Steps to Create a Painting
Upon reviewing pictures I had taken of this herd of Holsteins, this particular cows’ expression caught my eye. The fact she had horns was fairly unusual and it created a unique set of shadows on her face.
I start with a canvas that has a thin wash of burnt sienna or umber applied so I am not painting directly on a white surface. After a drawing a rough pencil sketch I rework the image with the same browns thinned down to define the image.
I often block in darker shaded areas as I am working on the image, and then start blocking in areas of colour. During this time I am trying to ensure the proportions and angles are correct. As I work in oils I can go back to areas and still blend colours.
As I start to apply the colours in the painting I do not thin down the paint. Oils are fairly opaque and I tend to get ample coverage in the first coat. The paint I used to define the image is still wet, and will often blend with the colours being applied.
The image, with all the colours blocked in, highlights and shadows well defined. This is technically what I would refer to as my first coat, usually done in one sitting. I will then go back and rework areas to create more detail. However with this particular painting it was purchased “as is” before I could “finish it” and I was specifically asked not to touch it !!!
This is another painting I did of the same cow, but I continued to paint it in the traditional manor in which I do most of my work, with much more added detail than the previous roughed in image.