Birds of a feather…..

Birds of a feather…..

Hi there.
Owl are you today?

Way toot much going on here,
so I’ve escaped to my little den above the garage!

Wednesday is when we look at life from a different angle,
clear the mind, focus on the now. 
So let’s do that and learn something together at the same time!

Remember a while ago, we looked at the Magnificent Owl in our Colouring Book, and focussed on colouring in his eyes?

Well, let’s concentrate on his feathers today…
How to create feathers.
I think that using the super fine lineart as a guide line – a shape line rather than confined lineart, is the way forward.

If you look at the head here, you will see that I have flicked lightly along the top line and outside the line using a pencil. 

While we’re here, let’s do the beak next. Don’t forget the nostrils!

Move down to the collar, use the lines which Melanie drew originally as shadelines.
Flick flick flick, and lightly does it. 

Step back and check

Moving down, it’s time for the chest feathers….

Grey pencils. Light feathery strokes, almost like tassles

Use a Faber-Castell eraser to fade out the tassles in the collar.

Time to try something different:
aka dot dot dot.
Lightly tap the tip of the pencil into the area.
Want shade? Use more dots and a darker pencil.
Next, start flicking a grey pencil down the chest lineart.
Lightly does it, to the left and then to the right.

Light grey first.

followed by a darker grey.
Flick flick flick. Light feathery strokes.

Now let’s add some dots again.
Light taps with the tip of the dark grey pencil.
Then the black tip to add shade and depth.

Using the dot dot dot technique, 
we can now introduce wing feathers…

I want to join up the white speckles on his chest now.
Again, by dot dot dotting along from one to the other, 
this creates a feathery pattern on his chest.

I could go on for hours here.
I am totally engrossed in the colouring in process.
However, my neck won’t permit it, so I shall have to stop a while.
Happy thus far though.
I only used greys, black and sandy coloured pencils. 
When you look at his two mates either side, 
it is interesting how such stylised lineart can give me such a brilliant guideline for my real owl.

Delighted to tell you our Feathered Friends Colouring book
are selling well now.
I guess people are beginning to see how special they really are!
We even got nominated for the International Award
Best Colouring Book, although without a massive distribution engine to put us in WH Smiths and the like, I don’t rate our chances on that score! However, to be even in the ball park is super flattering.

One more thing I wanted to tell you about:
 The made-to measure Mount-Frames have landed.
Remember we showed them off on telly when we launched the books and postcards etc?

Well, both the A5 size for the Postcards 

AND the 12″ x 12″ Colouring Book Masterpiece 

are now available on our website. 

They come in packs of four, and include a top spec back board too.
And they are in a launch pad bundle together at a better price:

click here to buy

So eventually, these owls will be set in a frame…

Maybe taupe? 

Possibly ivory, with a black frame?

And there’s nothing like a crop when you run out of neck-steam!!!
Even if you think the colouring book size may be too daunting or overwhelming, you can always crop it back.
The small mount frames are perfect for just that.

Thanks for reading!
Quicker to read than it is to write !!
Love & Hugs,

153 thoughts on “Birds of a feather…..

  1. Hello Barbara, The owl is fantastic and I'm not sure I can do anything as good as that! I love birds so will definitely have a go – if I can pull myself away from Groovi!!! I've got the original Spectrum Noir pencils. Are they ok or should I invest in the new ones? Thanks tons for your inspiring ideas and demos. Rachel x

    1. Rachel, personally speaking I'd use what you've already got – I've got the originals too and they blend really well. Not sure whether or not they've changed any of the colours or just named them instead of numbers but believe the main difference is a thicker pigment/wax core. HTH!

  2. Quicker to read than it is to write !! is what you say. that's so true! Thank you for your beautiful pleasant enthusiastic way of writing. Love your beautiful work en tutorials.

  3. Fab tutorial… must admit to still being at the take out, look, look again then put book back into wrapper stage!!! Daft isn't it? I'm just so tied up in doing other things at the moment and I want to totally chill out when I begin my colouring book!

    As for 'not rating chances' believe me I've looked at lots of Adult Coloring Books and I wouldn't even buy some of them for my grandchildren the line art is so thick and designs very basic – yours is an absolute dream so am keeping a positive outlook re the awards!

