Step by step ‘Lucky cow’


‘Some days is good days. Some days is bad days’. Delighted to say today is a good day, in the Chaderton household. I have painted a cow for a commission and it has behaved itself. I have also started a baking-fest (doing afternoon tea for 60 on Saturday!) and done a pile of chores. It makes up for a very fallow period when I was trying to paint some bantams for a commission and it took five attempts.

I thought I would do a step-by-step and this is how it went:

First a basic drawing on Bockingford Not 200lb and mixing up wells of colour. Dark is from teal blue and alizarin mixed, there’s quin gold, quin sienna and turquoise too, with a spot of cobalt violet and manganese violet.


I started on the eyes and the darks, painting round the whiskers. I avoid masking if poss as it leaves very hard edges.


Next the nose – don’t you love a cow’s nose? I used clean water to paint the texture and dropped colour in to let it do its own thing.


Then worked on the white bits of the cow – which are yellow in my eyes, making sure to leave lots of white space for the viewers imagination. And washed in some background to pick up the nose colours.


Next I waited for it all to dry (and went to the bottle bank and made a cake), rubbed out pencil marks, smoothed off some edges I didn’t like and added in some whiskers with either watercolour or gouache. For once, I am really pleased and it only took 1.5 hours start to finish.

I am not sure whether to stop while the going is good, or keep on in the hope of more luck….


About lizintheshed

Watercolour artist and copywriter, living and working in the Thames Valley.
This entry was posted in animal portraits, Art, how to, step by step, Techniques, Watercolour and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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