Wildlife Artist - Martin Ridley

View how a piece of artwork is developed

Previously "On the Easel"

Welcome - wildlife paintings in progress by Martin Ridley. These barn owl pictures were previously featured "On the Easel".

Follow an oil painting demonstration, see how a piece of artwork evolves from the initial drawings through to completion. Here are some barn owl working drawings to show how I experiment and make minor adjustments until I'm happy with the results. View the stages of the drawings as they develop towards the finished picture.

Oil painting of a barn owl hunting over reeds
"Over the Reeds" Barn Owl in Flight

Original oil painting
image 22 x 36 inches
£5950 For Sale Currency Converter

Barn owl pictures - A sketch of a barn owl in flight bu Martin RidleyWhen working up preparatory drawings in the studio there are some shortcut methods that I use to create a strong image.

I frequently overlay preliminary sketches with fresh sheets of paper on a light box to redraw the positive lines developed so far. This enables me to efficiently preserve the best elements and focus on the problems.

While developing a preparatory drawing areas that aren't working are covered up. Fresh pieces of paper with improvements are taped on until the image comes together.

Picture of a barn owl by Martin Ridley Barn Owl Sketch - (Tyto alba)

Barn Owl Sketches, (Tyto Alba)

In the studio I have gathered many sources of reference material to help me understand the finer details of the owl, which include:

  • preserved wings and feathers collected from various dead birds that I have found.
  • filed images; magazine clippings, photos and previous drawings.
  • simple models that I've made to help understand a form in 3D or work out shadows.

Knowledge is the key to my working methods:

  • knowledge of the animal and its behaviour in its natural habitat. (I only really like to paint animal species, which I have studied in the wild)
  • knowledge gained by research

Confidence develops through an understanding of an animal species and allows extra creative freedom.

Hovering barn owl picture - Original oil painting depicting a hovering owl Hunting barn owl in flight
Hovering Barn Owl
Details from the original oil painting
image 30 x 24 inches
Original Sold

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