Halloween Owl Shadow Box
The Quest for “Opulent Whimsy”
My Halloween Owl Shadow Box project began as a part of Christine DuMont’s course “Ways to Wow” on Voila. The course was a 6-month exploration of emotion in art that has really helped my think about technique, flow, color, and proportion in my work. I chose to work toward something that evokes what I call “Opulent Whimsy.”
Image 1 of slideshow: I started with a series of sketches. I settled on the bottom right hand image as the one I wanted to move forward. I pictured a 3-d owl jutting out of a shadow box frame.
Images 2 & 3: Here is where I started to encounter some of my first challenges in the project. I loved the stylized look I had achieved in the face under layer, but once I started adding detail it lost that feeling. The branch also lost the sensual curves that I had envisioned through the early drawing stage.
Image 5 Prototype 1: In trying to convey a feeling of “Opulent Whimsy” I got far too carried away with textures and colors. There isn’t a strong focal point and the roughness of the owl does not reflect “opulence.”
Image 5 Prototype 2: For version #2 in my quest for “Opulent Whimsy” I did some serious sanding of the owl which helped tremendously. I tried to simply some of the over the top patterns on the moon and add some elegance back into the branch, but I had limited success on that front. The piece still does not have a clear focal point.
Image 6 Final Project: For version #3 on the path to “Opulent Whimsy,” I took Christine’s advice and moved the moon behind owl. I also scrapped the busy background and created a new thinner, darker branch that didn’t compete so much with the owl.
Still not everything I wanted it to be, but I’m calling this one done. Great learning experience!