A Thing I Made: Owlbear

Just look at that little guy! I like the way the mom turned out but LOOK AT THE BABY OWLBEAR! That’s pretty much the whole reason I bought this print. I have found lots of different versions of owlbears online, but this was the first I had seen with the baby, and I just wanted to paint it so damn badly. I got the print from Yasashii Kyojin Studio’s Patreon. I was a subscriber for about a year and got tons of cool monster STL’s for my Dungeons and Dragons campaigns. This was the last miniature that I painted completely by hand before I got my airbrush. As a matter of fact, trying to blend those faces is the thing that convinced me to spring for the airbrush. The prints came out super clean, especially considering the texture of the feathers all over the mother.

Look at those prints! So clean.

At this part in my mini painting journey, I was still relying heavily on drybrushing as my main technique for anything with textures. If you can tell from the pictures, this thing was pretty much entirely textures. I did a basecoat in brown, followed by a dry brush in light tan, a dark wash, and then another dry brush. It got the job done showing the variation of the… feathers? Do own bears have fur or feathers? Obviously there are big feathers on the front legs. but I don’t actually know what it is that covers the rest of their bodies. Unfortunately I did not use any different shades in the brown so the mini is fairly monotone over it’s body. I also wasn’t very conscious of light direction so there isn’t any specific area that is highlighted. If I had it to do over again, those are the first two changes I would make.


And now on to the main event! At the risk of sounding redundant, LOOK AT THIS LITTLE GUY! My favorite thing about it is the pose. Just sitting there, chilling, looking goddamn adorable. I’m not going to lie, I kind of dumb lucked into some things on this one. I am typically terrible at painting eyes. They always turn out cross-eyed, or the pupils are different sizes, or the color spills into the area around it and it. I am normally lucky if I can get one good one and one passable one. But somehow these two turned out perfect. I started with yellow, then black, and was even able to work in some little white light reflections on there. I wish I had done a better job of documenting in the moment what I was looking at as reference to get my details right but it really helped me make this face pop. Brightening up the tufts on the ears, and adding subtle things like a little shade below the eyes and some highlight on the beak makes it stand out from the mother. I am even more appreciative of these happy accidents since the baby was the feature the entire time. It took me about 12 layers to blend the face properly, starting with the same brown as the rest of it but working my way all the way to a bone white. It was a tedious process, but the end result was exactly like I wanted.

Staring straight into my soul

Unfortunately, the derpy eyes struck when it came to the mom. Honestly the entire face is a step down from the baby. I am sure fatigue had something to do with it. When I was painting these I was still painting just once a week for about 5 hours at a time. These days I try to paint every other day but for a shorter duration. I found that any time I was working on a model for more than 2 or 3 hours, I would find myself cutting corners and rushing sections because I was just tired. It was really doing a disservice to the models I was painting, especially since as you get towards the end you want to be paying more attention to the minor details and polishing things up. I wish I had taken the time to blend the face the same way I did for the baby, but instead it is very uneven and the eyes are definitely lopsided. Oh well, learning experience.

Just don’t look at it in the eye’s

I wish I had gotten some better pictures of the big feathers on the front arms. I actually started on them with grey and worked darker to black and then went back afterwards to layer on the white to separate the feathers. It was the first time that I had done my layers in that order and I really liked the final effect. For the basing, I know it doesn’t really make sense that the baby would ride it’s on the mom’s back sitting like that, but I really liked the image and once I came up with the idea it was the only way I wanted to pose them. Throw in some Strickland mud and some plants and boom. Happy little owl bears. I haven’t actually had a chance to play with them in a campaign yet, but I’m looking forward to it one of these days. Finished product pictures below.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s