I've just started reading the book "Messy: How to Be Creative and Resilient in a Tidy-Minded World" - anyone who has shared an office with me will testify that my desk usually acts as a visual advertisement for the title of this book! :-) - only got through the intro and chapter 1of the book so far but I am really enjoying it. Much of the beginning centres on a concert pianist who produces an incredible performance despite having a defective piano. The point of the story being that sometimes difficult circumstances can help us to think outside the box and create things that we otherwise wouldn't have.
I actually use this technique when I paint from time to time. In the example below, I restricted myself to using just one brush and ended up creating a sheep painting that has a look that's truly unique compared to others in my portfolio. Check out "The Golden Fleece" in more detail here.
"You know what Martha? I heard that Beatrice in the next field is very impulsive, she's like a bull at a gate with everything she does!" This is 'Chit Chat' A couple of cows having a chat in a field in Branscombe in Devon United Kingdom. See the painting / buy a print etc here.
'Guardians of the Valley' Two cows, horns still intact, lying in the misty twilight of a Devon sky while surrounded by green and yellow fields overlooking a valley lined with hedgerows. See the painting in more detail here.
"The Courage of Youth" - This young cow was found in a field north of Exeter in Devon. In this acrylic painting I've deliberately used non-realistic colors but at the same time endeavored to keep the hues harmonious so that they are striking but not jarring. The "blue lighting" has become something of a signature in my work and can be seen in several ofmy animal and figure paintings. You can see the painting in more detail here
In episode 14 of the cows in Devon landscape painting, I do some further work on the cow lying down in the sun. First, I add a sense of texture to the hide of the animal and then include some very dark green in the deep shadow areas. The dark green is used to depict the light that bounces off the grass and onto the cow's skin. Finally, I do further work on the cow head, introducing blue shadows and simplifying my treatment of the subject.
In episode 13 of the cows in Devon landscape painting demo, I work on the head of the cow lying down. Using a small round brush, marks of titanium white, magenta, cerulean blue and brown are applied and then I make use of the interactive acrylic blending properties and blend these marks together with a flat brush.
In episode 12 of the cows in Devon landscape painting, I do a bit of field work... that is to say, I paint the field that the cows are in, adding some blades of grass to the edge of the cast shadows and generally adjusting the colour of the grass surrounding each cow. I then work on the hedge in the background, selecting the colour so that it best complements the cow in the middle.
In episode 11 of the cows in Devon landscape painting demonstration, I refine the shadow areas of the cow lying down on the grass and also draw in its front leg that I had somehow missed before. It's funny how, despite careful observation, key elements of a subject can be missed or forgotten. Sometimes, this works out well and actually makes for a better painting but in this case, the cow definitely needs its leg! :-)
In episode 10 of the cows in Devon landscape painting, the cow lying down in the sun gets a similar treatment to the two cows in shadow. Continuing with the idea of complementary colour pairs i.e. dark blue and orangey brown used previously, the left hand cow now gets some pale blue and a brighter orange brown layer added. The brighter coloured acrylics both add to the sense of sunshine and help to make this cow the focus of the painting.
In episode 9 of the cows in landscape painting, I begin by further working on the shadows of the two right hand cows using pure blue. Then I add an orangey brown to each cow and, having sprayed the painting with water, make use of the blending properties of the Atelier interactive acrylics to create some interesting effects. Next, I work on the face of the middle cow using some lighter blues and titanium white.