Tuesday, 4 December 2012

November Challenge

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.








12 comments:

Mick Carney said...

You may have decided to seek a middle way but your 'colourist' inclinations shine through this piece. As you will now be aware I took a slightly different approach both in terms of colour selection and composition. I think there is an interesting discussion to be had in the colourist/ tonalist divide and how they each relate to matters like depth, recession and style.

Peter Ward said...

Thanks for commenting Mick. Me? I just paint and I'll leave the intellectual discussions to others (grin). You don't like it much then?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sharon Whitley said...

I'm curious in this monthly challenge that you do - can you clarify what it is, is it a group of friends that paint the same photo each month and take it in turn to choose - I've taken part in a few myself on PMP and I Draw and paint and I think a lot is learned in the process, love seeing different interpretations of the same photo! This photo would have scared me though - all those greens!

Peter Ward said...

What happens Sharon is that one of us selects a photograph and we take turns each month. We then post the original photo and the paintings at the end of the month.

Mick Carney said...

Peter - Apologies if you thought I didn't like it, that wasn't the intention in my comment. I enjoyed it and it made me think, that's a win-win for me.

Ray Maclachlan said...

No fighting boys. Great job Peter. I like the way the owl hides itself in your colourful interpretation. The painting of the leaves was interesting. Like Sharon I would be afraid to tackle such a challenge.

Peter Ward said...

No need for apologies Mick. It's only painting after all. Now if we fell about football......eek!

Peter Ward said...

Thanks Ray for commenting. No chance of us fighting Ray as Mick's much bigger than me! He'll love the next subject when my turn comes up again for the February challenge. The next one is to be spread over two months Dec/Jan due to the distractions of the Xmas period.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
artist said...

This owl is a Barred Owl and nicely done by both of you.

I think that it's and excellent idea to chose a photo and each of you interpret it.
Happy Holidays!
Delilah

Peter Ward said...

Thanks Delilah. A barred owl - that's a new one to me. Same to you Delilah for Xmas and the New Year.