View Full Version : Barn Owl

07-20-2015, 08:18 PM
Thought I'd posted but don't see it anywhere.:confused: Anyway here it is - watercolour with lots of Multiply layers.


D Akey
07-21-2015, 07:16 AM
By the name of Barney, right?

You got the overall shape and colors down.

Here's a thought: Think what you could do with shapes like this with your paint as a painting -- letting the painter's marks have their moments and then pull in some detail where the light hits. This is one of the reasons that clear lines of light and shadow work so well for painters -- or picture making artists of any kind. It divides the figure where you have the overall contour, and then have the volume described by the core/contour/edge shadow, or the way the light and dark meet.

It creates distinct areas, the light being more descriptive and accurate, while the shadow can have all kinds of brush strokes and puddles of wet color or broad pencil hatching etc thus giving a straight picture a considerable artistic flair. It may not be your natural style, but it makes very strong graphic statements. So in order to work from photos for this, you have to select source photos wherein the photographer employed light and dark in this manner. So you get the shapes and the shadow edge down and you can kind of go wild with the shadow and it will still read as what it is and further it will look very impressive and artistic.

:cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::):):):):):cool::coo l::cool::cool::cool:

07-21-2015, 08:48 AM
I really like the way the owl seems to be coming out of nowhere. This is what owls do after all when they swoop down on their prey. Again I am really impressed with your watercolor ability. The colors are varied and not at all heavy or strained.

07-21-2015, 01:48 PM
Mmmm! Mr.D, that's a tad over my head - could you point me to an example? I know you are trying to help me and I want and need that help but I don't always understand the point you are wanting to get across.:confused:

Mendota, thanks - I understand what you are saying.:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D

D Akey
07-21-2015, 08:13 PM
I don't rightly know how to say it in a nutshell. It's like trying to describe sky diving or river rafting (you can describe it in words, but there are so many things possible in the experience that need to be experienced personally that describing one little part of it doesn't communicate what one can have happen.)

I looked around the internet for examples and there are too many variations, each of which make up a distinctly personal universe of possibilities, each budding from a single, simple idea. It's like a compass heading.

When I show you something, anyone would look at it and think I like that but it's not for me, or I don't like it, or it looks dated, or etc etc. . . The vitality of it is in the individual taking it someplace and growing it into something else.

Sure it's fun to jump around. And that's often enough. Freedom has it's benefits. But so does sticking with something for a long time. In doing that, it then allows for the artist to refine and have creative ideas based on a solid, personally proven series of paintings. But jumping around runs the risk of forgetting all the nuances and good stuff one's accomplished. It's one of the dangers of having the world at our fingertips through the internet. Each of those styles out there has something to offer. But it's often working at cross purposes.

So at the risk of sending you into yet another cyclone, here are some IDEAS only. They show how wash can be used. . . in those instances. Underneath each is some core foundations and sensibilities. So take them for what they're worth, as examples of ideas. I'm not even going to tell you what they're doing. You can see for yourself.

When you look at these, don't look for the differences. Try to look at what the thinking is that allowed for them to arrive at such different places using very similar thinking at the core. You could chase every one of these styles (among the gazillion styles out there), or you can see what they're looking for.

Thought you might like the one of the cat:










Finally, this kind of thinking allows for all the other ones in their own translation. Thinking in shapes and freeing yourself up where the shapes can go free within and without depending on how it plays. Infinite possibilities.

When you can think like this (or a variation therein) you are unfettered and can fly.


Hint: They're freeing themselves up from thinking what's there in detail and rather looking at shapes and tones for the sake of the painting/drawing. They're creating an image that's theirs. The ownership is in a completely different quarter. It's theirs. It might serve you to think in those terms. But look at these and compare and see where they overlap. The drawings in the links at the end of the list say what I'm talking about in a plainer way.

One of the primary ideas is that these ideas straddle both the figurative world where the subject is recognizable, yet it gets loose and interpretive and swashy and so on. It's sort of left and right brain all at once. And the degree it leans into one camp or the other is where the artist shows some awesomeness. Analogous to this might be in acting -- you can say a line straight and it communicates the words some, or you can put all kinds of emphasis or color into the saying of the same line. Since paintings don't have the element of time to tell their story, we encapsulate it all into one line to say everything and to really give it something worthy of an artist's expression. It's skill to some degree, but it's also soul.

07-21-2015, 08:43 PM
I guess it's about to land. Hopefully he's not forgotten any bag ... LOL:o;):D

Marilyn Anne
07-22-2015, 03:53 AM
Nice painting! Fun to look at.

07-22-2015, 06:57 PM
Dear DA - thank you for your patience and generosity in your critiques. I do love the cat as you guessed I would. I have read so often about seeing shapes and not painting the details you know to be there but suggest them let the brain fill them in but it's a hard thing to put into practice. I love Jean Haines's style of watercolour painting; of course digital watercolours don't work quite the same as real media and that is another subject. I will bear in mine all you have shared with me and see if I can put some of it into practice.

Thanks also to Caesar and Marilyn Anne for taking the time to look and comment.

D Akey
07-22-2015, 07:52 PM
Not at all. You'll get it. Someday it will just be there for you. That's how it works. And your way will suddenly show itself.

Easy start:
Look at something and divide the light and dark into a pattern. Not always, but in this case you might want to start looking and assessing the stuff you select to paint. Then select what is in it that you want to feature. This artist was dividing up the figure between light and dark and seeing what came of it. You might want to do that as an exercise that you needn't post. Just do a ton of them for yourself until it comes easy. Look at these. How long could they take? 1 minute or 5. Somewhere in there.


The other thing you could consider doing in another exercise is to select a photo where you can clearly see the light and shadow. And then start somewhat loose and washy where you're just pushing color around for the fun of it. Do your wild and free stuff early on. Then you can tighten up one focal point. Keep it simple first. And then you can leave a decent amount of it intact with some areas undisturbed as an integral part of the painting and work with that as your starting point. And let your colors and values thereafter be in harmony with that loose stuff.

For what it's worth. Simple at first. You will be amazed what you can define that way. And of course dividing the figure or what have you between light and shadow will give you something of a blueprint.

Anyway, have fun. It actually is fun to be free with an eye for getting the essence.