Cows on a Hill: #1

I really liked the sky I painted last night, so today I wanted to paint something with a big wide open sky.

I have also been enamored with Joseph Zbukvic’s cows, so I wanted to try that as well.

To start, I used C4b to wet the paper. Then an F3w of UM Blue and a touch of Raw Umber to paint the sky. I left a big patch white and dabbed a bit here and there with a rag to get clouds. Then, before it dried I used a small pointed round to dab some shadows with the same color as the sky, but a touch more Raw Umber. I tapped the bottoms of the clouds, and used the rag to soften some of the edges.

When I look back at the sky, I want the top to be a deep rich blue, next time I’ll do that to try to get that deep summer blue sky I’m picturing in my head.

Then, I used a T3w to paint the trees on the horizon on the right, and let it dry.

Once it was dry, I painted the grass with F3b Yellow Ochre and UM Blue. I put some big blotches of the same mixture, just with more UM Blue to add large shadows of the clouds, and smoothed them out with a bone dry brush. I then went in with a T3b grey to paint the tree tops over the hill, and warmed it slightly with yellow ochre and tapped in a drop here and there to soften some edges. I used a 00 Round for this in order to be very delicate.

Then I used the same T3b cool grey to define the bottoms of the leaves on the nearest tree, and dabbed the warmer grey still at T3b to round out the canopy. I then used an M2b of the cool grey to pull down the tree trunk.

For the cows, I just dabbed shapes in with an R2b grey of Raw Umber and Indie Blue, very dark.

Then I painted the fence posts with that same R2b dark grey, and watered down the dark grey to T2b to paint the house and silo in the distance. I also used that T2b to paint the shadows.

When it was all dry, I used Chinese White (dipping the tip of a 00 Round straight into the tube) to add spots to the cows and paint the roof and top of the silo.

I then decided to add the left-most fence post with an R2b Raw Umber, and then used R2s yellow ochre to streak one highlight on the post. Then, I used T4b of the neutral grey Raw Umber and UM Blue to paint the wires, and squiggled in tiny barbs, and touched in some Chinese white for highlights.

The whole thing took less than an hour, and I’m reasonably happy with it. I really want to try to nail down those cows.

The end.

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