Yes the cows are back, or have been back since this past month. The hectic schedule made it difficult to sit down and paint and thus I’ve only just managed to paint about them recently. For those who are not familiar, my boyfriend and I moved in together and bought a house in a quaint farming village. Our dream house has a pretty back garden facing the neighboring farm bordered by a small brook. Immediately over this brook is a dirt path over which march a herd of cows. Twice a day too! And what an amazing and interesting spectacle that is, especially for someone who has grown up in a big city. Of course I have to paint about it!
On my Strathmore’s Visual Journal (Bristol paper), I made a simple sketch with graphite pencil. Mama cow and her two babies. Normally there are more of them marching in a single file but for the painting, I shall just make it cute. The sun is shining, and we have a little bird tweeting about in the corner. So lucky of us, we get all sorts of birds flying around in our neighbourhood. My boyfriend is quite an expert at birds so just to entertain him, I thought I’d add a random bird in the painting!
This time, I decided to just stick to acrylic though in various forms. The background for instance was painted with Golden’s Fluid Acrylic. For the sky I went for Manganese Blue Hue for the Sky, Green Gold for the fields and Sap Green for the brook. The cows and the sun were then filled in with Acrylic inks. First I painted the sun with two different Yellows. Our cows are the tan/brown variety and thus I used Antelope Brown, whilst the horns were in gold.
So far so good, but one thing I need to be aware of is that the paint streaks are quite visible when using Bristol Paper. This kind of paper, whilst thick, is coated to a smooth finish and hence the paint does not soak up paint and remains on the surface. That said, the tendency for the paper to buckle up and warp is minimized because less water is absorbed.
For this step, I switched to acrylic paint followed by markers. The eyes were filled in with Payne’s Grey with the whites dotted in thick paint. Then with my set of Molotow acrylic markers, I set about coloring in my little pink bird and the fish in the brook. I’m not sure if there are actually any fish but thought it would be a cute addition to the painting! Then I doodled in a pair of tulips in the background, followed by the tails of the cows and small plants on the field. Streaks were finally drawn in the water and the sun with the markers. And now… my kawaii painting of our bovine buddies!
It’s wonderful being able to paint again with just acrylic, and I’m amazed how different forms of it exist to suit your needs: paint, ink and markers. Working with Bristol paper is also so much easier than the uncoated ones, although as mentioned earlier there are some limitations to be aware of. I’d definitely like to practice painting on it again soon where possible. Most Important though is that painting my kawaii cows, and of course our little bird, was so much fun!