In 2015 I had the good fortune to visit a friend who had two licensed barn owls, which he keeps in a large aviary. He was very kind and let me sit in the aviary with the owls for a few hours so that I could study their movements, make sketches and take lots (600) photographs.
In May 2015 I attended an exhibition at Hinchingbrooke Country Park, under the umbrella of Creative Coverage (provide publicity for Artists and Crafts People), and one visitor to the exhibition on the day that I attended as Artist in Residence, commissioned me to (secretly) paint a barn owl for her husband’s birthday. After I had produced the preliminary sketch for approval (which she liked very much), she felt that her husband ought to see it. It wasn’t that he disliked the sketch, he decided that his dear wife should not pay that much for his present, so very reluctantly she decided not to go ahead with the commission.
As I had already done the preliminary drawing I carried on with it and produced a working pencil sketch on Aquarelle Arches 140lb water colour paper size 14″ x 20″. I was then fortunate enough to receive a run of commissions, so this painting was relegated to my “Paintings to Do” list, which permanently has about 25 picture ideas on it!
Yesterday (27th June 2020), after playing tennis, I was looking through some old stuff and found the sketch, so decided to paint it. Here are a couple of resource photographs I used for the composition, the original fine pencil sketch and a few painting-progress pictures from yesterday. I hope you enjoy them.