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Aboriginal Owl: A Aboriginal Dot Painting by Simone Clements Leedeman (2019)

I chose the barn owl to be the subject animal of this painting not only because of its incredible markings and beauty, but also because the traits it has been known for over time, throughout many different cultures. Like any other owl, barn owls are often known as spirit guides of knowledge and wisdom, and some cultures even believe they are guides in the dark, and birds who hear and know what others do not. I have had a fascination for barn owls ever since I was young, and when I was given the opportunity, I was excited to challenge myself to portray one in the style of aboriginal art.

To create this piece, I used acrylic paints on black paper to create high contrast, and really bring out the different colors. After sketching a pose I wanted to paint, choosing a color scheme and where I wanted to place different colors, I sketched an outline on the paper that I would paint inside of. Using tools such as the end of a pencil eraser, a toothpick, and a q-tip, I finally started to paint. One of the main goals of this project was to learn how to use implied line and shape, which I was able to portray through the many dots. This technique has been used by the Australian Aboriginal people to convey different stories for as long as 60,000-80,000 years ago. Throughout the painting, I also put emphasis on the owl by using minimal background pieces, and when I did add stars in the background, I used different tints and shades of blue to make the star appear as if it is glowing. Related website
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