Sunday, June 25, 2017

Cinnamon Sky Longhorn

Does she look familiar?
This little longhorn loves to have her picture taken, is such a pretty little cow, and is really fun to paint.
She's Cookie Dough, and she's always interested in whoever is spending the weekend crafting and relaxing at Welcome Home Retreat in Weatherford, Texas.


THREE MONTHS AGO:

CHERI: I think I'm going to call our June painting weekend "The Longhorn Workshop." What if we all paint a longhorn?
ME:: I love it! I'm in!
CHERI:We'll do a couple of small projects, kind of warm ups.  Then we'll each do different longhorns.
ME: You know I love that! I can't wait.
CHERI: I've got an idea for this project.
ME: Great.  Should we come with one already drawn up.
CHERI: No, I want the canvases to be blank.  I'm going to teach you to draw them.  You'll love it.
ME: Ummm... no... I don't think so.
CHERI: You'll have to trust me.  You can do this.  It will be so freeing.  I've got some strategies that will make it easy.
ME: Yeahhhhhh... nooo... I can't draw.  
CHERI: Wait 'til you see this technique.  You'll love it.  It's kind of mathematical. 
ME: Ugh... This my pretend happy voice... 

THE MORNING OF THE PROJECT:
CHERI: Gather 'round, you'll see how quickly this can come together.
ME: I trust you, but... ugh...

It's all about thirds... horn tip to head, across the head, head to horn tip... then same distance from eyes to nose... then that distance plus half from top knot to nose tip...
Just block in some lines and rectangles... Measure from the center cross... Half way from top to bottom put in the eyes, lower than you think... Look for darks and lights...
 Go try it on your canvas... Thirds... Use a ruler if you need to... just get it on the canvas... 
She doesn't like it when she gets attention or bragged on... but my goodness... what a master... master painter... master teacher... 

... believes in her students when they certainly don't believe in themselves... until they do... believe in themselves...

Eventually, we had to leave watching her and move to our own blank... very... very blank... canvases...

Unbelievable... It actually looked like... well... a cow... but...
Deep breath... what was next... darks and lights??

Then frustration...
Every one was working hard...
I got quiet...
No one was looking... 

I don't know if...
... if I needed inspiration...
... if I wanted to relieve tension...
...if I was feeling rebellious...
...if I lost my mind...

But, when Cheri walked around and got to my canvas, she said, "My, that's bold!"

I knew when I started it would be worthy of either a spanking or a gold star... 

Once the background made its way from ridiculous to fabulous (in my humble opinion), I was still so frustrated with the cow, and I've painted many cows!

Cheri said, "Close your computer, and free yourself from the reference photo. Just change the angle of that cow and make her look at you straight on.  Don't panic.  It will be simple. She must have been standing on a hill. Just lower the back by bringing down that background an inch or two. Let's un-twist her by bringing her stomach out on the other side. Just wipe off some background and add some cow."
... so... so... simple... 
Thank you, my dear teacher, mentor, friend!

Original Oil Painting on 14" x 18" Wrapped Canvas.
Click "Cinnamon Sky Longhorn" to purchase this painting.

4 comments:

  1. This is a wonderful post about our workshop and stay at Welcome Home Retreat! I'm very happy with the outcome. Each artist completed the goal of painting three wonderful works of art in their own style and execution and hopefully learned some new techniques to add to their knowledge of technical approaches of painting. Thanks for the great post!

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  2. Look how great each cow turned out. She was right and her technique must have worked. Were the cows pleased with the results?

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    1. Ha ha! I don't know if the cows were pleased with their portraits. I think they were more annoyed that these silly women were in their space without any food for them. :)

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