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Old 03-08-2007, 03:30 PM
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potomac79 potomac79 is offline
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Athena's Little Owl WIP

As promised, I'm going to post the WIP of the project I started before the baptism one http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=405825. Remember, this is my first scratchboard attempt and was just meant to give me some practice before the aforementioned work. As before, it's on 5"x7" Clayboard Black using the back of a #11 blade tip (mostly...I also did some experiments on the board as I was doing the baptism piece). The subject is a picture I found (I forget where) of a "Little Owl" (Athene noctua)...the speices of owl associated with the goddess Athena.

This was just getting started:



I began with the pearch, as it wasn't very important, and then I did some few feathers at the bottom as they were nearly white. Once I felt I was getting some touch, I started with the eyes...for as we all know, if you screw up the eyes, there's little point in going on. Oh yeah, the image was put on using gray transfer paper. So...a little more work:



And a little more after that...



And that's pretty much where it's been for the past week or so as I was busy with the other scratch and an airbrushed painting http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=406882. Since I'm now fragged, I'm taking a day or two off before jumping back with the owl.

I did screw up the shading on the left side...should have kept it a little darker, but it's not so off that I'm killing myself about it.
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Last edited by potomac79 : 03-08-2007 at 03:33 PM.
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Old 03-08-2007, 05:37 PM
Rodman Rodman is offline
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Re: Athena's Little Owl WIP

looks great and very much worth the effort..thanks for posting
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Old 03-08-2007, 06:00 PM
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Diana Lee Diana Lee is offline
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Re: Athena's Little Owl WIP

Great start, are you planning on coloring it? Either way it works, it is a moody piece in black and white.

Diana
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Old 03-08-2007, 08:09 PM
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Re: Athena's Little Owl WIP

Really nice, can't wait for you to rest up and finish it :-) My next project is an owl, too, so I'm eager to see how your's goes.

- Tania
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Old 03-09-2007, 02:49 PM
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Re: Athena's Little Owl WIP

Thanks guys. As for coloring it... that's not really in the plan for two reasons: 1) and this is the more important-- I don't have any permanent transparent inks on-hand at the moment. I will have, but not right now; 2) The base color of the owl is this tan-orange thing that just isn't wowing me.

Had I planned on coloring this from the beginning, I'd have changed some things. First, I'd have back-lit the owl, using reflected light to show the darkened detail up front. I'd have then opted to color it in blues (in the white parts) and dark gray-browns in the tan-orange parts. Basically, the owl at night. Hmmm.... guess I'd also have needed to open up the pupils.

For now, I think it works best as a basic black-and-white piece.

Sidenote: I just ordered more Clayboard Black and Clayboard Smooth to continue learning...so I'll probably be hanging around this forum for a bit as those new supports get played with.
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Old 03-10-2007, 12:05 PM
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Re: Athena's Little Owl WIP

Looking forward to the finish! Looking good so far!!!
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Old 03-11-2007, 01:50 AM
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Re: Athena's Little Owl WIP

I'll probably start working on it again on Sunday. I just hope I don't muck it all up
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Old 03-12-2007, 10:38 PM
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Re: Athena's Little Owl WIP

Looking good thus far. Hope I get to see the finish. I miss alot these days it seems.
Carol
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Old 03-24-2007, 01:44 AM
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Re: Athena's Little Owl WIP

Finally got most of the other projects out of the way, so I'm back working on the owl:



Right now I'm pretty much scratching in the bright bits (also know as "all those #[email protected]$& fiddly little feathers" ) as well as a few of the mid-tone base-color areas. Once these light areas are done, I'll switch from the Xacto to a pin to scratch in the myriad shading patterns (lots of small thin scratches and dots everywhere).
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Old 03-24-2007, 01:08 PM
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Re: Athena's Little Owl WIP

I like how the owl's gaze will draw the viewer's eye diagonally across this work. I think it will add a dynamic edge to a static pose.

- Tania
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Old 03-25-2007, 01:16 AM
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Re: Athena's Little Owl WIP

That drew me to the image as well. I was fortunate to find a photo of this species that 1) I liked; and 2) the photographer granted permission to use.
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Old 03-27-2007, 05:26 AM
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Re: Athena's Little Owl WIP

Almost done with the highlights...one more session or two. Then it's the mid-tones and details. (I'm starting to loathe feathers.)

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Old 04-07-2007, 03:53 AM
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Re: Athena's Little Owl WIP

Finally got a block of time to work on this. At least the feathers are all in, now.



Now I fiddle with it. C&C very welcome as I plan out what I want to tweak.
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Last edited by potomac79 : 04-07-2007 at 03:57 AM.
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Old 04-07-2007, 11:58 AM
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Re: Athena's Little Owl WIP

Wow! This is wonderful. I never, ever thought of using the backside of the exacto blade. I get frustrated because the tips get dull so quickly and have held on to them to see if I could sharpen them or use them some other way. The back is a great idea! Did you use any washes back intothe feathers or have you gotten all that wonderful shading from the get-go? Do you get the idea I like your owl
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Old 04-07-2007, 12:29 PM
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Re: Athena's Little Owl WIP

Thanks, Terri. At present, it's just pure first-pass scratch. The bright highlights were with X-acto, the rest was with a pin. The main reason I used the back of the tip was because, when I started, I was having trouble getting through the ink layer in a consistent manner with the blade-side of the tip. I've since grown to love the pin, though. Which I use depends on how much ink I want to scrape off in one pass.
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