My work is fairly detailed even in oils so I like to work on a smooth surface and Dibond panels suit me perfectly. These are prepared just the same way as any other panel or painting surface intended to accept Oil paint. After making the drawing onto a tinted surface I start to do the under painting which in this case is fairly close to how the finished painting will look, I do not go very detailed with the drawing just making marks for the general outlines, I much prefer to just build up the detail in paint. At this point the painting needed to dry so it was put away for several days.
I now start to take the background nearer to completion. With this painting it is important not to go too light and to lose the detail in the dark recesses of the corner of the barn. Barn Owls like to live in Dry, gloomy and relatively undisturbed places and the old stone built hay barns in the north of England suit them perfectly. This particular barn is one I know well and some years there are a pair of Kestrels breeding here along with the Barn Owls so I could easily have put either into the painting.
I now start to add detail to the beam and the Owl which are lit by a small high level door which is slightly ajar this would have been used to pass hay through in the old days. The only light penetrating these barns is from small ventilation holes usually at either end in the gable walls or from doors which are left partly open so they can be quite gloomy until your eyes adjust to the situation. I have tried to express this in the painting while at the same time making it interesting by using the light on the beam and Owl. Again the painting is put away to dry before the final session
I have now finished off the Owl and put further detail into the beam so I will now put the painting away and in a few months it will be ready to varnish, anything that I am not quite happy with will stand out when I look at it again later and this can be rectified.