From practice practice practice

Brown Owls in the Owl Pages

Thanks to Rob Wishart, some of my owls are on The Owl Pages, a very cool site with loads of owl photos and everything you could ever want to know about these beautiful and smart birds. Two of my favorite brown owls on that site are below.

Brown Owl from The Lost Cave Paintings of Saint Paul

When I started painting owls I wasn’t confident about getting their faces right. This brown owl waited patiently on my easel for about half a year while I worked on dozens of small owl faces. I’m glad that I practiced.

This Brown Owl is from The Lost Cave Paintings of Saint Paul, which I imagine and excavate from the comfort of my rat-and-bat-free living room studio.The “cave wall” is white gesso that I tint with watercolor. Applying (slathering) the gesso with an offset spatula gives the painting its texture.


Brown Owl from the Lost Cave Paintings of Saint Paul
Brown Owl from the Lost Cave Paintings of Saint Paul (print matted to 11×14 at ETSY)


Wise Brown Owl

The original owl for this image is very small and very blue. I scanned the image into Photoshop, and used both Posterize and Invert to make this velvety brown owl.

Wise Brown Owl
Wise Brown Owl (print matted to 11×14 at etsy)


Explore More Owl Art

  1. On products at zazzle
  2. Any of these images on other products at zazzle, on cards or prints. Let’s talk: 651.917.0219

30-paintings-in-30-days: Black and White Rooster Day 17

Only delusional artists believe that everything works out perfectly first time and every time.

Day 17 didn’t work so well.

Small Model
Small Model

I had a good idea which was to paint a black and white striped rooster. There are many examples in breeders books and in art. It seemed like a good idea. It didn’t work out as well as I would have liked because (1) I didn’t plan or practice; (2) and I didn’t pay close attention to what I was doing. Which is not to say that it wasn’t fun to paint. I love tiny spaces, and this Rooster has a lot of them.

It’s always a good idea to practice, advice that I dispense all of the time. This feather effect needs a lot of practice.







First Black and White
First Black and White Rooster
Framed Black and White Rooster
Framed Black & White Rooster






After scanning into Photoshop, I made some adjustments to the First Black and White Rooster. I cropped out his back feathers to get rid of the mess. I used the Cross Hatch brush strokes filter to adjust all of the black and white feathers.  Neither adjustment moved this experiment close to the effect that I was aiming for.