  4. Dear Barbara, stunningly beautiful colouring. You make it look so easy. I'm looking forward to Saturday. Hubby says I haven't got to miss it. I do hope I get the chance to meet you. xxx

  5. Hello my dear friends. I have missed you all the last few days but all our time has been spent with little Penny, who sadly lost her fight this morning. I feel quite devastated at the moment, so that is all I can manage for now. I will try and catch up with you all properly tomorrow. Love and Hugs to you all. xxx

    1. Oh morag how sad you couldn't have done more to keep her alive bless her she is suffering no more now sending a big hug to help you through focus on layburn now as your tonic xxx

    2. Oh Morag when you didn't visit for a day or so I wondered if Penny was failing. So sad for you all, having a pet means responsibility not only for caring for them, but also for knowing when to let them go and taking that decision which is so hard. Love and hugs xx

    3. Hello Morag oh that's really sad, I am sorry to hear that. You did the best you could, her short life was so full of love and now she is at peace and no longer suffering. Sending you a big hug. Go to leyburn, it will help xxx

    4. Dear Morag – I am so very sorry to hear about little Penny losing her fight. As Chris has already said, it's the hardest thing in the world to let them go when that time comes, it's many years since we had to do that and remember vividly how it felt. Bless you for coming on here to let us know – we are all thinking of you and your husband and send you both many caring and supportive hugs. Take your time and just let everything out. Love Gilly xxx

    5. I am so sorry to hear that, Morag. My cat died last March, he was only 12, so I can understand how you are feeling. I still have his brother and sister and they are a comfort.

      Sending hugs

    6. I am so sorry to hear that, Morag. My cat died last March, he was only 12, so I can understand how you are feeling. I still have his brother and sister and they are a comfort.

      Sending hugs

    7. Oh Morag sending you a big hug that is so heartbreaking to hear just remember you did everything you could and gave her love and caring in her wee short life my thoughts are with Dot..xx

    8. Hi Morag, so sorry to hear about little Penny. At least you gave her lots of love and care .I feel so sad for you but you did all you could do.
      she gave you lot's of love to.
      Lots of love to you tonight.
      Lynn xx 💖

    9. Thinking about you, was devastated when I lost Mickey, still miss him now but printed out a photo of him I loved, framed it and sat it where I could see it so I could talk to him and tell him I missed him and kiss him goodnight as I did each day when he was with me. Much hugs. Karen xxx

    10. Hi Morag,
      oh my friend i am so, so sorry to hear that poor little Penny has lost her fight. I know how much she meant to you and your husband and i also know from talking to you how much you both meant to her. Nobody could have done anymore than you did for her and you can get some comfort in knowing that she is no longer in pain, pacing the room or being so tired. I feel so deeply for you, i know exactly what you are going through but eventually you will have some lovely memories of her. Her life might have been short, but it was full of love. You take care and i do hope that you will feel up to going to Leyburn on Saturday. Sending lots of love and hugs, Alison xxx

      oe that you

    11. Hi Morag, so sorry to hear your news. Thanks so much for telling us, I was wondering how things were going. From the way you speak of Penny she was a very lucky pup to have such a loving home with people who obviously cherished her dearly. Despite the last wee while her little life was clearly filled with happiness, fun and cuddles. I wish there was something I could say to make you feel a little better but I doubt there is, just know that I, and many others, will be thinking of you in the days to come and this little message comes with love and hugs. Xxx

    12. Hi Morag, I'm so sorry to hear your sad news. You did your absolute best for her but now she is at peace and you will find peace to eventually. Thinking of you. X X x

    13. Oh Morag, so very sorry to hear Penny has lost her fight. You did all you could for her and in the end you just have to let go. She's at peace now, bless her. Thinking of you and your family and sending love and hugs, Pam xxx

    14. Oh My goodness! Thank you all so much for your lovely caring comments. I can't even begin to tell you all how much they mean to me. What a wonderful group of friends I've been lucky enough to find. Love and Hugs to you all. xxx

  6. Wow Barbara stunning colouring the owl looks amazing I'm pleased your colouring books are now selling better and I do hope you win the award as you deserve it as your colouring book postcards and bookmarks too a lot to make them enjoy your evening with Dave xxx

    1. Afternoon dear blog family of friends heartfelt hugs thinking of you all sending lots of hugs your way
      I've been groovi-ing using jaynes frame and the plates wow they are so beautiful to use little elements from each plate might be able to colour tomorrow so enjoyable helps the mind xxxx
      Hugs Brenda for you and daisyxxx
      Wee hug for Dorothy xxx

    2. Hello Sheila my lovely, it's wonderful to hear that you have been able to do some Groovi – and with Jayne's incredible plates too! Try not to overdo it, but hopefully you will be well enough to do some colouring tomorrow. Lots of love and special caring hugs, Gilly xxx

