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Tawny Owl

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  • Tawny Owl

    Just finished this one today. The owl was carved from 4/4 basswood and measures 29" x 11 1/2". The branch was painted with watercolors with the lichens being sculpted with modeling paste. The owl is painted with acrylics which was a real challenge. I usually use oils but decided to try the acrylics, what a difference and far harder. The background was painted using artist oils.

    I was trying for the deep misty woods look at dawn or dusk. It was a great experiment that did not feel like work at all. I am looking forward to trying something similar to work out the bugs.

    Hope you enjoy it and of course all comments are welcome. Any suggestions for improvement are welcome.

    Mark Strom
    www.stromcarver.com

  • #2
    Re: Tawny Owl

    It is a strikingly beautiful carving. I looked at your website and you have quite a body of work that I admire. I am not qualified to give advice to you on naturalistic carvings, but I like it a lot.

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    • #3
      Re: Tawny Owl

      Thanks for the kind comments. One member suggested darkening part of the background, took his advice and it did improve the piece considerably, thanks for the suggestion.

      Mark

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      • #4
        Re: Tawny Owl

        Looks great, Mark, the darker background really does make the owl pop. Like how you did the branches also.

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        • #5
          Re: Tawny Owl

          Originally posted by stave View Post
          Thanks for the kind comments. One member suggested darkening part of the background, took his advice and it did improve the piece considerably, thanks for the suggestion.

          Mark
          I'm glad it worked out! I took off my suggestion because I didn't like how I wrote it. I'm glad you understood.
          Greg
          Greg

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          • #6
            Re: Tawny Owl

            Beautiful all around! I especially like your handling of the branch (very realistic) and the background is superb.

            You mentioned that you found the use of acrylics difficult compared with oils. Would you be so kind as to expand on this and explain what you found different?
            Arthur

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            • #7
              Re: Tawny Owl

              Great site that you have!! I love the way you use the various kinds of paints and it looks very successful. Thanks so much for sharing your work.
              . Explore! Dream! Discover!” aloha Di

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              • #8
                Re: Tawny Owl

                Most of my paint work is a combination of mediums. Usually the animals are base coated with an acrylic with the rest being done in artist oils. In the case of the owl my normal method would be to paint it entirely white with an acrylic. I would then use artist oils mixed with a glazing medium to achieve a semitransparent glaze and build the desired colors or patterns one coat at a time. This allows for different shades or tones to be added making for a color that has more depth and warmth.

                The acrylics are a one shot deal. You can make washes out of them but there is no clarity or depth, it is like looking through a haze. Acrylics are difficult to blend or feather into each other as well. I also cannot get the acrylics to flow like the glazes and I have tried the all different mediums. Acrylics act like what they are...a latex or rubber like film. I know that is not a technically correct definition but it fits...

                Using the oils with the glaze is slow but you can control the strength of the color, blend and feather and you can have the paint "rest" into deep carved areas like fur without coloring the high spots around it. To me the oils offer way more flexibility and color range.

                I know a lot of the professional wildfowl carvers use acrylics and they produce mind blowing effects...so far that is way beyond my reach. Hope this explanation helps.

                Stave

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                • #9
                  Re: Tawny Owl

                  Stave, that was a very interesting post about the use of oils over acrylics. It gives me food for thought. Thank you!
                  Arthur

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