Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tawny Owl in Mixed Media - Final Stage

'Ruffled Feathers'
12 x 16 inches, mixed media on watercolour paper, painted from my own reference photographs.

I'll put my owl to one side for a few days before I make the final adjustments. Now to go and finish the snow leopard and the other owl.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Graphite and Coloured Pencil on Drafting Film (Polydraw)

I've been experimenting with doing a graphite drawing on one side of drafting film and then turning it over and working with coloured pencils on the reverse side.

This is the start of the graphite drawing. I used harder pencils 4H, 2H and just added a little B in the very darkest areas because the softer ones would smudge on the polyester surface.
I drew in the cat's eye and some of the surrounding fur making sure not to smudge the graphite.
Once I'd done a couple of inches of I turned the drafting film over and started working in coloured pencils.
You can see the graphite showing through the area not yet worked in coloured pencil. The graphite acts as a grisaille and has really increased the contrast of the piece.
Because the graphite is on the other side of the drafting film it doesn't smudge and muddy the colours.
One thing I need to keep in mind for next time is that I need to draw the graphite image in reverse so that when I turn the drafting film over I'm working the right way.
The final image is replacing the white backing board with a black one, a mid tone will work better but I can't find one at the moment.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Tawney Owl Continued

I've continued to work on the tawny owl painting slowly down the body. I decided the tail feathers looked hard to work out so I'm leaving those for last.
I'm thinking about adding the stump in graphite as I don't want to take the focus away from the owl. I'll have a play in Photoshop before I decide.
I've decided to do a series of owls as I have some nice reference photographs of both the barn and little owls.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Snow Leopard in Graphite

As well as the graphite pheasants and the watercolour owl I'm working on a large drawing of a Snow Leopard.
The reference is my own photograph that I took several years ago at Marwell Zoo. The design of the cage meant I could stand directly in front of the leopard to capture the whole animal. The lighting is good which you will be able to see better once I get a little more drawing done.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Garden Birds

I haven't really done much more on the owl so I thought I'd post a couple of visitors to my bird feeders.
For the past two days a pair of Bullfinches have been taking seeds from the feeder. The male is much shyer than the female and tends to hide in a bush, dash out and get a seed and fly back in the bush. The female is much less timid and sits on the feeder eating seeds for quite long periods of time. I did manage to get a couple of them together but didn't dare open the patio door so the photograph is taken through glass.

We also have a small flock of Redpolls and Siskins that visit usually two or three times a day, these have become quite tame allowing me to get some nice reference photographs. This is a male siskin with some seeds in his beak making him look a bit odd but showing his lovely bright breeding plumage.