    3. Hi Sheila,
      well i am so pleased that you have be able to use your Jayne's plates today. They are so lovely arent they?i hope that you will be able to at least start the colouring tomorrow. Just take it very steadily without overtiring and hugs Alison xxx

  7. Thank you for the tutorial, you are truly amazing and so patient, it must have taken such a long time. Try to take a breather before your expedition to the north xx

    1. Hello everyone. I have had a lovely, busy day today. I finished a Groovi card then finished off and mounted all the ones we made at Maria's class – all 8 of them!!
      We have friends coming to stay next Wednesday for a few days so I can now tidy my inky crafty mess up.
      I hope everyone else has had as good a day as they can xx

    2. Hi Chris,
      you have been busy today. Gosh eight cards done at Maria's – well done. I bet they look fabulous mounted as well.Hope you have a great time with your friends next week. Not long to go now till Saturday! Love and hugs Alison xxx

  8. Good afternoon All, thank you Barbara for a really informative blog. I really am no good at colouring but am fascinated by your explaination of the technique. Maybe one day I'll be brave enough to try, that old voice of failure is still too loud just now xx

  9. Hi Barbara, Love the owl techniques, wish I could go and start that now. Unfortunately chores for the day including uploading the PDF Magazine I currently edit, phone calls and emails are just complete so now to work on a presentation!!! I shall certainly be using your technique, I love these owls. Glad people are buying the colouring books, they are beautiful and now to have the mounts is fantastic. Have a great evening. Big hugs Marian x

  10. Hi Barbara
    Thank you for a wonderful close up tutorial. I bought the postcards on Saturday but have sent them up to Emma so I will tell her to have a look at the blog for hints and tips. I was very tempted by the colouring book for myself, maybe next time. It's good to hear the books are selling well, quality speaks for itself and I really hope you win the award too. Love the owl puns – a real hoot!
    Love Diane xxx

    1. Hello lovely blog friends hope you are all ok today. Bit of a nip in the air today, Autumn is on its way. Just going to settle down with some groovi, might try a bit of pricking and snipping after Barbara's tutorial on Saturday – I'm feeling brave! Sending hugs all round xxx

  11. Wow stunning. You make it look so easy, I have not got the colouring book yet, but with a set of the lovely Faber Castell pencils hopefully coming my way for my Birthday I think it will be a must. I am determined to master colouring and blending so it will be perfect. Very difficult to rest your neck especially in your job but hope it eases a little. xx

  12. I would love to vote for you and went through the entire process until the end. However the survey will not allow you to opt out of your email address and phone number(compulsory elements for voting)being shared with third parties so I aborted the process. I already receive a mountain of spam emails which I am now convinced came from voting in the last International awards as the numbers grew massively after I completed the form. I wish you well and had voted for you/Claritystamp under many of the categories. It is a shame that the opt out isn't available as I would have continued otherwise. I already have the colouring books and they are excellent.

    1. Sarah, it may seem a bit risque but I filled in the email and phone number details with a "variant". Attempts to send anything will not reach me and I cannot be telephoned either. I didn't vote fraudulently, just didn't want my details being shared. Hope this may help.

  13. Absolutely phenomenal colouring. Stunning. Just got back at 2 a.m. from a less than successful holiday. Now my other half is in agony with gout!
    Such a pleasure to open my Clarity parcel (ordered when away) – so speedy. Also my design goodies. Glad to be back on the right day for the blog and to catch up with the days I missed and the programmes.
    Think we will stay at home next year.
    love to everyone out there and trying to be mindful – taking a lot of effort today. Think I will find my owl postcard.
    Anne (Reading)

    1. Totally agree with that Julia! I have been reading about the current negotiations currently taking place. Stay strong and keep holding out for what should be rightfully yours! Love and supportive hugs, Gilly xxx

    2. Thanks girls. Sheila, the law up here is a wee bit different. My solicitor has told me that if it went to court then I would be entitled to half the house and half the value of the pensions. Ideally I would like half of the total which could be the value of the house (if you see what I mean) and I would like to keep the house and make a home for me and the girls but that is a fantasy. In the meantime he has me hanging by a thread until his pension valuations come through. Jen is enjoying working and more importantly earning money. She was planning on saving all her money but that hasn't happened yet. She's only 15 so I'm happy for her to spend it as she pleases which is actually on books mostly. Sarah's boyfriend is taking her a way for a few days on her birthday. All she wants is money but she is the one who spends it on serious junk. I decided to buy her some jewellery. I bought a Glasgow Rose link bracelet by Rennie Mackintosh which is far too long so the jeweller is removing a link, polishing one end and putting a bale on the other and turning it into a bespoke matching pendant. Sarah was born in Glasgow and whenever we go on holiday she likes to buy something typical of the place we go to. This year she bought a Greek Key bangle when we were in Corfu. I think she will like her birthday present and it will stand the test of time but if not I will love it, hehe.

