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Painting this cow was fun. At first I looked at it as a daunting challenge, but it wasn’t.  I used round brushes throughout and worked light to dark. I waited for the figure of the cow to dry and wet the background being careful to carve around the hair and shape of the cow.  I then dropped in light washes of the blue and yellows I’d used on the cow.


  1. I’d also have found this daunting, the angle would be easy to misinterpret – lovely colours that really make the most of his hairy coat – what a character he is…if he’s from the West Highlands, I wonder if he moo’s with a Scottish accent.

    • You are right.The only way I knew to approach this would be through color and value, otherwise it would only end up a value study. I tried him in two colors but he came out rather boring. I don’t know about the accent 🙂

      • I cannot believe your paintings would EVER be boring.

  2. That is so cool!!! Again, and I know I’m a broken record….but Your use of colour amazes me. Just love this cow….and the whole snow falling in front of it is very meditative. Really lovely. Thank You Leslie! Cheers and Namaste. 🙂

    • Thanks Bliss. Thank-you for re-inforcing this color thing with the cow. 🙂 The snow is absolutely a wonderful gift from WordPress.

        • blissbait
        • Posted December 6, 2009 at 10:35 am
        • Permalink

        Hey! Came back to smile at Your beautiful cow in the snow. Truly meditative. Hope You have a Great Day! Namaste. 🙂

  3. This came out well, you worried for nothing…I like him Les…

  4. I just love it 🙂
    It’s like real.
    Great job again,Leslie 😉
    10X for sharing us this nice post.
    It’s nice of you.

    Enjoy the moment!!!

  5. Awww. I grew up with longhorns and herefords. He’s adorable.

  6. Your use of color, shape, and light and dark always astounds me, Leslie. I love your work!!

    Hey, I like this snow thing from WordPress. Since I am expecting snow Sunday night, think I can figure out how to get it?? LOL.

    • Thank-you Kate! Yes! Snow is offered for free by WordPress until Jan 4th. Go to the dashboard page and click on extras under appearance. Click on the snow box. I didn’t even know you got much snow in Big Sur…….

  7. The cow’s hair looks so playful. I wonder if it impedes with their sight.Did you scratch out the whiskers?

    • I don’t know how well they see. I know they are pretty shaggy.They are also rather small compared to other breeds of cows. You are good at noticing my scratching, Raji! Thanks for the visit!

  8. I grew up at a place with cows and still spend most of my time there but this one has got to be the cutest, it has got itself some major style

    • Thank-you Silindile. I wonder if they have to be groomed and brushed so their hair doesnt get tangled? LOL

      • Ha ha ha that’s a good question but no they don’t, cows need to be dipped only once I don’t know in how long and no grooming, they’re perfect

      • 🙂 Thank-you Silindile!

  9. Awww a Hielan Coo! (That’s what we call them here in Scotland – pronounced ‘heelin’). There’s heaps of them in the fields next to us. I love them, they’re so adorable. I should dig out the photos I have of them. This is a beautiful painting of it Leslie.

    • Thank-you Heather. There is a small herd here in Fort Wayne. I’ve seen them in a field near the airport. Even the babies are soon covered in hair. Do you know? Are they temperamental or are they pretty easy-going.

      • They are very easy-going Leslie. They have beautiful temperaments in my experience, but I’ve never actually come across a bad cow! Lol. They are very curious as well and will come right up to you so you can feed them or pet them.

      • That’s kind of what I thought. The ones by the airport walk towards the fence also. Very curious!

  10. Ah, you have caught me in a vagueness. What I should have said is that I grew up seeing those particular breeds. My grandfather did have Herefords. So I helped take care of them when I was there for the holidays. But his herd was small, only around 5 or 6 at any given time.

  11. How wonderful, shaggy, and friendly. I can almost smell him. I want to reach out and pet him on the head!

    • Thanks Jay. I guess we could pet him judging from what Heather says about them.

  12. I don’t know anything about cows, but this guy looks like he needs to get a hair cut!

    I love the head on view of the cow. And I always appreciate you telling us, the viewing public, how you approached your painting. You are an excellent teacher.

    • I agree, Carol, haircut! Sometimes I visit sites and wonder how someone did something and I don’t get an answer like it is some big secret or something. I don’t get that. No matter how you or I would try, our paintings would never look just alike. So, thank-you for saying something so I could rant. 🙂

  13. I really like the painting of this cow. He’s so much fun and just looks like ‘winter’ to me. Well done!

    • Thanks, Littlelynx. Maybe he looks like winter because he has a built in HAT! lol He was fun.

  14. How beautiful, have to agree with jaybastian, shaggy and friendly, its gorgeous. The colours are great.

  15. He is incredible, Leslie! I want to get back to some good old fashioned watercolor. I get inspired when I see paintings like this one.

  16. its really great.
    Such wild hair

    • Thanks Kokot. Don’t you think he looks like some kind of Viking Rock Star?

  17. I must get a pic of the ones in the field next to me. I just passed the baby calves, and they’re tiny! Probably about a month old. It’s unusual to see them that young at this time of year, with winter approaching.

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