Step by step ‘Lucky cow’


‘Some days is good days. Some days is bad days’. Delighted to say today is a good day, in the Chaderton household. I have painted a cow for a commission and it has behaved itself. I have also started a baking-fest (doing afternoon tea for 60 on Saturday!) and done a pile of chores. It makes up for a very fallow period when I was trying to paint some bantams for a commission and it took five attempts.

I thought I would do a step-by-step and this is how it went:

First a basic drawing on Bockingford Not 200lb and mixing up wells of colour. Dark is from teal blue and alizarin mixed, there’s quin gold, quin sienna and turquoise too, with a spot of cobalt violet and manganese violet.


I started on the eyes and the darks, painting round the whiskers. I avoid masking if poss as it leaves very hard edges.


Next the nose – don’t you love a cow’s nose? I used clean water to paint the texture and dropped colour in to let it do its own thing.


Then worked on the white bits of the cow – which are yellow in my eyes, making sure to leave lots of white space for the viewers imagination. And washed in some background to pick up the nose colours.


Next I waited for it all to dry (and went to the bottle bank and made a cake), rubbed out pencil marks, smoothed off some edges I didn’t like and added in some whiskers with either watercolour or gouache. For once, I am really pleased and it only took 1.5 hours start to finish.

I am not sure whether to stop while the going is good, or keep on in the hope of more luck….

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