    3. Afternoon Julia sending extra hugs to get you through each day ,that sounds a beautiful present for her to keep , pleased Jen likes her job they sound such wonderful caring daughters.
      I do hope your husband does what's best for you and the girls .xxxx

  14. Hi Barbara – thank you for the very detailed colouring tutorial. In my case – very much needed. The immediate thing that I have learned from it is – I need to take more time and have more patience! Rather like the white work really! Not surprised to hear that it is now selling well, greatly deserved, hugs Gilly x

    1. Hello to all of my lovely blog friends – had a lovely time today at the hospital and lots of laughs with my cake baking friend! I have christened her the 'Star Baker' – and from talking to her today have learnt that she is most undervalued by her family, particularly one of her daughters! That made me feel very sad, she is such a lovely lady and is fighting her cancer for the second time! I have made sure to let her know that she is a very special and courageous lady, and I feel very happy to be able to call her a truly special friend, bless her. Sending you all love and hugs, Gilly xxx

  15. If I thought for a minute I could create a masterpiece like your owl that jumps right off the page and looks fuzzy and furry and cuddly and if I had you right next to me quiding me along I'd go for it .
    Oh well as I say , perhaps one day . Joy now jan

  16. The owl is looking fantastic Barbara and your technique makes it so look like feathers…how realistic! I'm glad the colouring book is selling well as the images in it are gorgeous. I don't have the spare time to take advantage of it
    at the moment, but when I have more time to colour this book would be my choice. x

  17. Evening cannot believe it the colouring book were top of my list at Ally pally and forgot to get the what a whalie trust me my next order will have to be and so wanted them what a dizzy brain I have must learn to do a shopping list next time. Hope you have a rest full evening before your busy weekend just love the owl fantastic love hugs xx

  18. Thanks for such a useful tutorial Barbara. Such a lot of info, must've taken ages to put together but it's much appreciated. Great members club goodies arrived today as well. I don't know where you get the energy and the inspiration from but so many of us are really glad you are so blessed xx

  19. Hello Barbara and bloggy(hope to be)friends.This is my first time to leave a comment as I have felt too shy in the past. I have read the blog for many years and after reading the comments lately decided I was missing out and would love to be part of the little blog family. Everyone is so supportive and caring of each other. The colouring is amazing. My colouring tends to be all one colour with no shading. This tutorial will help no end. I will have to have another go.Morag I am so sorry Penny lost her valiant fight. Hugs for all that need them. Suex

    1. Hi Sue like you I was stalker( he he) on the blog for a long time before I plucked up the courage to comment best thing I ever done Barbara and this wee bloggy family is a good place to be Welcome Sue…xx

    2. Hi Sue – I know just what you mean about your colouring, it sounds rather similar to mine! Glad that you have started to join in – it's a fantastic, friendly and supportive place to be, hugs Gilly xx

    3. Ahhh Susan. Delighted to see you here! It was a pleasure to meet you at Ally Pally too. I am sure the ladies here will make you very welcome. They are a super bunch of very kind individuals. Xx

    4. Hi Sue, I'm a newbie to the blogging group too, just the last couple of weeks. I'm loving it, gradually getting to know people and their circumstances and enjoying lots of encouragement. Meanwhile, have a hug, or two. Xx

  20. Beautiful owl. It's great that your lineart is so fine to allow you you go over it. Definitely a positive selling point for you gorgeous book. Hope the sales keep going up. Love and hugs xxx

  21. Hi Barbara
    It's amazing what you have achieved with coloured pencils. Thank you for taking the time to do such a helpful tutorial. I ordered my colouring book a few days ago and I think I know which beautiful birds l will attempt first. The mounts are the finishing touch. Take care of your neck. The good thing about colouring is that you can stop when you need to and go back to it any time. Your book is the loveliest one I have seen. Well done to you and Mel and all involved in the production.
    Hugs from Chris X

  22. Fantastic, whilst I have not been lucky enough to get your colouring book yet, I have got your owl stamps so I will attempt your technique's on them. If I can get it any where near your standard I will be thrilled. X

