quarridors's avatar

Barn Owl

8 6 4K (1 Today)
By quarridors   |   
A digital painting of a barn owl perched on a post in a field, drawn entirely using digital airbrush.

This was painted on the 24th of June 2009 on a tablet PC using Sketchbook Pro with the airbrush and eraser tools only. Total time spent was about 15 hours.

The reference image was a stock photograph from deviantART, taken by the extremely talented `KevLewis [link]

Originally hosted here [link]
Image size
4232x3248px 942.63 KB
anonymous's avatar
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tag0's avatar
tag0Hobbyist General Artist
Again, absolutely gorgeous work. Thanks for tweeting it as well!
1sidedownand2up's avatar
1sidedownand2upHobbyist Digital Artist
I'm going to seriously have to buy Sketchbook Pro if its possible to do things like this with it.
quarridors's avatar
quarridorsHobbyist Digital Artist
Now days I'd recommend Clip Studio Paint (aka Manga Studio) on desktop and Procreate on iPad.
gwava's avatar
I love your work, and this one in particular is amazing. I've only just started getting into doing digital work and hope to someday be able to do half this good. I checked out your red squirrel tutorial and know you do this with airbrush tool only, what I can't figure out is how you get the detail and crispness of lines with airbrush. My lines always look blurred with the airbrush tool. Is it done by using the eraser to clean up edges (which I imagine only works by using many, many layers so you can erase without losing other lines)?
quarridors's avatar
quarridorsHobbyist Digital Artist
I'm so sorry for missing your comment!

My technique wasn't so good in 2009 so I wasn't using layers very much, I think on this one I had a separate layer for the background, the post and the feet, everything else was on a single layer (this is not at all sensible, these days I use lots of layers and layer folders to group those layers).

How I got it to look so sharp was by starting with a high resolution canvas and drawing any parts that needed to be detailed in with a very small airbrush. I varied the size of the airbrush much more than using the eraser to sculpt (I would be doing that around the edges of the body though).

These days I use Clip Studio Paint, which allows you to define masks or to only draw in areas where there's something drawn on the layer below. That saves a lot of time.
The-Geek-Goddess's avatar
The-Geek-GoddessStudent General Artist
WOW. When I first clicked on this I thought it was a photo (based on the thumbnail). You are amazingly talented! Keep up the great work. :)
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