Savina sent me her painting in progress of a Barn Owl and has asked for my help, Savina writes:
“…I’m having the hardest time with the feathers and I think the face looks funny…”
I have placed equal squares around the head on both Savina’s Owl and the photograph to show just how far out the proportions are. Also note that the blue lines show the angle of the beak and area immediately above the beak are out of alignment. It is always worth using some kind of drawing aid when drawing animals – our Square Drawing system work well here. This is a shame because Savina has made a very good job of the colouring of this bird and with a little more attention to the line drawing this will turn out well. With pastel pencils this error can be adjusted by using an eraser to remove some of the pastel then redrawing the owl closely following the reference picture.
Feathers are really trick and I am not surprised Savina is finding it hard going, however so far it is not coming out too badly so I would stick with this picture as I feel it is worth doing. The only thing I would add it that the orange colour of the feathers would look better if Savina used the same colour as those around the face (see red arrows).
The eye is also a little too almond shaped in the painting whereas the photo shows it more rounded.
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