  23. Beautiful colouring Barbara that owl is just fantastic you wouldn't know there was even any line work there thanks for the step by step which must take you ages can't wait to see you continue the page when time and busy company allows you the chance.
    Love Dot xx

    1. Evening Brenda sending you your big cuddle to keep you going if life is getting a wee bit stressful the now and hoping you nip in for a wee while
      as everybody is missing you…love Dot xx
      Hi Donna and Pam and anybody I've missed hope your days been good might not manage in every night as I pop and see Mum at different times off the day and evenings just making sure she's well cared for but its a lovely caring place she is in but she keeps asking me when she's going home and it just breaks my heart …love Dot..xx

    2. Hi Dot,
      Hope youve had a good day. I know how you feel about your mum. My mam did the same when she was in hospital, but we couldnt make it happen for her as she was too poorly. I do still feel guilty but know that we did everything we could for her. Love and hugs Alison xx

  24. Fab colouring, even better is the blog tutorial. That's why you got my vote and for colouring book too, who needs mega distribution. An acquired taste built over time always beats flash in the pan. Karen xxx

  25. My god Mrs Gray cannot believe how realistic this lovely owl looks Perhaps its time for me to practice practice practice. Hope the neck starts to feel better soon I do know how ya feel i suffer with renal bone disease so know what pain can feel like xxxx

  26. I love how the owl's coming along, amazingly realistic. Have bookmarked the page so I can try out the techniques later. Meanwhile my lugy continues so I had a spot of web browsing this morning. Came across a lovely quote by Rumi, a 13 th century persian artist, mystic, philosopher, all round good egg with a sprinkling of genius. Quote is: 'The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life from our souls'. I like it muchly.

  27. Hi Barb,
    This is fabulous. Thank you so much for the detailed step by step – greatly appreciated. I need all the help i csn get with my colouring!The owl looks so life like, it's incredible. I know it must take you so long to write something like today's blog with the photos as well, and i know that your time is precious. I know that everyone who visits here is grateful to you. Pleased the books are doing well for you, they are fabulous. I took my postcards to do on the train yesterday, but was too shattered to do any colouring! Thanks again,love and hugs Alison xx

    1. Hi bloggy friends,
      Been shattered all day today and my knee has been really sore after all the walking yesterday. have sent an email to see if we can get refund on train tickets for yesterday under the delay pay scheme from Virgin East Coast, so ive got fingers crossed there. Got my Clarity monthly parcel today so really enjoyed a cup of coffee whilst reading through the projects and admiring the goodies. At the moment i lying in bed listening to a very noisy pheasant outside which is nice. Have a good night everyone, love
      and hugs Alison xx

  28. This is truly my very favouriteoccupation, colouring in beautiful designs like these owls. You may not produce the high numbers of others but the quality is second to none, both in design and the high quality card you use. They are a delight to work with, and doing it in sections along with you, Barbara, is a real treat, reminiscent of the long gone workshops. If you are reading this, Brenda, you have been missed. I hope you are well and not too stressed at the moment. xxx Maggie

  29. Hello Barb, awesome colouring tips and techniques, I just hope when I get round to my big owls, I will have practised enough on the postcard size to do your lessons justice. Love the frames too, so shall have to invest in a pack or two. Take care, hope the neck feels better. Bx

  30. Hi Barbara, sorry for not getting on the blog until now.
    what amazing colouring, sometimes you think colouring is what I would call plain.
    It is nothing like it until you see what you can achieve. Absolutely fabulous your talents just Keep comming .Even though you are so busy thanks for all you give us.
    Lynn x

  31. Stunning and a great tutorial, might even make me think about colouring some feathers ! Not my favourite thing when they flap ! We've got a cockerel in the field next door here and he does come through the fence but there would have been a time when I would have had panic about that but not any more, I know I can walk towards him and he'll go back to his field. He's more afraid of me than I of him ! Xx

  32. Beautiful owl and lovely tutorial. My Diamond Club package came yesterday and I almost cried with joy at the the wonderful Stencil, then the beautiful Groovi, the super Stamp and the inspiring projects. I always enjoy my Clarity Club packages but I adored this one. Altogether a better with Clarity day. Thank you.

  33. I have just received my Members Club envelope and the stencil of one of my favourite birds and how they are sitting made me cry, it's so beautiful! I came on here to tell you, and cried again when I saw the other of my favourite birds, the gorgeous owl!
    Thank you, Barbara, for making me a very happy (if rather tearful) woman.

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