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The above painting came from using rice papers on the positive shapes in a painting, to add texture.


I began with a painting and blocked in all the forms I wanted to include, Much like how I began the painting in the previous post.


I covered the bull in torn strips of textured rice paper, working from bottom to top so the pieces would overlap like the hair on the bull would.


I painted the coat following the values I saw in the reference photo. Thank you to Wet Canvas for the reference.


To finish the bull, I glued more torn strips of rice papers on the head and painted them. I painted the light washes on the horns. I glued rice papers on the clumps of foliage behind and to one side of the bull for balance.

westhighlandbull finished painting

I finished the painting by painting the rice paper foliage and  using india ink in the hair fibers and shadows on the bull.

This is a fairly long process because the artist works in steps and gives ample time for each step to dry in between.  I liked this and will use it in future paintings where I want to increase texture.


  1. He’s a beauty! I just love those long-haired cows, and the hair all in his face. My goodness such a complicated process! Of course, this would be an excellent exercise for someone who generally wants instant gratification (*cough* me). 🙂

    • It does take a long time, Cindy. …but one of my students said something last week and it is so true. She said, “I like creating these because there is always something more I can do on them. I can change things if I want. ” That, to me, is really interesting because I can always add more paper and more paint. These NEVER turn out like I foresee them. 🙂 Thank you !

        • Madeleine
        • Posted April 13, 2013 at 7:22 pm
        • Permalink

        Dear Leslie,

        I am very taken by your NY Cityscape from 2009. I was wondering if it might be acceptable for me to use the image as the banner for my Facebook account. I understand if you can’t share it in this way, but just wanted to make the request because I was so impressed by it. I could not find an email or contact link, so thought perhaps I could write you this way. Anyway, I look forward to hearing from you and again compliments on your artwork!

      • Hi Madeleine,
        Thank you for your interest in my artwork and leaving a comment, here. I will reply through email. I see no problem with your request.

  2. Very neat technique and beautiful job Leslie, the values and textures are very attractive!

  3. He is gorgeous, Leslie!

  4. Now this Bull has attitude Leslie, and I loved seeing him emerge bit by bit… So much work for you….but takes just a few seconds for me to appreciate in the WordPress Reader, and then dash over for a better and more lingering look… xPenx

    • It’s nice to hear you say you like looking at the steps. I post them in case any of the other watercolorists want to try this technique. I know you are dedicated to your writing, but still like seeing the steps. Very cool and thankyou, Pen.

  5. Wonderful, Leslie. He is quite a handsome guy.

  6. Oh my! What a subject!!! 🙂 Only you can pull it off so well! He sure has character! Superb Leslie! 🙂

    • I take your comment to heart, Isabelle. I appreciate this comment so much from someone so in tune with nature. 🙂

  7. I can almost feel how it would be there. The wind, the quiet, a little chilly, but the sun itself gives it some warmth and than those deep eyes. Beautiful and quiet.

    • Thank you, Hannekekoop. Thank you, especially for that about the light and the quiet.

  8. Another hairy beast! LOL! I always like your shaggy west highland critters. They always look like their bangs need to be trimmed. 🙂

    • Very cool thought. They do need their bangs trimmed! Ha! Thank you, Carol. 🙂

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