Thursday, July 31, 2014

New WIP - Snowy Owl

Recently, I started work on a new painting inspired by a northern visitor who briefly came through the area back in December...a snowy owl. She was beautiful. The first wild one I had ever seen. She was hunting a nearby field, a mere 3 miles from my house. Her stay was brief; 3 or 4 days before she moved on. For most of those days, I went out in the morning and evening to photograph her along with many other photographers. It was bitterly cold. The kind of cold that numbs your fingers in no time, but I wouldn't have missed her for the world. She caused quite a bit of attention. Word spread quickly. Birders from all over came to catch a glimpse of her.

For my painting, I chose to compose her in a section of corn field with snow melt that had frozen over. It made an interesting abstract design that I liked. Using thinned oils, I roughed in my sketch. No details yet, just establishing values and laying out shapes.

Click image to enlarge.

Below, you can see a close-up of the owl itself in progress. Her plumage has proved to be quite challenging. The black barring is essential to get correct because it follws the form of the owl.

Click image to enlarge.