Great Horned Owl – The Watchful Mother

I’m on hiatus from painting following shoulder surgery (haven’t tried painting left-handed, yet!). But in the interim, I want to share one of most favorite sightings — and paintings — yet:

I saw this wonderful Great Horned Owl on a visit in May to Maumee Bay State Park on the shores of Lake Erie, in Ohio. She was keeping an eye on her newly-fledged chick, and I was able to watch her for quite awhile. I love this mysterious half-profile.

160612_Horned_Owl_mother

Blue Devils?

A blue jay portrait. I know westerners find these birds amazingly attractive (since they don’t have these jays out west). And though I admit they are rather handsome, they remind me of a gang of unruly teenagers most of the time.

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I ended up using a lot of gouache on this study, which is unusual for me. I ended up making a mess of the tail feathers and decided to try to salvage the color by painting over it in gouache. Not horrible anymore, but not exactly the freshness I like to see in my paintings. But I have a new appreciation for the complexity of color variation in these handsome devils!