Field with Cattle

Field with Cattle 1

Watercolor on 140lb cold pressed paper, 8″ x 5.75″

This is another field near the county park. It usually has dark colored cattle in it, either eating grass or laying in the shade. I think I need to practice animals more, or maybe just stop making everything so small. At this scale it just takes a very small mistake to completely change the shape of something. Maybe my next painting will be much bigger…

The sky is a light wash of a blue mixed with white. For the trees I used green earth and Payne’s grey, with a small amount of raw umber in the trunks. The grass is a mix of light yellow ochre, brown ochre, and buff titanium, with some raw umber in the dark parts. The cattle are a mix of Payne’s grey and raw umber. I’ve never been a fan of Payne’s grey, but I’m experimenting with it. The buff titanium I’ve had for a couple of years but I think this might be the first time I’ve used it in a painting. It helped get the color of dried grass. All of the grass in this area is very dry and we’ve had a lot of large wildfires recently.

Here’s the two reference photos I used, taken on different days at different times of day.

Field with Cattle ref 1

Field with Cattle ref 2

Field Near the County Park

Field near the county park 1

Watercolor on 140lb cold pressed paper, 8″ x 5.75″

This is a large open field across the street at the county park with a lot of tall grass. The park is next to the lake, so the small amount of blue hill seen in the distance is across the lake. The scan doesn’t show as much of the blue in the sky as it should. Here’s the original photo I took-

Field near the county park 1 ref

Most of the green used in the grass is a yellowish green earth that I then glazed over with a mix of mostly cobalt teal and nickel titanite yellow. I think early in the painting I was also using an unusual mix of viridian and synthetic malachite. The dark green I used was an experimental mix of viridian (a cold green), perylene green (greenish black), and another green earth. The sky and distant hills are only cobalt teal. There were a few other colors that I only used small amounts of.

So this painting has a lot of natural green earth in it, which is different for me because I’ve never liked green earth in watercolor. It seems like no matter what brand it’s from it’s difficult to rewet. It also dries very brittle and doesn’t stick to the pan or palette well, so when it dries it tends to break into many loose pieces that fall on the floor. This time I tried something I’ve read about- adding a drop of vegetable glycerin to the green earth, mixing it well, and then letting it dry in the pan. It worked well because the dry paint didn’t crumble and it rewet much easier. Because it was easier to rewet I could get more paint on my brush and use it more strongly, which is useful because green earth is always transparent and weaker than most paints. The green earth couldn’t make the grass as brightly green as it should be though.

Also, I’m trying out a different blog theme design. I was hoping to be able to make the images larger, but they seem to be the same. Still, I kind of like it for the fonts. Let me know what you think of the change.