Thursday, May 10, 2018

Owls - Pastel 254

Last fall I was taking the long way home (old NC 10 between Durham and Hillsborough) when a large owl glided across the road, landed on the embankment, and turned it's head to look right into my eyes.  The face was as disturbing and odd as the Great Grey Owl, but they don't live anywhere near North Carolina.  It had concentric dark rings around it's eyes and a flat round face with the eyes and beak in the center.  Here in NC that probably means a barred owl. 


That look has stuck with me.



This pastel seemed a natural result.  There is a very busy, rather terrible pen scribblesketch under this pastel, showing multiple re-positioned owls, some faces with four or more eyes to choose from, and several last minute additions to close the ranks.  One owl turned 180 degrees horizontally and the head 90 degrees vertically as well as changing species.  The owls in the upper left and the lower left went on the page nearly effortlessly, with almost no revisions, but they were nearly last and I was getting the hang of them by then.



All owls here are inspired by actual species with varying degrees of exaggeration as they passed through my mind and hand.  I looked at a crazy number of owl photos one evening prior to drawing this and these don't come close to the weirdness of some real examples online.  And their lives and relationships with humans and pets are fascinating, too.

Owl and Cat Friendship

Grey Owl Family Rescued