Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Raptor Rapture!

I've always loved raptors, especially owls. Whenever we go on vacation, we tend to visit raptor sanctuaries and bird shows if they're nearby. I am proud to say that I've walked around for about a half hour with a beautiful Indian eagle owl named Jessica perched on my arm.

What a beaut!

So I should have been painting owls and raptors all of this time! I suppose I was afraid of all of the detail in the plumage, but now that I've started, it's really a great deal of fun.

Trial and Error Owl

This first guy took quite some time, mainly because I focused so much on the individual feathers, which still don't look particularly realistic. Fine with me, but not my favorite.

Trying a looser style here, which, aside from speeding things up, contributes to a better texture. Still working out the bugs.

Now we're owling!

Theerrrre we go. This guy is far and away my favorite. Watercolor is a great medium for painting birds, as the gradiations in feathers and shades blur in a really nice way. I went a bit overboard on the "ears", but I don't care. That's why painting is fun.

And now, let's throw a hawk in the mix. One of the things I love about raptors is how expressive their faces are, how they seem to look as if they're disapproving. This little guy cracked me up.

So...while I'm working on the rest of the travel log, expect more birds to visit:)

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