A study of a barn owl, just for plumage practice:
I started the background washes for the barn owls. At first, I had in my mind to paint it as a moonlit scene. The owls would be illuminated by white moonlight, as would part of the interior of the barn. However, I as started working on the study, I realized that in order to really bring out the rich colors of this owl, I should place it in daylight. I thought the hazy, yet yellow light of sunrise would work well. It's even more fitting, since barn owls hunt at dawn, as well as at sunset and midnight.
There will be much more detail, but for now, I am establishing tones based on the light and its source. The owls are also masked with masking fluid, so I don't have to worry about the dark background washes interfering with their lighter tones.