The three amigos

The three amigos

The three calves painting is now finished and I am fairly happy. I think the one thing I might change is to have made the whole thing somewhat larger. In hindsight, trying to cram all of these guys into a 6×7 frame made it more difficult than perhaps was necessary.  I had a harder time inking with the thicker nib pen and there wasn’t as much room to layer the defining colors.  Lesson learned. Give each animal room enough for its own space.

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Three calf pencil up

Three calves

Last fall I started to pencil up this sketch of three calves that lived across our road.  They made a nice composition and fortunately are three different colors.

Holiday commissions and then a surprising six orders first of the year pushed this little drawing to the back of the line. Then I took a pen and ink break to do the fruit paintings because I needed to do something different for a bit.

Calf character

Calf portrait

Calf portrait

It has been quite warm this week and I have started to work some outside.  The weeds seem to have started up more than my flowers and I am trying to get a head start, especially on the dandelions.  Show me your yellow flower, and you’re gone! They are easy to spot right now and with the rain we had last week, I can pull most weeds up with the help of my hand trowel.  I have already pulled 2 wheelbarrows full so I’m feeling pretty good about that.  Not too much too soon or my hands will let me know about it.

In the meantime, I have pretty well finished up the watercolor calf.  I’ve deepened his coloring and added more to the background.  Although this is the same calf I did the acrylic head shot of a while back, the tone is a little bit less personal, I think.  Farther away, he doesn’t look quite so curious – more like he is staring hard, deciding if he should stay or run.  I’ll probably list him in my etsy store this week.

I think it’s done

Red calf

Red calf

After two more sessions of fiddling around, I think I’m done.  I don’t know if you can see much difference, but I added depth to his coat and changed the background somewhat.  I am much happier with this painting overall than I was with the barn one.  I think I’ll let it sit for a few days, but unlike what often happens after I finish a piece, I actually have liked it better afterwards.

A floral experiment is up next.  I have a photo taken in Atlanta of some purple wisteria which will be fun to experiment with.  I do like working with this 8×10 size right now.  It’s not too big and not too little.  It’s small enough that the detail work is not paramount but not so big that it overwhelms me.

Well, this is better

More on the calf

More paint on the calf

Well, this is turning out better than my first effort with the acrylics.  I admit that first barn effort was discouraging.

I spent several hours yesterday adding color to the calf and I am much more pleased at this stage than I was with the first one.  I just started to add paint and didn’t think to deeply about it.  Sometimes, that is where I get myself into trouble.  LOL  I think I still have another session to go to refine his head and work on the background as I have some canvas still showing through.  He was standing next to the creek where the water has carved out a deep bed for itself, so that is really a dirt wall behind him.  I kind of like the color that I have there as it allows him to be the main focus, but we’ll see what happens.

This one actually might end up being good enough to list in my etsy store.