An Owl Family Portrait

One of the most interesting commissions I get is an Owl Family Portrait. It’s an exciting piece of work and always feels captivating and interesting to transfer peoples’ personalities into the Owls. It’s a challenge many way. Since it’s not about capturing features precisely, it has to go deeper and become more intimate. Because I'm allowed to glimpse into the life of the family, to learn about their favorite things, what makes them laugh, go through family pictures, get to know them better. Every step, every question is like a part of a wonderful jigsaw puzzle that comes together.

Initially I send the customer an ‘Owling Process’ questionnaire which helps me delve into their personalities, learn their favorite colors as well as the ones they don’t like. I ask about the idea of what qualities, concept and atmosphere they want me to catch in a forthcoming painting. Then, I do a rough sketch and put together a color palette I want to use. I share it with the client and we discuss any wishes and changes before I transfer the finalized ideas into the painting.

The final step is the original painting. This is when all the magic happens, where all the ideas flow through the colors, patterns and lines and transform into the characters.

I would like to share with you an Owl Family Portrait I’ve just recently finished.

I was installing my first exhibition at Cocoa Bar, a cozy and artsy Park Slope coffee house when Beth approached us. She loved my artwork and wanted a family painting as a surprise present for her husband on his upcoming birthday. They have two beautiful daughters - Marley and Zoey. The family is outdoorsy and adventurous, they love to travel and explore new countries and cultures.

We choose four dominant colors: lime green, turquoise, orange and purple. Each owl had its own color and a mix of other three to unite them as a family while highlighting their wonderful and unique personalities. And of course, add the family's type of shoes - flip flops! The last touch to the painting was a thin outline of the Brooklyn Bridge. Last touch was a thin white frame which gave the painting a light and airy appearance.

The highlight of any commission is to see customer’s reaction when they see the painting for the first time. It’s my favorite part. I was thrilled to see the girls jump around with excitement when they saw my work. They were both part of the creative process and were helping Beth with how to best portray themselves and their Dad. But there was one more step to this adventure. The moment I got a text from Beth that her husband loved the present so much made me smile and happy.

Moments like this are priceless! I remember when my mom said to me: 

The most beautiful thing is when your art makes people smile.