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Snowy Owl and Yukon Sunrise

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  • Snowy Owl and Yukon Sunrise

    More photos of this carving can be seen under "Snowy Owl" in this forum. That was the working title I used when I accepted the commission for "A snowy owl". No other requirements! I remembered seeing these owls perched along the Yukon River and decided to use this memory as my design. Dena advised me that the owl will be on a coffee table and viewed from all sides. Thus the back must be as detailed as is the front.

    The owl is facing the frozen Yukon River which is shown as relatively smooth ice. The log is protruding from the snowy bank and snow covered bushes extend into the background. I have the wind coming from the left and angling to the right side of the back. This allows the snow to build up along the backside of the brush.

    I have finished with the feathers on the body and can go further with assembly. I used Apoxy to attach the log to the base. Then continued with Apoxy to build up the snow around the log. It will require several more layers to reach the desired proportions. I believe I can then use modeling past to give it a more realistic look. I used Apoxy to set the eyes and to build up the area of the upper eyelid.

    I am using a paint schedule recommended by Lori Corbett in, "The Illustrated Owl, Screech and Snowy". These mixes work as well with the watercolors that I use as they do with the acrylics she uses.

    I am sealing the head with KT sealer to aid in concealing the end grain. Then I will go over this area with QOR Watercolor Ground. QOR (Quality Results Only) is a relatively new line of watercolor paints from Golden. They were recommended to me, at a local art store near the MSU. I could not find a color I needed in Winsor Newton which has been my preferred line of paints. I was told that QOR has replaced gum arabic as the medium carrying the pigment which has resulted in a more brilliant and durable paint. I was skeptical, tried it, loved it, and will replace my Winsor Newton paints as I use up that on hand. I do add gouache white to my palette to increase opacity.

    When I started putting on the base coat I had the idea of showing the sun returning to the Yukon River in the spring. Welcome after the dark days of winter! This means shadows. Where? I assembled the carving and placed it on a table in an east facing window ─ before sunrise. After several mornings of watching the low angle light, I was sure of the direction and height of the sun. I raided Diana's sewing supplies for her chalk marker and marked the areas of shadow.

    Now, how am I going to get that sunlight reflected on there? Back to the local Art Store. The clerks there are all artists and have been an immense fount of knowledge to this non-artist. One of them had been experimenting with a QOR color Quinacridone Gold (Pigment color is PO48 PY150). In QOR transparency is indicated as maximum. The young lady said that she has used it in her painting and the underlying colors really show through. My advice along this line ─ if there is a "non-chain" art store nearby, particularly if it is near a college or university take advantage of the knowledge available there. Paints cost a bit more but the free knowledge makes up for the additional cost. I make sure I take a carving with me and they are fascinated with this art form ─ so I may get a bit more assistance than the average customer.
    I know that several members are also "friends" on Facebook. I ask that you not reference this posting at this time. When I reach a certain point on a commissioned piece I do not put photos out for the public or the person receiving the carving. I believe that the owner should be the first to see the finished piece as they unpack it and not have expectations from photos. The only exception I make is for Woodcarving Illustrated Forum where I am relatively sure the commissioner will not be visiting.

    Thanks, Paul
    Attached Files

  • #2
    hi paul, When Finished you will definitely a Great Piece of Art. Merle

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    • #3
      Beautiful work....looks like a fun project!

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      • #4
        Hi Paul
        Very Nice carving, lots of detail. I am glad you had the job and not me, very well done
        Bruce

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        • #5
          Paul, you have unbelievable skills, well-done sir
          . . .JoeB

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          • #6
            It's incredible Paul. I'm sure the customer will be thrilled. Lori Corbett. That's the name I couldn't remember. The painting is great.
            Last edited by Spiritwolfe; 09-21-2016, 04:47 PM.

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            • #7
              Great looking carving Paul....I think you will have a real winner there when done. Can't wait to see it finished. Great job.
              ~ Dwight
              "Hello, I am the Friggin' Happiness Fairy and I just sprinkled happy dust on you, so smile damit' this crap is expensive."

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              • #8
                Beautiful work Paul! Your customer will be thrilled!
                Terry

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                • #9
                  Very nice Paul, very nice indeed.

                  Tinwood

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                  • #10
                    First class work Paul. Keep up the good work my friend.

                    Bob
                    Before they slip me over the standing part of the fore sheet, let them pipe: "Up Spirits" one more time.

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                    • #11
                      Very nice little owl, Paul. I like the log too!

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                      • #12
                        Beautiful work

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                        • #13
                          ........and the hard part begins. This is my first real attempt at light and shadow. Hope I don't have to sand everything off and start over. 10-17-2016.jpg

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                          • #14
                            I bet it is going to be a little hard to start adding color to an already beautiful carving
                            . . .JoeB

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                            • #15
                              I have to admit that is is scary. Normally this carving would be finished. But, most of my woodcarvings have been carved as if the light is coming from virtually everywhere. I want to use more light and shadow in my work. When I started thinking of accepting the snowy owl commission, I started remembering the snowy owls I had seen on the banks of the Yukon River. Sunrise is an important event in winter. When so much of the day is spent in the dark. This piece seemed perfect to start using a definite light source. I have painted shadow on the snow behind the bird and .... so far - so good!

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