Sunday, February 14, 2016

COMMISSIONED PAINTING "Great Horned Owl in Flight"

"Great Horned Owl in Flight"
22" x 14" oil on standard canvas

Many of the pieces I paint are commissioned paintings. A person who is interested in having a certain piece done will contact me, and together we work out all the details that will give them the painting they want.

Just before Christmas, a new client, Dave, contacted me and asked if I had any owl paintings to sell. I didn't, but I told him I could paint one just for him if he wanted. And so we began the process of working together, via email. Dave wanted a great horned owl, and this painting was to be a gift for his boss. (Unfortunately, I was too busy to complete this painting before Christmas, but Dave was okay with waiting a few weeks into 2016!)

Dave sent me several photos of great horned owls he had found online. What Dave didn't realize (and many people don't) is that all the photographs you see on various sites online are the copyrighted property of the photographer who has posted them. (As an artist, I know the importance of observing copyright; there are sites in an Asian country where my work, and many other artists' work, has been uploaded, and prints are being sold, without our permission.)

So, Dave and I found a couple of photos online that we liked best, and I began the process of contacting the photographers to ask for permission to use their photo as a reference for a painting.

We found one photographer whose photography both Dave and I loved, and who was willing to work with us on this project. You have to see his photographs! He is an AMAZING nature and wildlife photographer, and best of all - he is Canadian! His name is Raymond Barlow. (Just click on his name and it will take you to his website.) Ray was great to work with, and had some suggestions which made the painting ratios perfect!

After we had secured the reference photo, I began the painting. I have chronicled the process for you in the photos below. 

Dave was going to present this gift to his boss this weekend...I am waiting to hear how it all went. I would love to have been a fly on the wall to see the reaction to his new piece of art!!!

Once the canvas size is chosen, the line drawing is drawn on the canvas
Here you can see I am blocking in the darks in the feather formations.
It took some pretty tiny brushes to do this is a regular brush compared to the ones I used for the owl.
I have finished the darks, but before adding the other colors, I needed to pop the first layer of background color in to get the right values.
Here I have begun the mid and light values in the feathers.
After completing the feathers, making final adjustments to the owl and the background, he is completed!