Painting Cows on a Sunny Day

A See-Through.

This painting took long, long!! But it was worth it. (Find the Step by Step below in this blog post.)

For a long time, I didn't know where the cows would fit best, I started with just the see-through between the trees, the sunny grassland, sky, and fence were the main focus.

If you leave out the 'painting maker': for me in this case: the cows in a scene, it can of course work, but here the open spot won't function the same without them.

The longer you wait with placing them in, the braver you'll need to be.πŸ˜„ It all worked out. I can't paint them detailed or bigger from memory, so I was glad the cows were passing by the time I needed them and I could finish the composition.

LSU02-2019 Landscape Plein air Painting 'Warm Summer Day Cows Trees See Through', Roos Schuring, oil on canvas, 24 × 30 cm | 9.6″ x 11.8″ Sold

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Step by Step

Here you can see how I build up the 'complex' and how the backbone was created from the start. Also, see how 'color-body' was created by creating underlayers of warm colors.

(Acrylics) I start with creating a composition in Light & Dark.
Palette at the beginning, oil paints
(Oils) I add warms to make sure the sky & grass can 'sing' later
Crystallizing the Composition, the bigger areas of Color
Details enter the painting, and Variations in the bigger areas
All bigger areas, Sky, Grass in Light & Shade, Trees now contain Shadow & Light
Highlights, high darks are added, Cows are added and finishing touches, in this it's also about the Rhythymn of strokes, finding harmony in this

Questions & Answers

Susan asks: “How can I understand 'underpainting'? As you call it the color body (…)”

hi Susan, in painting one can work in layers. These can dry in between efforts, I work 'alla prima'. In one go, outdoors.

That's why having different approaches can help in having a finished painting after a day's work. In this, an underlayer, underpainting, even a diverse range of colors or kinds can help giving the top layers 'body'. As painters, we mostly deal with 'color' and 'color' of an item, object, area often consists of many colors, for example, looking at a bright sun gives a turquoise, yellow, white, red sensation all at once. It's our job as landscape painters to at least see this, then give a go at putting it into paint. Either in a few colors, or all these from the example, or plain white, yellow, these choices will decide vibrancyπŸŒžπŸ€—πŸ€πŸŽ¨  

Tim asks: “Roos your first steps looks quite thick paint, maybe they’re not? I’m wondering how your top layers of green for example stay fresh on top of orange?”

@ Tim, the orange is quite thin, wiped out with a cloth, still, thicker can be done. It's a bit of what the first impressionists did. Letting colors intermix/coexist. Practice this.  

Another question: "I don't understand the heavy warm tones in step 1-4?"

Darks and lights need 'body', the darks need deepening, that's step 1. Steps 2-4 are the search for the right colors, often deepened by using more than 1 color.
One (1) color on white doesn't usually 'vibrate' to a maximum, that's why this is. πŸ€




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