Wednesday, June 12, 2013

"beau" ...

I had an impulse to paint a cow a couple of weeks ago.  I love to paint animals and don't indulge myself as often as I would like.  I wanted to paint big and loose and with lots of color.  This was actually my last big painting before the pain in my shoulder made me put down my brush and take a break. But that's another story!
Back to cows..... actually this is a calf and he's a bull not a cow. Aren't you glad I got that all straight? :) I thought I would post the stages of the painting on this blog post, so you can see how I start and what happens along the way.  (I was so proud of myself for remembering to take pictures!)

Stage 1: sketching the basic shapes.  I just want enough so that I have all the basic lines in marking the features.  I chose not to tone my canvas with this painting.  Sometimes I do.  I wanted to work off of the bright white of the gesso in this case.

Stage 2:  Laying in the color. I'm not concerned with the final color scheme right now, just laying in the lights and darks and trying to get a feel for it.  I use all transparent paint at this stage.

Stage 3:  Adding more color and starting to make some color decisions.  I start to put in some opaque color here and not just the transparents.  Still really loose.  This is my favorite part!

Stage 4:  Refining color and shapes in the calf and laying in the background color.  Still really loose strokes and sketchy features.

Stage 5:  At this point I am really starting to paint the calf.  Refining features but I still want a loose feel to this painting.  I want to do just enough so you get the idea but not over work it.  I do a lot of stepping back to make sure I am on track.  I notice here that the left eye is kind of wonky so I fix that and also make sure my lights and darks are still right.

Finished!  You can see that I corrected the eye and the left side of his face.  I loosened up some of the really opaque areas and refined a lot of my hard edges.  I love the way he turned out.  Soft and sweet. 

30" x 24" oil on gallery wrapped canvas


Maria Bennett Hock said...

love seeing the process and love that you explained each step! What a fun piece!

hmuxo said...

Excellent the progression in this piece.

Linda Nickles said...

Dottie, I love this guy, Beau! It's so interesting to see your process. Thanks for sharing. Hope you're feeling better!