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Owl ·

Medium: Pastel
Base: Paper
Year: 2011
This is my latest pastel painting. I am happy that it at least looks like a barn owl and I also enjoyed doing something different as this is a subject that I have never done before. The artwork was inspired by a request for a commission a client. The subject was so interesting though, I just had to give it a go with or without commission. Hopefully a sale will happen in the near future as the subject has come out so well.
This pastel painting was far easier than I anticipated. The spots and variations in the colours through the face had me a little worried as I began working, something I think a lot of artists mull over as they begin a work. That thought of “what am I thinking taking on this picture?” goes through your head at times. Most of us however, get over this initial fear and move on with a trust in our training and intuition.
As a well-known artist and demonstrator said recently at a demonstration, it is only paper and pastel. You don't have to be perfect every time, you don't have to keep it and it doesn't have to be a masterpiece on every attempt. Everything we do is a step in our learning, every mistake is just another way not to do something. On the other hand every time we succeed is a boost in confidence and another step towards being the artist we want to be and the production of art we can be proud of.
This is a little of what I felt when this little guy was completed. I never knew I had it in me to paint such a lovely bird!
The face came out way better than I expected and I love the colours through the whole thing. I was in a great relaxed mood when I did the piece and it shows so well in the feel of the final painting and the expression in the owl's face. I am so glad I gave this subject a go. Whether it sells or not, or wins an award or not, it is a nice little work and another step in my progress.
Just in case there are some who are interested in my materials: I used Leigh Rust's pastels (Rusty Tone - made in Australia) to do the initial blocking in and have added some Rembrandts and Mount Visions in layers over the top and it was done on black MiTeintes Tex Pastel Paper.
Dimensions: 45 cm (width) × 40 cm (height)
Ownership: Artist
Credit: Original photography by Leigh Rust

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