Monday, January 10, 2011

Painting an Eastern Screech Owl

What a sweetheart this little Screech Owl is. I'm totally in love!

Painting #101, The Shivering Owl (Eastern Screech Owl)
9x12, Watercolor

I decided to enter Laure Ferlita's 100 Paintings in a Year Challenge again (with an ultimate goal of 500 paintings in five years). I started off the year with a detailed watercolor. I've never worked this detailed before, and it was a grand practice in patience. I'm used to firing off paintings in a single session, so this was new for me. To paint this little Screech Owl, I laid in layer after layer of color, slowly building up the depth over many sessions...and many days! I scanned a lot of the versions, and Rick surprised me with this video showing the progression of the painting. (Thank you, Rick!!! Not only can he bake, he can program too!)

Painting a Screech Owl from Kelly Riccetti on Vimeo.

Beak Bit
Here in Cincinnati, we call this little owl an Eastern Screech Owl, but in the south, I read in Robert Bateman's book, "Birds," the owl is often referred to as a "Shivering" Owl, which makes more sense. "Shivering" Owl sounds so pretty and is much more descriptive than "Screech" Owl. After all, the diminutive predators don't screech. They have a plaintive, wavering...shivering call!

33 comments:

Montanagirl said...

That painting is so beautiful! And the video is great. How nice to have that - as well as the painting!

Elaine said...

Kelly, your little owl is wonderful! Your first try at a detailed watercolor is a definite winner! Rick did a super job on the video too. It will really shows the steps you took.

Nicole MacP said...

Lovely, lovely work!! Those eyes are captivating!

Sue said...

Kelly, you are a very talented artist! I'm trying to learn watercolor painting, and am NOT having much luck-the video showed the layers building, and I found that very interesting. Thanks for sharing that!

Chris said...

Wow I'm in love with the painting! Gorgeous and it is nice to follow your work with the video, but how long did it take to finish it?

forestal said...

Fantastic work Kelly, I thought it was a photo at first. the layering does a great job

Bob Bushell said...

What a gorgeous painting and the video of making it, is quite outstanding.

JKoenig said...

Wow! Definitely one of my favorites.

Carol Mattingly said...

Wow that is a lot of work and a great deal of patience. Give yourself a pat on the back. You deserve it. Beautiful beautiful owl. Carol

Kathy A. Johnson said...

Wonderful painting, Kelly! And a great goal--500 paintings in five years. Last night, my husband called me into our office where we could hear an owl calling. I couldn't see where it was so I don't know what type of owl it was. I'll try a little harder to see if we hear it again!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Fabulous painting, Kelly. I love the little owl. You did a wonderful job --especially with his eyes... WOW!!!!

I'm from the south --but i call him a Screech Owl... ha

Hugs,
Betsy

Jayne said...

How cool seeing the progression of that Kelly! Love that owl. :c)

Out on the prairie said...

I was excitied tosee this when I saw the title. Your colors all worked well. The video was fun.

Warren Baker said...

I think thats one of your best Kelly :-)

holdingmoments said...

That is a beautiful painting Kelly.

The video is excellent. I love seeing how it all came together.
Well done Rick!

Adrienne in Ohio said...

Kelly,
Those eyes look real! I loved the progression video--how interesting to see the different stages of your painting.

Hilke Breder said...

Kelly, thanks for letting us in on the secret of your paintings! You can see it gain depth and complexity at every step, and the fabulous result at the end.

Shelley said...

I think this is my favorite so far of your paintings - love, love it!!!

forgetmenot said...

What a talent you have!!!! The screech owl painting is wonderful--you mastered the detail work well.

Cicero Sings said...

Now that I've tried water colours I have s great appreciation for the work that went into that owl! It looks great.

Margaret Bednar said...

The "loose" background on the left really sets of the detailed feathers. And I love the eyes. I wasn't able to view the video.. I will check back. My daughter and I have been hearing a night owl calling when we potty the dogs at night. Such a wonderfully, soft sound. 500! Wow. I am itching to get back to painting - I think by this weekend. I will have fun following your efforts this year.

Kelly said...

...thank you, everyone. Such a different style for me, but I really liked it. Layer after layer is fun. Every now and then I'm going to add another detailed piece into the count. I think I'm due for a few impressionist acrylics now...maybe watercolor...one of these days, oil!

Kelly said...

Chris...I would work about an hour a session and completed it over a three-week period. Christmas fell in the middle of it, and I abandoned work on him while I painted the Christmas card and finished up the 100 painting challenge, so I really didn't keep track. I also didn't scan all the versions. Next time I do a detailed piece I'll keep track!

Birding is Fun! said...

Wow! That is gorgeous!

Roy said...

This is quite beautiful Kelly.
Your video was also very informative as well and good instruction for anyone wishing to learn how to do it.

Marie said...

Well, you know I'm going to love this! Kudos to you for doing the 100 paintings again this year, you're a trooper.

Andy Wilson said...

Exceptional!

oldcrow61 said...

Beautiful painting. I enjoyed the video as well.

Kerri said...

This WOWs me!! You are so talented!! LOVE the video showing the progression too!

Caroline said...

Terrific job Kelly - that's a really beautiful owl painting! Interesting to see the WIP too.

Kelly said...

....thank you so much!!!

Nancy at Creamery Pugs said...

Hi Kelly,
I am the photographer of the Screech Owl photo you used...and I couldn't be more pleased and amazed by your wonderful work!! THANKS for taking the time to do this painting!! The video is fun to see, also!!
Nancy
http://clarkephotos.smugmug.com

Kelly said...

Hi Nancy! I really had fun painting the screech owl. Thank you for sending me the photo. I'm glad Rick showed you my paintings, and you wanted to have him painted by me! :-) It's one of my all-time favorite paintings--and definitely my most detailed and complex.