European Eagle Owl in Profile (#34): 100 Face Challenge

I came across an image that grabbed me by the throat recently at Paint My Photo. The photographer is Paul Sherman, and his wildlife images will wow you.


This was a quick “I should really be sleeping” type of sketch, but wouldn’t it be amazing to sharpen a whole bunch of colored pencils and have a go at a detailed painting of this gorgeous photo? Here is a live link to the image. You will have to setup a free account at Paint My Photo to view it. If you’re an artist, it’s worthwhile. The photographers there graciously share their work with the art community, which is a beautiful thing indeed.

Who’s dancing? Time to splatter and splash in big splotches of paint this weekend! Peace.

68 thoughts on “European Eagle Owl in Profile (#34): 100 Face Challenge

      1. Do you find that different brands of pencils work differently? My daughter gave me some colored pencils for Christmas and they really require a different touch. I’ll have to get used to them, but I love the colors.

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            1. Erasibility is a big factor to me, which is why I love the Polychromos. Colored pencil was my second medium after WC that I really loved and before deciding on a brand, I bought a bunch of pencils open stock. I do think there are differences. I was looking for erasable, creamy precision and found it with the Polys. They aren’t so waxy as some of the other brands and Faber-Castell is a reliably good manufacturer, in my experience. There were others I enjoyed that were more expensive, mostly the Caran d’Ache lines. Dick Blick has a line that is really reasonable that’s made (I believe) by koh-I-no or and that was a really good one also, but not as creamy or as erasable as the Polys. Great price tho. I hope this helps.

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              1. Thanks Laura. I too have a bunch of different single pencils, but I don’t think I have any polychromos. My current favorites are Derwent and the ones my friend gave me from a museum shop (the museum said they had no idea who manufactured them). Using different brands in the same drawing is also an interesting experience! Sometimes good, sometimes not!

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                  1. I’ll see if the “local” art store has them. (It’s actually down by Columbia University where I do most of my grocery shopping and banking–but much easier to access than any of the big art stores). If not, it will go on the list for Dick Blick. Thanks!

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  1. Really enjoyed your owl. When I first viewed it, it reminded me of Carson on Downton Abbey. I think it was the EYEBROW! Ha You make me smile!

    Sent from my iPhone


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  2. So expressive and beautiful! Funny thing: one of my other blogging pals (I can’t remember who for the life of me) recently also talked about the Eagle Owl! It’s one of the larger eagles in the world, but not quite as huge as the Blakiston’s Fish Owl (my son’s favorite owl). πŸ™‚

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    1. Thanks, Kirk. It really helps to have an image such as Paul’s to draw from. I just love eyes too, and what better than an owl’s for inspiration? Glad you enjoyed it. I may go back and do a detailed drawing of the eye in colored pencil. Would be very cool if I could pull it off. I don’t do a lot of detail work, so … not sure how it would go.

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    1. Thanks, Jill! I had no idea there were so many different kinds but they really are amazing. I think there was a special on PBS at some point and it’d be really cool to go back and try and find that, or something like it. Their eyes alone make them showstoppers – and that photo was incredible! That man is an amazing photographer. He does amazing things with people’s pets too. Kerfe posted a link to his personal website where there are tons more beautiful shots.

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  3. I often draw in that sleepy state, and they turn out better than when I’m fully awake! This is beautiful – very deep in the eye and with a mysique befitting the owl (they are magical creatures – I rather want one!)

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  4. Laura, an absolutely fabulous drawing. If or when you grab the colored pencils, let me know. I’d love to see this owl in color too.

    I’ve been on the road for a few days and when I arrive in Florida, and as soon as I set-up my internet, I will definitely get on “Paint My Photo” site.

    Very close to where I stay in Florida there’s a bird rookery. I will be busy photographing many different birds, (blue herons, a few different kinds of egrets, snake birds, and more), some will be dressed in their mating plumage, some will have nestlings or juveniles. Wildlife at its best, all these birds nest together on a very small island in the middle of a small lake. All getting along quite nicely. Must go one, later alligator, oh yes, there’s alligators too.

    Sunshine thoughts.


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  5. This is lovely Laura, you have captured so much character, which is hard with birds. I was supposed to comment yesterday, but got side tracked, I have not logged into pmp for ages, I had uploaded some reference photos for others enjoyment ages ago, and used to use regularly, but just forgot about it. Thank you for the reminder, I have now got rather carried away with some possible pics to paint, where to start?

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  6. Laura I pretty much love what you are doing, I wish I could draw… you are doing a great job! But I believe I can give you another tip, more related to blogging. Something that was apparent after looking at 3 of your posts is that you use a lot of tags… Just a small tip… this can hurt your blog in two ways, first one is that Google dislikes it if too many of them are used, the second reason is that you will not be featured in the global reader of WordPress if you use more than 15 tags (categories counted in). What I mean is, you might get even more exposure to your work through WordPress, if you stay below 15 tags included categories πŸ™‚ You deserve it!

    At the following link it is explained, it’s officially mentioned and I tested it:
    Quote: “Five to 15 tags (or categories, or a combination of the two) is a good number to add to each of your posts. The more categories you use, the less likely it is that your post will be selected for inclusion in the topic listings”.

    I thought this tip could help you. Not meant negatively πŸ™‚

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      1. Don’t worry. I did use quite a lot of tags back then too, because why not… πŸ™‚ I featured out later that when I used under 15, I would get more likes through the wordpress reader. Later I have read, it’s because WP hides posts with too much tags, at least in the global reader. So, I learned this just later too.

        Over the years I got experience with search engine marketing, it’s something I am interested in since a while… in some cases it can happen that you get punished (ranking problems) by Google for using too much tags.

        By the way, I learned a lot from others too, that is what the blogging community is about too… Now when I spot something at times, I try to give a tip too.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I hear you, Dennis, I try to share info anytime I can. I really appreciate your help, as I know nothing about search engines … I still consider myself a new blogger since I started Jan. 2015. I’ve learned a little but not much, because I’d rather be drawing or painting. Speaking of which, I couldn’t draw a year ago. Practice really makes a huge difference. I’m living proof. So if you really want to draw (I always wanted to and thought I just lacked the “gift”), you can do it. Betty Edwards book “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain” was really key for me. I hope this helps. Thanks again for the great tip!

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          1. Thanks Laura, I put this book on a list πŸ™‚ You are right, as someone who learned to play guitar, and a few other creative things, I agree with you… starting is the key, and then practicing a lot πŸ™‚

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