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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There’s a lot of ancient mythical beasts which seem pretty isolated, unique to a country’s culture, or even to a specific region. Others, like mermaids, dragons, and giants, are intercultural, being known by many. The Phoenix is one of these mythical superstars, and was known by the Greeks, the Romans, the Egyptians, and even by the Chinese.
In the year 1500 BC, the Israelites who had settled in Egypt had significantly grown in numbers. So much so that the Pharaoh at the time grew fearful of them: paranoid that they would eventually take over. Forgetting that it was actually an Israelite by the name of Joseph - yes, the guy with the groovy coat - who had guided the Egyptian people away from famine a few hundred years earlier, the Pharaoh made all the Israelites slaves. Things then took a most heinous turn when the Pharaoh ordered the midwives to drown all male Hebrew babies at birth.