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January 27, 2013
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Flight of a Ghost by ThreshTheSky Flight of a Ghost by ThreshTheSky
Prize commission for ~HoneyandChai, who requested a painting of a barn owl.

The barn owl (Tyto alba) is sometimes referred to as the "ghost owl" or "demon owl" due to its eerie appearance and vocalizations. Personally, I think they're gorgeous but I'll admit that I find their calls a little creepy. You can listen and decide for yourself here. Also, I took some liberties with the pattern of its speckles here. They're not accurate for this species.

Related:


The reference photo used was sent to me by HoneyandChai.

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:iconinhighcotton:
InHighCotton Mar 19, 2014  Professional Interface Designer
The artwork is very good. And as far as the speckles...they may vary on different barn owls...I know that on toucans that none of them have the same exact design of color on there beaks, like fingerprints on people. So it may be the same on more animals and birds than we think. Either way its very good. I have seen them in around my house and the speckles didn't look off to me.
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:iconthreshthesky:
ThreshTheSky Mar 20, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks. You're right about the spots being unique to each individual owl like the stripes on a zebra or the patterns of human fingerprints. The problem that makes them look "wrong" in my opinion is that they're too dense and irregular. Most barn owls have spots that are slightly further away from each other and more even. But I got lazy near the end of this project and used a pre-made brush to make them, hence them not being quite perfect. ;) 
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:iconinhighcotton:
InHighCotton Mar 22, 2014  Professional Interface Designer
I understand about getting tired and totally messing up a image, I did it on a pen & ink (and you just can NOT fix a pen & ink, not with 6x0 pen that I was using) of a tiger cub being reflected in the water.
But I don't think you "messed" up. Yes a lot of times natures patterns are just that patterns, we see leaves on oaks or sweet-gums and know them for there uniformity, and yet haven't we all seen a leaf or two just out of sync with the others? For patters to be different from each in the animal world on such a grand scale then there would be ones that are more dense and ones with almost none, and all in between. Just face it, lol. You did good for the rest of us, how you feel about it is of course always up to you.
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:iconartisteamane:
ArtistEamane Jan 28, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is so awesome! :D It looks so realistic! I especially love how you did the wing feathers.  The colors are lovely as well. Another great work!

......also reminds me of the Harry Potter owls! ^_^
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:iconthreshthesky:
ThreshTheSky Jan 28, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks very much! Glad to hear you like the colors. I've always thought the soft tans and cream-colors of barn owls are quite pretty. :D
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:iconartisteamane:
ArtistEamane Jan 28, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You're welcome! :D Same here!
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:iconcypselurus:
Cypselurus Jan 3, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Absolutely beautiful work! :)
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:iconthreshthesky:
ThreshTheSky Jan 3, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you! :)
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:iconcypselurus:
Cypselurus Feb 8, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You're welcome :)
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:iconraveutb:
RaveUTB Nov 18, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Beautiful! The face is sweet, and it's so soft. I love it! Beautiful work! <3 
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