My wildlife photographer friends seem to be on the look out for snowy owls that come down from Canada into the northern parts of New York. Since I have never painted a snowy owl, I thought it was time. Now I have never seen a snowy owl in the wild, but I did have some reference photos I took at the zoo. This was the photo I decided to use for this painting.
When looking at the photo, I was a little confused by the colors. I had always thought that snowy owls were black flecked, although my photo shows the markings being brown. So to the web I went to research more about snowy owls. I like to research the animals I paint to better understand their characteristics and habitats.
Through my research, I found that the flecks and bars can be brown to dark or brownish/black - Defenders Of Wildlife. According to All About Birds, some snowy owls may even have black and brown bars together.
So now that I have a better understanding of snowy owls and their habitats, character and color, I am ready to sketch out my owl.
Since this painting is going to be primarily snowy background and the owl is the whitest bird, I am not doing a background wash. This leaves the pure white of the gesso primed masonite board for me to use for the background.
Check back soon for more of my painting in progress, "Solitude - Snowy Owl". Please feel free to leave any comments or questions, as they are always welcome!
The Wildlife and Nature Art of Johanna Lerwick. A blog about painting wildlife and nature. Topics including painting in progress, oil paintings, art prints, art licensing and painting techniques.