Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Harris Hawks and Eagle Owls...Its been a very busy month!

Its 2 days short of a whole month since my last blog...Its been a pretty manic time and what with the Easter Holidays I didn't think | had much to share. How wrong I was! I've done lots of paintings and drawings during the past few weeks, and as promised, there are some Harris Hawks inspired by the Hawk Walk in my previous blog!
This is 'Miller', a Harris Hawk...seen from a Hawk Walker's Eye View
This first painting is unfinished - waiting for a background, but I love the unusual angle of view. I'm hoping it will be quite impressive once its complete. The second is another watercolour of Miller in Action..soaring down towards the glove from his perch above! I love the colouring of these American Harris Hawks...their bright yellow heads and feet against the red, black and white of their feathers - they are beautiful!

Harris Hawk in Flight - Water Colour

Despite the diversion towards Harris Hawks, I've still been absorbed by Owls as subjects to paint - spending more time with them in the Falconry Centre has allowed me to get to know them even more as individuals - their quirky personalities becoming more obvious every week! Its one of my favourite parts of the day - cleaning the Owl Aviaries. Its one-to-one time, just me and the owls, having a chat, and more importantly for me, time to really look and see the intricate beauty of their feather patterns, crystal clarity of their eyes and the sharpness of their beaks and talons!!! STUNNING!!!!! Occasionally I get to give some of them a 'bath' or rather a shower from a for them and me...and great to watch! Here are a few Owl paintings...                                        

Woolley - Acrylic

 This is Woolley, an Indian Eagle Owl - a favourite to paint as his personality just oozes through his expressions! He is a stunning bird with striking markings. I find I can really relax and enjoy the ritual of painting when its Woolley...its like I know him so well, I don't have to concentrate too hard on 'getting it right' just seems to happen, right off the end of my brush!

The next two images are of an acrylic painting of Bumble, another Eagle Owl, but this is a Siberian Eagle Owl. He is much bigger than Woolley, and has a much more serious character. I've attempted this on a much larger scale than most of my other paintings as I wanted to try to convey the enormity of his wingspan - which at a guess is around 5ft. What you see here is the first layer..I'm finding the underside of the wings pretty tricky...I got this far and took a break - I haven't yet brought myself to attempt to finish it!! Funnily, seeing it here, small and digitised, I'm a lot happier with it (so far) but in reality it is nowhere near finished.

Bumble, coming in to land. Acrylic.  approx A1

Bumble, detail.

Bumble's Morning Bath!
My last image for today's end on a smile...Bumble having his morning bath...! Its a bit difficult to see, but the light blob in the centre is Bumble, on his branch, soaking up the 'rain' that I'm squirting him with!  I hope its brought you a smile...I had a big grin on my face when it happened!!! I'm going to finish here, but keep an eye out because I'll be blogging again SOON!! Catch you soon, Mandi ;)


  1. I really enjoyed reading this,Mandi, good luck with the "work in progres"

  2. Thanks Pam, glad you enjoyed it! Am keeping at it when time allows...also planning some printmaking in the near future - some monoprints and collagraphs!!! The results no doubt will end up on the blog, so watch this space! Mandi xxx