Sketching Peanut the Owl

Sometimes it is fun to sketch rather than draw in a more detailed and precise fashion. I don’t do this as often as I might, but am finding of late that I am enjoying working quickly more often and am developing my style. This collection of studies are drawn with a carbon pencil and white pastel. Carbon pencils are relatively new to me but have become a tool of choice when I want to get very dark marks like you do with charcoal but without the smudging. By sketching on toned paper, in this case in a brown paper sketchbook, the mid-tones are already present so you can focus on capturing the darks and the highlights.

These quick studies are of Peanut, a burrowing owl who is hand reared and so tame and very friendly. I have had the pleasure of meeting him a couple of times and I am a huge fan of this little creature. It is a joy to sit with him and just observe his movements and markings as he chats with his owner Sarah, taking it all in.

If you are in Cornwall anytime I highly recommend paying a visit to Sarah, Peanut and his fellow birds with the the Bird Lady of Fowey. Sarah is hugely knowledgeable and passionate about the owls and hawks in her care, and offers excellent bird encounters and flying experiences in an intimate setting in the heart of Cornwall. Or like we did, if you are living or staying in Cornwall, you can arrange for Sarah to visit you in the comfort of your own home.

If you too have the good fortune to meet dear little Peanut any time, please do say hello to him from me.