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!
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
This is my latest painting. The cow is a “black baldie”, it is a typical Angus Hereford cross bred. The black comes from the Black Angus and the white face from the Hereford. I took this photo in the winter, so the hair is nice and fluffy around the ears and top knot. There was a whole group of cattle that had just been put in this pasture and it was a beautiful sunny day. see all my watercolor artwork for sale