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Snowy Owl

snowy owl

Yep, it's that time of year again and I'm thinking about this year's card as I've been getting the nudge from folks.

White and wild me thinks, in the low northern sun. So, the Snowy Owl. Actually haven't painted one yet, but have had some very good reference for a number of years now. Roughed out here is a general layout.

sketch

I'm spending less and less time drawing out prior to getting into the canvas and then letting the painting itself develop. Yes, I have a good mental image of what I want it to look like in the end, but you know things change!

These birds used to be sighted on the Shetland and Orkney Islands, having been recorded as nesting on Fetlar in 1967, but since then they've been a very rare visitor, probably only then because of the spreading out of birds after the breeding season.

Besides their main diet of lemming, they feed on a variety of birds and hare (which gives rise to their Swedish name Harfang) and because daylight is continuous within the Arctic Circle during much of the summer nesting season, they have adapted to be diurnal. I'm going to portray a male bird, because he is mainly white and in country containing a mixture of habitats to reflect their varied food intake.

 

tawny owl