For November it was my choice. I chose a photograph of an owl, I'm not sure what species it is.
16" x 12" Fabriano Artistico Extra White 140lb (300gsm) Not
With such a dark subject I thought long and hard how to approach it. To attempt a very colourist approach seemed inappropriate so I essentially went for a middle way. I first made a loose but reasonably accurate drawing not getting too much into detail. I used a conventional pencil with a 2B lead. Rather than finish this in my usual two hour session - including breaks - I worked on it in short periods over several days.
At the time an Acer snake bark maple in my garden was discarding its leaves and I collected several. I firstly painted the head as this was to be the most detailed part. When painting the background I coated the leaves with paint, reds, oranges, browns and yellows and used them as a stamp. I then tidied them up a little with the brush. I also splattered colour into the background both on dry and wet. I used granulation medium in the background. I generally paint with the board in a near vertical position so the paint runs and mixes.
The body of the owl was partially painted at the same time as the background and was finalised right at the end. The eyes look rather like two black holes and I added some small white highlights
There are quite a lot of colours in here with several blues, reds and greens. Frankly I can't remember all of them but Lunar Blue, Green Gold, Cobalt Teal Blue, Moonglow, Quinacridone Rose, Perylene Maroon, Quinacridone Rust, Quinacridone Gold, Sap Green and Hookers are all in there somewhere. These are mainly Daniel Smith and Graham paints with the exception of Green Gold which is Rowney. There is also some white gouache on the owl and the branch it is sitting on. I don't think the result is too busy but you are welcome to disagree. To make the painting the greens and browns of the photograph would, in my opinion, made it very dull colourwise.