(trumpets sound) Rhonda! Whose blog Painting for Joy is a colorful feast for the eyes and imagination, pretty much daily. I gotta admire that kind of dedication to creativity. In the end I went with “Wooly Bully” for the title because … it’s cute, and it seemed the most popular among those commenting. I also seriously pondered “All Ears” and “Little Red.” I just finished profiling the print today so if those of you who didn’t win want one, it is available on the Wild Faces Gallery website.

Free Print Give Away Update

So my horse has been ill and I have been trying to come to terms with the fact that he may not live forever. This has kept me quite distracted, depending on the day and his pain level, my mood goes up and down. He’s been my boy for almost 20 years and to make a long sad story shorter … I just haven’t given the whole title thing much of my attention.

SO … my plan is to do the drawing on Monday November 17th. I’d set a time but I’m just not that Type A personality of an artist.  Anyone who may still be interested please comment on my post stickied at the top of my Wild Faces Gallery facebook page. If you don’t do the facebook thing, just leave a comment title suggestion here and you’ll be added to the draw.

To see what the heck I’m talking about either scroll down or click this link for the yet to be named calf painting..



So it’s been awhile since I did one of these. A give away that is.

The calf is at a “live with it for a bit” stage. I’ll probably add some more wispy hair and perhaps deepen some shadows. It measures approximately 20×24 and is a mixed media of various water soluble materials on suede. I’ve not come up with a title yet and so that’s where the give-away comes in.

If interested you can go to my Wild Faces Gallery facebook page, Like the page and then leave a title suggestion comment on the post with this calf. If I chose a suggestion that person gets a print. If I don’t choose any of the suggestions I will draw a name at random to win the print.

The Trouble With Black is …
Well the short answer is it’s usually very flat looking. It lacks dimension and richness. And anyone who has perused my blog can see I LOVE color. I infuse it in almost all the work I do. Even the pieces where I want a realistic looking animal (like the one I’m currently working on) I am constantly trying to reel myself in with color usage.

The one color (though I think technically not a color) I limit my use of is black. I hear often enough artists’ saying I don’t use black and even more so, I don’t use white. Which to be honest has always struck me as a bit college art course inspired. I firmly believe that both black and white should be made up of a veritable rainbow of colors but to not use them at all … well … you are limiting your range of contrast.

When I’ve been asked if I use either of these colors well you know by now that the answer is yes.

I do.

All of the time.

Perhaps this is because I’m self taught. Or perhaps it’s because I love intense pop of color and strong contrasts. Whatever the reason I use both black and white so much that I am always buying high quantities of both when getting open stock supplies.

Please note that “Nothing” is done on this little wooly bully. But I got to a point where in order to progress with the shadowing on the calf I needed to get the background in. In my reference photo it was solid black. High contrast yes, but as mentioned kinda flat looking. SO here’s a few photos showing my progression to a very dark background.

The main two colors I used here are inktense (Derwent’s water soluble ink pencils) Dark Indigo and Chocolate. When combined they make a lovely purpley-bluey-brown wash.


See what I mean. So after my board has dried I begin working in the browns, purples and yes black. This layer stays dry though I do hit it with a coating of fixative spray to keep it from dusting all over my whites.


The background is close to being done, but now it’s time to go back and work on the calf some. Maybe another day or two. I need to work on gallery stuff but I’m having a hard time pulling myself away from my drafting table.

Too many cows yet to be painted I guess.

NOTE: I think those who work in oils can get away with expanses of black a little more easily due to the richness and quality of the pigment. Watercolor pencils though … not so much.


  • Rosie The Red Angus
  • 16 1/2 x 18 1/2 inches.
  • Water soluble Mixed Media On Suede

And by” pretty close”, well she’s signed but I’m gonna live with her a little to see if I want to change anything.

I had to force myself to stop, because I was beginning to overwork it. Sometimes it’s best to let go and move on.

This was the first time I worked on white suede. I prefer a pewter-ish color (this allows me to go darker and lighter) but I had a sheet of white laying around and at over $40 a sheet I decided to put it in play, especially since there wasn’t going to be any white on the cow herself.

I did take a few in-progress shots so expect a start-to-finish on her in a day or two.


Looking at my collection I need to do some profiles, but the head on shots are grabbing me right now. Still I gotta get some variety going.  I also need to introduce some new background colors. More blues,  purples, yellows and (gasp) reds if I’m brave enough.. Freckles has “more” blues but still lots of the green. I need to push myself on this.

  • What I Need/Want For The Exhibit is minimally 16 paintings.
  • Cow Paintings So Far 6 (not including anything that has sold)
  • Cow Paintings Left to go 10.

I love my bright cows but would also like to get a least a couple of more realistic works in the mix. They take so much longer it is a commitment to my time management to try to include this.

The good news is I’m rather excited about art right now and don’t mind doing cow after cow. I’ve got some crow sketches laying about but I’m not sure what way I’ll go. Perhaps crow … perhaps cow.

Holstein Cow Safari

I finally got a few shots of some Holsteins yesterday. It was a sunny and a small herd was out enjoying the gorgeous Fall day. I asked the owner if it was okay and was met with a dazed and confused look but they gave me the go ahead. I explained I was a painter and about the cow art show, but that didn’t seem to help it make sense to them.

At any rate, expect a holstein or two in the future. I printed a bunch of photos today and now I just have to figure who gets done first.


Working Title: Rosie (though it may be Ginger depending on what color story I finally settle on)

Water Soluble Mixed Media on White Suede

Approx 18×22 inches (though finished painting will be cropped more)

 All That Color Is Like A Slap In The Face

All that solid color scares the heck out of me. There’s a reason I paint stripes and spots. It’s in my comfort zone. As such I have been hitting this one pretty hard. I don’t want to stop until I reach a certain level of comfort with what I’ve got down. In reality the heifer itself is nearly completed but the lighting is gone today for photo taking so you’re getting an earlier in progress shot.

“Freckles” is nearly complete but I have set her aside to allow myself time to decide how I want to progress. Right now Freckles is a much more pastel piece than ALL of my other heifers. I think that’s okay … but I’m not sure. So she’s propped up where I can ponder my dilemma without forcing an answer. And thus I began another.

Because I Create Artificial Rules For Myself.

Anyone else do this? I really want to do something else, though I am loving doing my cows. Crows, Pelicans or a Christmas card design. But I decided I really needed to get one more cow painting done before rewarding myself with painting something else.

Kinda crazy really.

But there ya go.



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 58 other followers