This Great Horned Owl is the second painting in my series of Focus Paintings in which I try to make the viewer focus on the most important features of the figure before slowly disintegrating from a realistic painting into sketchy pencil lines.
This was a real pleasure to paint, because the eyes are not only big, vibrant, and captivating, but they also have a very nice ring of feathers around them that help spotlight your focus on them even more. It was interesting painting feathers using this new dry brush technique – it is still only the second time that I’ve used it, but it sped up my painting speed by hours and hours and I think I’m going to stick with it for a long time to come!
I think that I did a good job making the feathers look soft and delicate. To create the image of this owl I photoshopped three different owls together to make it look just right. I added some ‘morning shade’ blue to the white highlights of the breast to make it more interesting, and probably could have added a little more sketch lines – but when you see it in person you will notice that the painting does a good job blending from painting to pencil. It makes it hard to even notice the transition it is so smooth.
If you read the caption under the photo you will see that this whole “FOCUSED ART” style was inspired by an earlier painting of an owl. I figured I would upload it here so you could see what I mean. This was done using watercolour.