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November 27th, 2014

Eagle Head

Elaine Hill, from Lancashire, England, recently posted this powerful drawing of an eagle’s head and we asked Elaine to describe her vision and technique. “I’m an office worker and painting is my hobby. I have painted since I was a child but I recently started to study a very comprehensive online art course provided by . An exercise in the Animal section of the Watercolour Academy given by Tutor Glynis Barnes-Mellish, had a great photo of an eagle’s head that inspired me to paint this picture. Working full time, I don’t always get much chance to paint. So earlier this year I joined the ‘Artists Journal Workshop’ on Facebook and this led to my working in a sketchbook.

After studying the photograph, I penciled in the drawing of the eagle, keeping it to the right so that I would have space on the left for any writing. I intentionally made the drawing large enough for the dramatic effect of the head extending to both the top and the bottom of the page. I then painted pale washes of colours over the pages, pinks yellows, burnt sienna, and turquoise. When the paper dried, I began to work on creating the texture of the shiny beak and the glassy eye using wet paint on dry, then adding more washes of darker-toned colours for the feathers, painted in the direction that the feathers grow. I then used Uni Posca felt tip pens to sharpen and darken details, such as bringing out the shine on the hard beak, the texture of the feathers and highlighting the reflection in the eye. I also like to spatter the pages with colour, which adds a bit of magic. Lastly, I drew the border in one of the colours I’ve used in the picture, taking the lines only up to the edge of the eagle; this created the illusion of bringing the head of the bird forward.

A big thank you to ArtTutor for the inspiration to create this artwork and allowing me to show you my painting.

MEDIA: Pencil, watercolor, ink
SURFACE: Zeta Series – Extra Heavyweight – White – 270 gsm – Smooth Finish



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