I was asked to produce a painting of some cows belonging to an old school friend who loves these beasts! I went to photograph them and he was open minded about the composition so I like to let the animals do what they do best and create something from that. They were so inquisitive and friendly we had our coats nibbled a lot! But, I came away with a few good shots and this one stood out as being the most interesting to create a painting from. Hope you enjoy their progress and a few of my travel photos from Germany. I’ve been staying around just outside Freiburg and I truly love this area.
My first bit of progress and I’m set up in the back of the camper with a fantastic view! The sun has been beaming for days but with a view like this it’s not too bad sitting inside to work. Here I’ve got my line drawing onto the sandy coloured velour. I’m using a full sheet to create this piece and as always it’s mounted to self adhesive mountboard to give it extra strength.
My first task is to create the upper background. I’m keeping it quite simple as in the photo reference there were a lot of branches and extra trees. I really want the cows to jump out so I’m making the background a little lighter to contrast them better.
I’m finally onto the detail in the first cow. I normally work from left to right, top to bottom. I decided to go right to left in this piece as the cows overlap eachother and it made sense to do it this way.
You can see that when I get the first cow complete, the second one will sit nicely on top. I’m using a Faber Castell black stick for the first layer on the cows but there are so many other colours used on their shiny coats.
Almost finished cow number one and starting to get a feel for the palette I’m using. The first part is always the hardest as you try to decide what colours to use. Once you have that decided you can keep using them throughout the painting.
Cow number two started and it’s pretty much the same process as the first one. Darks down first then build up the other colours. I’m using very small slithers of pastel with a little bit of pastel pencil to neaten and work around the eye areas.
Yes I know! More sunsets. But when you’ve been spending so much time in the dense forests as we have for a couple of months you miss full sunsets as the sun disappears behind trees quite early. It’s been bliss to watch this happen all week.
So nearly there now and just that foreground grass to do. I’ve finished the detail on the yellow tags on the cows. The front cow actually only had one tag on as he’d lost one. But I’ve added it in anyway. Apparently they often eat them off eachother 🙂
Working on the grass now and creating some shadow areas around the cows’ legs. Again I’m keeping the grass pretty light as the lighting this day was so bright and misty. Perfect for letting the darkness of the cows sing out.
I’ll leave you with a last couple of pics from my travels. This was Brocci and I having a lovely stroll through the pretty streets of Freiburg. The day before this our van broke down and we had to called our breakdown service. After a hefty bill at the garage we are back on the road…for now! Our van is from 1987 so she is prone to breaking down. Luckily though, when you do break down it doesn’t matter as you have your whole house there anyway 🙂