This illustration of The Great Grey Owl was inspired firstly by it’s size. It is very large.
This species of owl lives in the northern hemisphere, from North America to northern Asia, they breed in the coniferous forests in the high northern latitudes, between the tundra, and the temperate forest.
The Great Grey Owl is listed Endangered under California’s Endangered Species Act.
Well, surprise surprise, what is causing problems for The Great Grey Owl. yes, you guessed it. Human beings and more specifically, Logging. Intensified timber management is reducing the Owls natural habitat.
large-diameter trees are used by the birds for nesting, leaning trees are used by juveniles for roosting before they can fly. The dense canopy is used by juveniles for cover and protection.
Farming is also having an impact. Livestock grazing in meadows also adversely affects Great Grey Owls, by reducing habitat for preferred prey species.
Here is the illustration in progress.
Firstly the Owl is drawn out on stretched paper.
Then start with the face, Davy;s grey with cerulean blue and burnt sienna.
Then working up the pattern on the body and on the wings.
Working in the forest in the foreground.
Images © Daniel Mackie
view Daniel Mackie’s illustration portfolio.
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With the exception of artists, inventors, and teenagers - we humans are diurnal daytime creatures on the whole, and although it’s one thing to be out and about during the night in a street lit urban environment, it’s a very different scenario if you find yourself in, say… oh, I don’t know, a forest per se. Where, if you’re lucky, you may hear the unmistakable cry or hoot of an Owl: natures very own nocturne, a stark reminder of the unknown peril of night, and a creature that has featured heavily in myth and folklore throughout the ages.