Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Losing Altitude - Northern Spotted Owls

Hi there,
Today I'm going to do a quick process post about my latest painting - "Northern Spotted Owls (Strix occidentalis caurina)" It was a piece I did for Losing Altitude - an upcoming book about threatened/endangered birds. This collaborative art book will feature over 50 artists and well over 100 pages of beautiful, full-color art of endangered birds from the world over.

Check it out here: https://www.facebook.com/LosingAltitude

And now for the process.
1. As usual, I sketched out some thumbnails. to see what layout I wanted to work with.
As you can see from the finished product, the image ended being a combination of all 4 of these.
2. After getting my references together I went on to penciling. I like use the double penciling approach - where I first get the shapes and elements down more loosely with my blue pencil and then go over ad add more details with a graphite pencil.
Close up of the adult owl.
3. Then came my favourite part- the inking, using my black microns.
Adding even more detail during this stage.
After inking the whole image, I erase the pencil marks.

4. For this piece I decided to do a grey-scale values under-layer. It seemed like a logical idea since the owlets were mostly grey.
Almost fully rendered under-layer. I ended up darkening the adult owl some more later.

5. Then I got my coloured, waterproof inks out and finished up the painting, sprinkling some table salt on the background for hazy effect. Oh, and of course - for the final touch I used white gouache to add some shine and detail to the birds' feathers.

Here are some close ups:


-Original size: 11 x 17.7"
-Materials: Waterproof coloured inks, microns, white gouache, and salt on 300 series Strathmore Vellum Bristol paper

Prints available at my Society6 shop =)

Cheers for now!