top of page
Animals by Barry

Barry Levin

Wildlife and Animal Art


Evolution of My Artwork:
Step by Step

Eastern Screech Owl, Red Phase.jpeg

Eastern Screech Owl,
Red Phase
Acrylic on linen canvas

Eurasian Eagle Owl  Eurasian.jpeg

Eurasian Eagle Owl
Acrylic on linen canvas
16"x 20" 


I am painting a:
Screech Owl Red Phase  (2)
Eurasian Eagle Owl  (3)

I am working on the 2 paintings at the same time for consistency, because these paintings are intended to be displayed together.

The Screech Owl is a very small Owl and the Eagle Owl is a very large owl.

Each will be 16”x20” acrylic on linen canvas.

I will utilize an interesting painting technique you have not seen from me before.

I have painted a solid light grey background of pigmented gesso (1)
. This will serve as both a non distracting background and a shadow color for done of my lightest areas. The background is the same for both paintings, even though the photos vary.

Next I put my layouts on each canvas using both black and white India ink. India ink is correctable until dry, permanent when dry, and fully comparable with the acrylic paints I will be using.

Later I will be painting shadow colors. These will be the darker colors of each color area.

I will then paint very thin white line detail and texture over all the feathers.

I will be mixing various transparent colors with transparent medium to make them more transparent. These are called glazes.

These transparent glazes will be painted over selected portions of the white lines and the shadow colors. Where they cover the white lines the colors will appear bright and light. Where they cover the darker shadow colors they will be much more subdued.

I will also be painting other details in a more conventional manner and repeating these steps as necessary to achieve a pair of highly detailed small paintings.


I have painted the shadow colors for both Owl paintings


I have added fine white lines to the feathers of both the Screech Owl Red Phase (1) and Eurasian Eagle Owl (2).


I have applied my first glaze color (a transparent yellow/brown) to both Owl paintings.

I will be painting progressively darker glazes to selected details followed by more fine line opaque color feather details.


I have added a red/brown glaze over the fine white lines in the feathers of my Screech Owl Red Phase painting.

This is in addition to the already applied yellow/brown glaze.

By painting multiple glaze colors, in multiple densities and layers, the fine lines achieve multiple color/pattern variations that would be much more difficult to achieve using the line work alone.

This particular glaze color will not be used in the companion Eagle Owl painting.


I painted a new brown glaze to portions of my Screech Owl feathers, then re-mixed the color and applied the new brown glaze to portions of my Eagle Owl feathers.


I have used a transparent black glaze on portions of the feathers of both Owl paintings.

This is the darkest and last of this layer of glazes and I will be continuing to build more detail with conventional acrylic techniques.


The Eurasian Eagle Owl has very fine black stripes and spotting on the feathers, plus the feathers transition on different parts of the body.

I have painted these details with a black India Ink brush pen.


I have added 6 more colors of opaque extremely fine lines to the feathers of my Screech Owl Red Phase painting.

These details are so fine that you will need to zoom way in to see what I have done.

This concludes the feather detail of this painting, but I still have additional work to do on the rest of the painting.

Next, however, I will do similar detailing to the Eagle Owl painting.


I have added 6 more colors of my finest line detail to the feathers of my Eurasian Eagle Owl paintings. These new colors include 2 new blacks, 2 new whites and 2 new brown colors.


I have painted the bodies and will sign the paintings and then do my varnish effects. Please note: the varnish effects are difficult and will ruin your painting if not done perfectly. Please do not attempt them unless you have practiced them a lot first. I describe these techniques in the last stages of my Indigo Peacock Painting Evolution page.

image2 .jpeg

The Eurasian Eagle Owl painting is now essentially done.

I will still be doing varnish effects on eyes, beak and claws. You will notice that the claws look a little unfinished. There will be more detail layers sandwiched between the varnish layers.

Both this and the Screech Owls are sitting on a dark shape. I paint hyper-realistic paintings, but I have deliberately left these dark shapes somewhat ambiguous and abstract. The viewer can decide whether they are sitting on rocks, logs, or something else. I have even used leftover mixed paint colors for these shapes rather than mixing up new colors. (Of course I used colors that belong with the painting).


I have completed both Owl paintings.

Here are head details of:

Eastern Screech Owl, Red Phase.


Eurasian Eagle Owl

bottom of page