Sunday, September 14, 2014


As you may know, I've been slammed by a severe cold and probably bronchitis resulting from that, so I haven't been able to go to work or do any art. All I do is cough. But I can draw a little bit in my sketchbook journal, and the theme of this page is "owls." I am a bird lover and owls are some of my favorite birds, mainly because they are up at night the way I am, and no one ever blames them for sleeping all day long. There is a family of Barred Owls in my backyard, and during the breeding season I can hear their calls in the night. The owl portrait head at the top is a "Saw-whet" owl, a tiny little owl which doesn't come into my area very often.

The Barred Owl looks like this: 

And they have a fascinating repertoire of noises and calls. Not just the "Who cooks for youuu" characteristic call, but squeals, whines, screams, whoops, and my favorite, the caterwaul. The Barred is the only owl I have ever seen in my neighborhood with my own eyes, though I've heard them all along. During a snowstorm last winter, someone was shoveling snow under a tree and disturbed a roosting Barred Owl by daylight. What a bother for the bird! I saw it fly away from the shoveler and find a perch higher up on another tree. After a while it settled in and closed its eyes until nightfall. 


Last on the Owl Page is this red-phase Screech Owl, another owl I've heard but never seen. This one has the cute little feather "ears" that make it so characteristic. 

That's all for the bird world tonight. I thank "Birds and Blooms" magazine for the owl photos, which were my drawing references. Pitt brown and black technical pen on sketchbook page, color and some touch-ups added in Photoshop.

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