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
I was driving down Friendship Rd. in Fredericksburg, and a herd of Brahman Hereford cross steers had just been released into the pasture neighboring the street. There were two that really captured my attention, this first one posed for me and was very inquisitive. I have just finished work on the second with the bright reds and spots. Love the big floppy ears and the white “Brisket”. Working on the shadowing of the white face and brisket was a challenge. I will soon have this both listed on http://www.etsy.com for purchase as prints
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.