I was approached by a returning customer from the USA to create a Coloured pencil portrait of a Barn Owl and offered to create a few mock ups of compositions before I began as I always do. As a lover of photography I have a large photo reference library of various animals and birds including Barn Owls and so put together 5 different compositions one of which was the 2 Owls on the wall which became the basis of the portrait. The second stage was creating a few mock ups of the Owls within different backgrounds and finally, with the Owls and background in place the last collection of mock ups made were with various walls for the Owls to stand on which were in focus and added interest to the final composition. Many of my Wildlife portraits are created this way.
I chose a tan toned paper to work on which matches the warm tones of the Barn owls as well as giving strength in colour to the lighter tones such as the whites. The tonal background will be created using Derwent's Coloursoft range pencils which are soft and blend well for great effect and the Owls & the wall will be created using the caran Dache Luminance pencils which are ideal for very fine detail and strength of colour. A base layer of tones and loose detail is first applied to the whole of the portrait before I then apply the stronger & finer details to completion.
The Barn Owl at Cresswell, Northumberland (UK)
This portrait is based on actual Barn Owl territory at Cresswell in Northumberland (UK). It is a 40 minute cycle ride from where I live along the beautiful coastal route of Lynemouth through to Cresswell pond, this place regularly has Photographers set up waiting for this little guy to make an appearance. Sitting in the undergrowth of the wide open field which connects to a lagoon where you can regularly see Avocets, Oystercatchers & even Otters on the rare occasion, is an area overlooking the coast and is ideal for field mice and voles. I wait patiently as I see him in the distance, flying silently and hovering on numerous occasions, not at all phased by the long line of photographers with their huge cameras on tripods waiting to get some great photos themselves. There is something breathtaking about seeing such a Bird in the Wild and feeling honoured that this Owl continues it's daily journey passing close by whilst I click the rapid fire button on my camera. Here are some of those photos.
Most people visiting my website would understandably think that I only take on Pet & portrait Commissions but I actually create various Commissions if someone is looking for something specific. The 3 images below were created using an editing program to cut and paste various sections of other photographs to create the one 'mock up' which becomes the reference photo for the portrait. As a huge fan of photography, I have collected thousands of photographs of various animals, birds & subjects that can be used for a bespoke portrait whenever requested.
composition and the Artwork, which will be completed in Coloured pencils for a returning customer from the US, will be created by balancing out incorrect lighting and generally offering a more appealing and balanced background. This is currently in progress and a link to the progress page will be applied to the image when available if you wish to see it come together.
If you have your own idea for a piece of Art that you would like to Commission me to create in Coloured pencils or Acrylics, you can drop me an E-mail direct at: firstname.lastname@example.org, fill in my CONTACT FORM or BOOKING/QUOTE FORM or even give me a call on: 07854 677416 with your own idea. Here is another bespoke Commission that was requested for a Wedding Day and another for a very special portrait that captured the moments of a romantic Engagement
After having spent a hectic week back in Chesterfield (my old home town) to run my Coloured pencil 'Pet portrait' Workshop which ran on the 9th of May (2015) and catching up with family and friends too, once back home in Newbiggin-by-the-Sea, I decided to take a rare day off from work to recuperate and myself and my partner John Graham, decided to head out on the bikes with our camera's to hopefully capture some new reference material and simply enjoy Mother Nature in all her glory! We headed off up the coastal road through Cresswell stopping off at Cresswell Pond to spend some time in their hide looking out at the waders and ending up at Druridge Pools who also has a few hides dotted around their lake too. A 20 mile round trip gathering such great photos were totally worth sore bottoms the next day!!
Had a wonderful day out with friends at Hagley's Falconry Centre! The day began around half 10 after teas & coffees , we were shown around the centre and introduced to their Birds. The day then continued with some Bird Handling, beginning with the tiny little American Kestrel and as the day went on, the Birds got bigger (and heavier!!) After lunch we went off for a walk in the local wood closely followed by the centre's Harris Hawk, and upon return - even bigger birds! The highlight for me was the stunning Golden Eagle, although he was not in the best of moods as he wanted his tea! Boy was he heavy!!! We left the centre around half 4, all having said we had had such a wonderful day and would thoroughly recommend it!! As a Vege, the worst part was having a chicks head on my glove to encourage a Bird to come to me, but my eyes were only drawn to the beautiful animals flying towards me. Time for some Artwork me thinks!!
Karen M Berisford