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.

Inking is finished

Almost all inked up

Almost all inked up

The inking is finished, including for the house.  She got back with me concerning which of the two back porches was correct.  As I suspected, it was the screened in version versus just a railing, but I did want to put in the right one.  Notice the two little cows in the field?  They definitely are on the sketchy side, but it was hard to do more than just indicate them because of the distance away.

I worked hard on the positive/negative balance and I think it came out okay.  All of that grass had to ground the middle strip with the trees and buildings.  If I made the middle section too dark, the grasses would not be able to hold it down and the treed hills would float too much.  If I made the grasses too dark, it would all meld into one and be harder to distinguish the two areas.

This one will be colored with the hard pastels, for a change.  With such a long expanse of 18″ by almost 7″ and all of the greenery, I felt that the richness of the pastels would work better than watercolors.  The gloss fixative I use really pops the colors of the pastels and adds a depth that I find harder to do with watercolors, at least at this point in my artistic endeavors.

Next post it will be all colored up.

Cattle farm landscape

Farm landscape

Farm landscape

This one is a little different than my normal home portrait. If fact, it’s pretty far away, seeing as the house and the barn are way back there and it is really more of a landscape.  The drawing measures ~18″x7″ which is also a change from my usual working sizes.

The inking will take a lot of time here – lots of grass and trees.  In talking it over with my client, I decided the pastels would be more suitable than the watercolors. The richness of the sprayed hard pastel will enhance the landscape, although I will probably use a little watercolor on the small fence areas and the barn, just because it will be easier to lay a color base and then just shade a bit with the pastels and maybe a little colored pencil.