These three beauties belong to Double LB Longhorns in Mason, Texas, see their site. They are having a longhorn conference in June and have asked me to attend with my artwork. They are Hannah, Cactus Flower and Dusty. I challenged myself to expand on my development of background and foreground and to bring in some color. Also, I love the “runs” on Hannah’s back – the other two a more representational. After completing these guys – I did a few easy loose watercolor on 5X7 paper – pig, donkey, chicken, etc. I have found my passion in painting!
It is interesting the physical traits that hunting dogs share. Just look at these two! Yet – they can be so unique. I still have several hunting dogs that I want to paint, but for now it is back to some regal longhorns for a longhorn workshop in June at Double L Ranch in Mason, Texas. click to buy my artwork
black lab dog watercolor painting by annette bennett
I thought it might be interesting to follow me as I work on my next watercolor painting. This is a behind the scenes look at the creative process- for me, anyway.
First I take a ton of photographs of a subject, honestly, usually over 1,000 images. Yes, I have a “continuous shot” option on my camera and I use it. Animals can make a movement quickly and give no warning. So, if you have to try and anticipate what they are going to do and if it will be a good shot – it’s hopeless. So, after I take 1000+ shots, then I download them on my computer, and quickly scan through them to decide which might have potential. I go through several “culling” processes until I end up with 8-10 photos that I think have potential. Then, I enlarge, crop, adjust the brightness ( to see more of the animals color), darken the shadows, etc all on my computer. Then, once I have a picture that I think would make a good painting, I usually print a black and white image of it. I like to print black and white – it kinda frees my mind to explore colors and not be restricted to trying to match what is actually on the animal. Then, I decide how big of a painting I want to make.
I try to make all my art so that it will fit in pre-made frames – kinda standard sizes, to keep the costs down. Once I have decided on the size, then I draw the image onto my paper. This one that I am working on is two black Angus calves. I took the photographs at Linda Treibs, Fredericksburg. They had gathered up the cattle into a pen and so I was able to get some group shots.
Now, the fun begins…Stay tuned for further developments
I have been busy taking photos at Lee and Linda Blackwell’s ranch in Mason Texas and some at Red McCombs Longhorn sale in Johnson City, Texas. It is just incredible to see these big beautiful Mammas and their babies. The color patterns on some of the longhorns are incredible- God really used his pallet. Here are just three of my latest this big cow was a gentle one and really just looking for a handout. The baby had super coloration and you can see the horns peeping out! The watercolor original of featured big one is at Agave Gallery, Fredericksburg . Prints can be ordered from my site on etsy
As you drive around the Texas Hill Country, you will see mostly Angus and Angus cross cattle. I tried to do some black cows many months ago – and they are quite a challenge to do – especially when you do them as close-ups, as I do. You can’t just paint a cow all black – that really isn’t the true color and doesn’t show definition, etc. So – I have struggled a bit with the black cows. But here are two of my latest – I incorporated purple, turquoise, Hope you like them.