I knew the piece required forest like trees, so I began researching and studying different trees to find the right ones for the painting, here is a board I made to use as my references when drawing.
A previous painting I made called 'The Owl Guide' was created using ink and watercolour, I really liked how these two mediums looked together so I decided to explore this further.
The Owl Guide (Above)
This may seem like a random side note, but I feel it is part of my creative journey. I am currently taking part in a 30 day yoga journey, and in the spirit of day 19 'play', I decided to play around with my ink and watercolours with only a forest in mind, instead of - this must be a perfect final painting. I named this preliminary illustration 'Forest At Night'.
Forest At night (above) - I find having a play around before going in for the final illustration helps to take the pressure off, allowing magical things to happen.
I wanted to work on the owl without an environment first, this is so I could work on things like the way he is flying, the angle, and the position of the wings. I did this is my sketchbook in pencil, then rendered the drawing in ink.
I now had an owl I was happy with to use as reference. The next step was to re draw the owl and add the night forest, I drew the whole thing in pencil first onto Daler Rowney hot pressed 140lb watercolour paper, then rendered the drawing in ink using my micron ink pens.
Stretching watercolour paper is new territory for me, and with this being an ink drawing I encountered an issue, when stretching the paper you have to wet it first, then using your hand or a sponge rub across the paper pushing the water out from the centre to the edges, and what I discovered was this rubbed the ink drawing off quite a lot, it went from looking vivid to washed away and faded, what I will try next time is stretching the paper before drawing on it. This time though I figured my paper was nicely stretched and ready to go, so I decided to paint it and re-ink over the top once the watercolour paint was dry.
Stretching two ink drawings in my studio at the same time (above)
I used five colours for this painting, all Winsor & Newton, and my new ceramic paint palette! This was a gift for my birthday and I was so excited to use it!
In the studio
Owl In Flight - Ink & Watercolour
Here is the finished painting
If you would like to check out the painting or prints you can here!
The 'Forest At Night' illustration is here.
Thank you for checking out this blog post, I hope you enjoyed journeying through this piece with me, see you for the next one! :)
Other things I am loving in life!
Book: The Letters of Vincent Van Gogh - I bought this from the book shop in the Van Gogh musuem in Amsterdam, I love it because it is the closest I will ever come to hearing from Vincent Van Gogh himself.
Lifestyle: My Baloo weighted blanket, I have always been a troubled sleeper and I heard these blankets can be helpful for a better nights sleep, I took the plunge and purchased one, I have been using it for a month now, and I hope this doesn't jynx it but my sleep is better!
Beverage: Teapigs apple & cinnamon tea, this is really delicious with half a teaspoon of local honey and a cinnamon stick.
Music: 'I've felt all these things' by Anna Leon - so soothing!