Thursday, July 2, 2015

New Owl Painting - Needs a Name

 I've been teaching classes in our home all summer and giving studio tours.

During my layers class, I did a demo and decided to draw an owl.  Generally when I'm teaching, I don't spend much time on the demo because I want the STUDENTS to be the ones producing art.  What that means is that I don't give my art much care and simply dash it off.

Well, this time, my little owl, which I did on a ...probably 6"x8" canvas board, turned out to be a little cutie.  He was such a fine fellow I thought, "I could paint an owl..."

And that's just what I did!

This background has been sitting in my studio for a while just waiting for the moment, and this was the moment!  Usually I will do a bunch of backgrounds
and have them hang around and converse with me for days, weeks, or even months, before they get to be 'the chosen.'

So... the first picture you see up top is my outline, black paint still wet and gleaming.  The orange lines you see are the tracery of my watercolor crayon.  If I start with watercolor crayons, I can erase my drawing mistakes by simply squirting it with water and rubbing it off.  But when I get it laid out, I enjoy leaving the crayon marks because they're a clue as to how I put the project together.

Next step, the eyes, of course!  I decided to give him one glowing yellow eye, and one more subtly yellow with some darks in the shadow. I had
 deliberately positioned his right eye over a very light, almost white patch of the background so it would be particularly stand-out.

Following the eye treatment, he got a nice feathery flutter of greens, yellow-green to blue-green, with some blues tossed in to pull it all together and unite this pantheon of bright colors.

More watercolor crayon.  Ahh.... Lyra watersoluble crayons, hire me to speak your voice!  I will tell all of your luscious, smooth application, the delightful laydown and the saturated color.  You made them specifically for me?  Yes.  Sennelier made the big fat oilsticks for Picasso, Lyra made the luscious crayons for me.  I'm sure.  Yep.

At any rate, I'm now
 working my way around the painting with the crayons adding complimentary colors, brightening up the close colors and pulling everything together

I'm really liking the honeycombing of paint I did in the background and lay down colors in those areas that are close together on the color wheel to pump up the brightness and make those areas sing.

After I got them singing, I got the crayons back out and added some complimentaries to pull that honeycomb pattern out a bit more - it seems that this owl just needs to shout.  I really like the jaggy red lines, morphing into abstraction as you go down to the bottom.

There are very subtle differences between these
last two shots of my owl.  I can't even tell you what they are.  I did make some very subtle changes, but they're too minute to point out.

Do know that my real fine fellow's colors lay somewhere between these last two photos.

So... is he angry or just on the hunt?  Is he maybe just being owly?

I don't know.  All I know is that I like him, and now I have to give him a name.

He's 24" x 30", and will be in the gallery next month.

If you want to visit him, you can find him there.  The link to our gallery is below.

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