Studio Scenes: Painting Barn Owls

Welcome to the studio!

In the studio this week, I painted two cuddly Barn Owls using Professional Quality Acrylic Paint on 11 x 14 inch Black Gessoed Canvas.  Here's a peek at my creative process....

After choosing a good clear photo, I roughly sketch the owls with white pencil onto the Black Gesso.

Using a palette of mars black, burnt umber, raw sienna, titanium white, yellow ochre, and emerald green, I begin to apply the paint, starting with broad vague strokes...

...adding more and more layers of color from light to dark...

...a bold green background to contrast the earthy colored feathers...

...and finally the white and black details to add depth and contrast, providing for the lifelike quality of the feathers.

I discovered my favorite brush for creating feathers...a medium sized stiff-bristled round brush adds a feathery feel to the brushstrokes.

This painting was more challenging than the Great Horned Owl, and I ran into some difficulty getting the "whites" just right.  What appears to be white in the picture at first glance is actually composed of grays, beiges, and browns.  

With the Great Horned Owl, I deliberately painted the feathers abstractly.  When I painted these Barn Owls, I got so into it that I started to get too detailed and had to stop myself from overpainting.

To finish up the painting, I took the stiff bristled brush and created the snowy, sparkly look of their feathers.  

And so my Owl Collection contains 3 beautiful paintings!  I am attempting to paint daily in preparation for my first big festival coming up...the Summer Arts and Music Festival at Benbow Lake, taking place the first weekend in June.

Its back to work for me!  I have a stack of small wood boards to paint before June...
Wishing you a creative and inspiring weekend!


Netty said…
Loving your beautiful owls and thank you for sharing the process. Enjoy the weekend, Annette x
Denise Mulligan said…
I love your owls, they are so sweet looking. I love the color palette too. Watching your process is wonderful. I didn't realize you use a black gesso background. I've never tried black gesso. I think I'll give it a go now.
Once again- you are the master of bold color! The emerald green is very striking! The whole piece is wonderful.
Victoria said…
Wow ..these are such beauties Carrie!!..there is such a gentle soul essence shining through their hearts and faces,..I can feel it...and such peaceful dreamy eyes...very spiritual!I love the shade of green you used in the backdrop..gorgeous.
Loved seeing your magical..and yay..enjoy your upcoming events..super cool!
Wishing you a sparkling week..

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