Friday, 16 March 2018

In the Lambing Shed

oil painting of sheep and lamb

Begun with a fairly limited range of colours: I selected Paynes Grey, Alizarin Crimson and yellow ochre deep, plus white. If you mix that lot together you get a pretty good brown and can make it cool or warm, lighter or darker depending on how much yellow ochre (warm) or white (cool) you add to the mixture.
The order of work: I drew the outlines of the animals first, then put in the back ground with a palette knife, wiping quite a bit off with kitchen roll and generally fiddling around until I liked the look. The 'hay' is made using the end of the brush and a number of cocktail sticks. It went wrong the first time, but I just added more paint, wiped some off and started again. It is quite a forgiving technique. 
Then I let it dry completely because I didn't want to muddy my sheep.
They are painted entirely with a palette knife apart from the eyes. In the case of the lamb, I used  cotton buds to dab at the paint and create the impression of baby wool. With the adult, I just let the paint sit there, pretty thick and impasto. The curly bits on her head were made using cocktail sticks dipped into paint.
This piece is dedicated to Henry, a friend from where I used to live, who let me in the lambing sheds last year to take photos and watch him at work.

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