Blog by Ellie Burdett

Owl in Flight – Acrylic Painting

I wasn’t sure where this picture was going when I started it…….always a risk; not to pre-plan, my only idea was clouds. So off I went and painted the sky with layers of pastel coloured paint that took my fancy in a diagonal fashion. Why diagonally – I’m not sure….maybe because I’m left handed. After drying I automatically went for the airbrush to layer in the clouds using a very wobbly and torn piece of paper that took my eye.


I studied the clouds for some time and realised the most obvious subject would be an owl in flight (of course….strange artistic mind). Using transfer paper I moved my sketch to the canvas and lightly painted the outline with unbleached titanium white.

I then filled out the owl with more unbleached titanium white following the direction of the feathers and matching my paints strokes to the shapes of the feathers.

I gradually added variations of colour for the feathers details using different shades of brown darker to lighter. Final feather highlights were then added in titanium white.

A few washes with glazing medium further defined the colours and finished with a coat of medium gloss varnish.

Supplies list:

  • Liquitex Basics paint
  • Creatix spray paint
  • Neo Iwata airbrush
  • 40cm x 40cm square art in a canvas 280gsm
  • Liquitex heavy body unbleached titanium white

Artists note:

I actually thought this project would make a really good cushion so curiosity being what it is went on to order a print.

Happy painting Ellie.

Owl in Flight


  • Liquitex basics paint
  • Liquitex glazing medium
  • Liqutex full body unbleached titanium white
  • Iwata airbrush with creatix paint
  • Master series brushes (philbert)
  • Proart Polar brushes (round)



A much enjoyed variation of the usual colour for almond blossom paintings in gold.  I wanted to create a painting with warmer colours on this occasion and choose this variation of a well known.  I started this painting by mixing liquitex basics to form a near gold colour and covered the canvas over.  I graduated the colour as I reached the centre of the canvas to achieve a variance in the depth of the background.

Following this, I used unbleached titanium white to form the basis of the of the tree.  I then used various colours to build up the detail of the bark to include hoockers green, yellow, unbleached titanium white, white (for the highlights) and various browns.  I then added in the blossoms using initially a shade of blue that I had coloured matched for the painting from the outset.  On seeing the final product with the blue blossoms, I realised that this wasn’t the theme I was looking for so decided on a change…..

I managed to find a complementary colour for the blossoms that I was happy with, by adding a shade of yellow in with unbleached titanium white.  The accent colours of green were then added.

I went over the whole painting with Glazing medium from Liquitex and left to dry for twenty four hours.  After the painting had dried, I sprayed it with Liqitex matt finish spray.  I patiently waited another day before finally giving two coats of Liquitex medium gloss varnish.

Again another painting I very much enjoyed…..with each painting, I learn more and more…….here I learnt that with acrylic painting – it is a very forgiving medium in that if you are not happy with it you can change even the colour scheme by;

  • painting over the top when completely dry
  • using a hint of colour with glazing medium to change the tones and colours


Final artists note:  This was the first painting that I used gloss varnish with (I have previously used mat varnish), I was very pleased with the gloss varnish as it enhanced the colours of the final piece – something to definitely repeat again and again……


Gold Almond Blossom Painting;