Critical Analysis Of Snowy Owl

Improved Essays
Abby Jethro
Art Critical Analysis
Visual Arts II
This is a critique of Abby Jethro’s Snowy Owl, completed in colored pencil for the class Visual arts I. The artist chose to portray a snowy owl in cropped portrait view, with only half of the owl’s head showing. Upon first impression, the work looks detailed, and as if the artist were attempting for the work to be photorealistic. The owl’s singular eye is given depth to generate an intense expression. The snowy owl is placed on a solid black background and has spatterings and groupings of black feathers along the owl’s body. Only half of the owl’s black beak is shown, and it is blended into black feathers along the face. The owl’s actual feathers consist of strokes of lavender, grey, light blue,
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The opaque black background presents contrast between the predominately white owl, and emphasizes the yellow of the eye. While the artist achieves texturing of the owl, form and depth are lost due to the artist’s failure to use consistent colors and pencil pressure. Wax blooming is also present in certain areas where the artist layered too many colors atop one another. However, the texture is included throughout the face of the owl, and the artists achieves visible highlights in areas such as the pupil and edges of the face. The patches of black feathers are non uniform and organic, which contributes to the realism of the image. There are implied contour lines demonstrated by the inclusion and omittance of the pencil strokes that create the feathers. Gradual blending is used in the area around the pupil of the owl’s eye, and also in certain areas with very dark and large black patches. The eye is also the first part of the piece the viewer gravitates towards, because of the contrast and intensity of the colors and lighting. The light source is facing the owl head on, which explains why no shadows are present directly on the owl’s face, and why the background is devoid of light. Overall, this creates an unsettling tension and intensity behind the owl’s …show more content…
However, this particular subject was chosen by the artist for very specific reasons. The artist’s statement about this piece alluded to a direct correlation between the species’ endangerment level and why the artist chose to portray a snowy owl. The snowy owl species is not critically endangered yet, thanks to conservation groups around the world. The mood conveyed is a severe intensity, and it seems the owl watches the viewer with criticality. The singular eye and expression of the owl’s face is downcast, as if it is disapproving of the viewer. It is possible the owl’s attentive expression represents wise elders in society watching younger generations. Based off this work, the artist has a realistic and cynical view of society and mankind, which presents itself in the disapproving expression of the

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