Thursday, May 28, 2009

Night Owl

Night Owl
Oil painting by Linda Besse
12" X 16"

The short-eared owl is a medium sized owl with a length of 13 - 17 inches and a wing span up to 44 inches. While it will hunt in late afternoon or on overcast days, like most owls, it uses the cover of darkness to its best advantage. Feeding primarily on small rodents, it likes to fly low over the ground scouting for prey.

I like painting night scenes as they contain an added challenge. For instance, I have shot reference photos of short-eared owls during the day. The trick in creating that feeling of night time is to key the colors to a blue/green palette, then reduce the contrast (so it doesn't look like a 1965 TV western which is supposed to be night, but you see bright sunshine.) I used to think of night as "navy blue" but found that paintings which have some teal tone read well. Guess this is an appropriate day to post the painting. I was up working until 1:38 AM this morning.

5 comments:

pencilportraits said...

he's stunning, lovely painting and wonderful subject.

sschopfer said...

Nice backlighting! Moonlight?

Linda Besse, Wildlife Artist said...

Yes, the backlighting is from moonlight. I like to think the light is from a full moon slightly obscured by wisps of clouds.
Thanks for the comments.

Wes and Rachelle Siegrist said...

Wonderful composition and mood Linda! We sure miss seeing and laughing with you. ~ Wes

Zazuli said...

Good job :)