto the panel. The painting began with the eyes and I radiated out to the facial disks. I'm loosely blocking in colors at this point and building up details as I go. The client requested that a lodgepole pine be included in the painting which you can see the start of on the left.
Happy Easter!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Finished - Kestrel Painting / Friday's Opening @ Arts by the Bay

Well, the kestrel painting is finally completed! It was quite the undertaking. I started this one 2 years ago and had to keep putting it aside to work on other things. It's so satisfying to see it finally completed. The final strokes were put on it last weekend. Then, I quickly ran it to my photographer because I am entering this one in Birds in Art. The deadline is April 15th, so I finished it just in the nick of time! I do hope you enjoy it...and that the BIA judges will enjoy it as well!

Driftwood Perch, watercolor, 20 x 14.5

Detail of kestrel from Driftwood Perch

I also wanted to thank everyone that came out Friday night to the opening reception @ Arts by the Bay Gallery. The reception was very well fact, it was quite packed! It was nice to meet and chat with the attendees and the other local artists included in the show. I talked so much that I almost lost my voice at the reception! Anyone that knows me would find this hard to believe, because I'm not the big talker, but there were many people that were interested in learning about my art and background. Thanks to everyone for all your nice comments about my work!