Making Sausage and Cow Lips

As a general rule, I feel one should not know how the sausage is made! Especially when the bad parts like cow lips go in!  Sure, it will be tasty when it’s done, but do you really want to see them drop into the grinder. Usually, I feel like cow lips in a grinder when I paint. It’s either not quite right or maybe it was better before I added the lips. I take lots of photos of the process, and then delete them.

This piece however is an exception. I often liked what I saw. And therefore, I am willing to share. Even though, it literally contains cow lips.

The piece is based of a photo I took outside of Jensen, Utah of a cow grazing. When I approached it look up to check out what I was doing, and a star was born.

The first step in my process is to complete the under-painting. After years of no under-painting at all, I moved to a version of the Dutch Masters style and now construct the whole thing in raw umber. This is called Dead Painting, because the lack of color made the subject look dead. Often with this technique a grey layer is also added. I enjoy the way the raw umber looks so I usually stop at that point.

Here is my “Dead” cow-

After I complete the initial under-painting, I usually will do a layer of glaze and then start to apply colors. The initial layers of colors are usually an under-painting as well and typically are chosen to help emphasize the final layer when it goes on. In this piece I painted a lot of blue, purple, red and yellow.

IMG_0999 I will then put down another layer of glaze  to prepare for the finally layer(s). I then do multiple layers of a paint glaze mix. Recently, I have painted more realistic color combinations, but sometimes I don’t (I feel those times a coming!) It really depends on what my vision for the piece is. In this one I ended up with a brown(ish) cow. I typically finish up with some dry brush work, which is visible in the green and blue of the background.

And ta-da a sausage, I mean painting is complete…

Green River Cow
Green River Cow- Acrylic on Canvas 30 x 40

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