This owl finally got there! • September 19, 2015

It’s a spectacularly lovely Saturday out there, gang!


And here I am still working on the website. No worries though – as my reward for a hard week at this, I’ll knock off in an hour or two and go hang in the hammock with my Sweetie. I’m really, REALLY looking forward to it.


In lieu of getting more cat drawings onto the website (they will be added tomorrow), I thought you might like to see an owl that, while it was a very loooooooong time coming, found a finish that I’m proud of!




He’s pretty interesting, right? He started very differently. Perhaps you recall that a few years ago I had a very nice owl drawing that I didn’t know how to finish. Here it is:




It was such a great beginning, but what next? I decided to photograph it, then print out several copies I could sketch on. It took no time for me to realize I had a whole lot of answers and my method for pursuing them too! So, I spent a little serious time in Photoshop, where I messed with the stalled drawing, before printing it out again on nice drawing paper. This is what it looked like:




And here is a detail of what my new owl looks like now:




I pulled out all of the stops on this little guy: aside from a lot of good old ink and brushwork over top, I also did some digital drawing, which was then pigment transferred back in (google xerox transfer to read how to do this). I textured my paper like crazy as well, mostly by punching it from the back with a push pin and several different smooth-tipped burnishing tools. The result is the variety of grainy/pebbly textures you see in the photo above. In some areas I dragged ink right over them to make gritty looking lines, or even sanded ink off – to get white dots on black. There is also a good deal of blind texture – areas where the paper was left white, which leaves it with a feeling of having been embossed.


I’ve just found this next photo of the back of the drawing, taken while I was working on it. You can really see all the punching and poking I did. In some spots I got so rambunctious that I had to reinforce the paper with archival mending tape just to keep it together!




All told, this is one of the richer little drawings I’ve done, and a pretty great owl. It was well worth the time I spent, and the on and off cycle of putting it aside many times while my judgement of it reset.


If you want to see a hi-res version of this little fellow, you can find it here:


Cats will be coming up next!