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Peace Owl Project


Simple Shapes to Create Any Character
* Sharpie- black
* Scrap paper

Owl Painting:
NOTE: If you don’t have a stabilo pencil for this project, dark ink (calligraphy, acrylic or india ink), dark acrylic paint, charcoal or a black water soluble oil pastel will work too.

* Paper: I’ll be working on 9×12″ smooth bristol paper, but you can do this project on any substrate (paper, wood, canvas, etc)
* Collage Materials (tissue paper, lokta paper, maps, sheet music, book pages)
* Acrylic paints: For faces, I use quinacridone nickel azo gold, cobalt teal, and titanium white
* Foam brush (large)
* Various brushes (small, medium and large: I like to use long handled bristle brushes)
* Stabilo Marks All Pencil (black)
* Acrylic inks (I’m using yellow orange azo by Liquitex)
* Palette knife (plastic, or an old credit card will work too)
* Paint Pallette (I’m using a paper plate)
* Water bucket

Other supplies (these are not essential):
* Water soluble oil pastels (I love Portfolio brand)
* Paint pens (I love Sharpie’s water-based paint pens)
* India inks
* Bleeding art tissue paper

*NOTE: Stabilo pencils are water-soluble. To stop the pencil from running, and as a top coat, I add a spray fixative to my finished painting before applying any other top coat. You can also go over your lines with a little water and a thin brush.


* In this project, we’re going to draw lots of whimsical animals using simple shapes, so you can easily paint whatever character is unique to YOU. Then we will create a colorful background and add our peace owl.

Please don’t feel like you have to paint an owl or even a character with their eyes closed. Take whatever techniques and embellishments you see and love most in this project and recombine them in your own way to make your art unique to you..


* I could easily get overwhelmed whenever I get to a blank canvas. To make it easier on myself, I follow a few simple guidelines:

First, I begin with a background. Creating my background is all about play. I like to spread out all of my favorite art supplies and experiment, figuring out what color combinations I most adore and exploring new techniques. My only intention is to have fun covering up the white space, so there is no right or wrong way.

Next, I add my character. No matter what character I decide to create, whether it is a whimsical animal, an imaginary character, an owl or a girl, I always start with a circle for the head and a rectangle for the body. From there, I add whatever embellishments make that character unique (bear ears and a nose, rabbit ears, a beak, wings, a see-through nose etc.). These choices are what will make your character unique to you.

There is no right or wrong way.

* In almost every painting, I hit what I call ‘the ugly stage.’ For me, that’s a super negative point where I feel like I won’t be able to pull my painting together. But I’ve learned that hitting that ugly stage is just part of my creative process. Instead of allowing the negativity and self-doubt to take over, I remember to stop trying to paint something perfect and return to having fun (whether that means starting a new painting, taking a walk or breaking free and completely covering up the parts of my painting I just don’t like).

* Keep playing. If you notice you’ve stopped having fun, go back to creating backgrounds, fingerpainting, coloring, or sketching. These things always help me stay loose and feel like a kid again.

* Use whatever supplies, techniques and colors you like best. I have my go-to colors and supplies that I know I love the look of together.

Start building your own library of favorites. It’s easy to make a painting your own just by working with colors you love because those colors are already unique to you (and if you’re using colors you like, you’ll like the colors in your painting).

* Remember, there is no right or wrong here. To me it is the imperfections that make artwork most beautiful.

* Paint any character you want. Go back through your simple shape sketches. If there is one you really love, try recreating it for this project.


Thank You!

I hope you have enjoyed this project and that you continue to watch this video and create more paintings.

My hope for you is that you keep creating and that it fills you up, every day, with happiness and joy.

Happy painting!


Ps. If you’d like to keep painting together, click here to see my other online workshops.