Michele Clamp Art

horned owls

Owl Perching in the Wind

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Owl perching in the wind. Michele Clamp. Watercolor. 11”x14”

Today somehow was owl day. I wanted to try something a little different and see if I could introduce a background successfully. I wanted to put color in but have a lot of interest in the largely uniform grass region. I think I’m pretty happy. The owl itself came out well and the whole thing has a liveliness and sense of the windy day it was. The gloved arm is James - we were in England and had a great time flying owls at Leeds Castle.

Something new - Oil Paints!

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It was my birthday this week and I treated myself to a set of oil paints.   I've been looking forward to this for a couple of months and after a trip to Post Road Art for some paints, medium and solvent it was off to the hardware store for cheaper things like gloves,  oil soap and  hand cleaner.     In total I spent around $150 which is more than I planned but I couldn't really strip it back any more.

For my first time out I thought it best to stick with something I know so of course it was an owl!  Very much a voyage into the unknown here and I just jumped straight in with a few bits of knowledge I've picked up from reading various blogs.

First a charcoal drawing and an underpainting in burnt sienna thinned with Gamsol solvent.

Looks ok so far.    Now in with some paint.

This is mostly burnt sienna, ultramarine and yellow ochre with a quick try out of the background with prussian blue.   Still fairly happy here.   It's very strange not dealing with water and I keep smudging things as I'm not used to the paint drying so slowly.     I do have to say it's nice to actually know what value you're putting down on the canvas rather some elaborate guesswork with watercolor.

Further on now - this was the second day.    Things seem to be coming together.  The dark feathers are going in well and the face is looking good.    

Almost at the end now.    The background has gone in simply - it's my first try so nothing fancy.  The eyes and face have had some more work.  I still need to soften up some edges here as he's a bit garish.   The body feathers and wings are probably not going to see much more work - I don't want to mess things up,   The rocks definitely need something doing to them but that can wait until tomorrow.

So all in all I'm pretty chuffed.  I can't say I like oils better than watercolor.  Watercolor does have a lot of charm that you just can't get with oil.   But I think this has some potential.   and it was a fun birthday present.

Superb Owl LII - Day 5 of 30 in 30

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Horned Owl

Couldn't resist really.   Any excuse for an owl.