Three Cows and a Baby

We love our backyard. Bordered by a small brook overlooking the neighboring farm, it is such a spectacular view! The warmer months come with fully grown trees shielding the vast field from the strong sun, although we still get plenty of light. Add to that we get to view the farmer’s cows roaming across the path twice a day in front of our eyes! Lately these cows have given birth to calves, and now we see the babies tagging along with their mama’s and papa’s. And so I decided to make a simple drawing on a my sketchbook since I find them so cute!

The Start

On a page spread, I sketched my idea. Inspired by that 80’s movie “Three Men and a Baby”, I thought I’d have a little play around and make it three cows and a baby! After the initial pencil sketch, the background was painted with some watercolor from Winsor & Newton. I let it all dry before coloring the cows with markers (by Faber Castell’s Pitt Artists Pens) in tan, the color which they are as opposed to the “typical” black and white ones.

Carrying On

Initially, the theme was about cows marching in the rain which is why I made the sky all grey. I then changed my mind and decided to paint trees behind them. For this, I introduced the greenery with a set of green Ecoline markers which work really well over watercolor. Although water soluble, the markers are made of ink which makes the colors vivid and strong. The barn was then painted with watercolor. And just for fun, I spread some silver glitter glue where the brook was painted.

Finishing Touches

I was somewhat still not happy with the composition and found the painting rather plain and proceeded to color in the trees! Here, I then reintroduced watercolor to see what would happen if it were used over the Ecoline inks. Whilst the inks remained vibrant colors, some did smudge in which case I merely redrew. Now that’s much better! And the roof of the barn was glazed with some shimmery red (though not visible in the photo). To enhance unity in the painting, I spread some of the red onto the path and dotted in some red “flowers” on the left edge of the painting. And now we have it!

Perhaps not my the best of my usual work but I wanted to depict the cuteness of our neighborhood cows! It was also a good chance to experiment again with combining watercolor and Ecoline inks which seem to work well together. I do like the green background, although I was not originally intending to have it since the focus was on the cows themselves. Still, they managed not to get overshadowed, and I made the right decision to take the risk. Next time, I might like to try another medium to draw cows. Colored pencils perhaps? We shall see.

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