I sketched the guide lines using a grid, my reference photo was six inches
by seven inches, the grid lines were drawn in vine charcoal in one foot incremets on the canvas,
so it was much easier to break down the drawing into 12"x12" squares.
I started out establishing my darks.
Gradually got basic values and blocked in color. I knew the background would be
red as I love how the black and white Holstein's look against it.
It isn't just red out of a tube though, it's a mix of cad red, ultramarine blue and burnt umber,
various amounts as needed to give dimension and not just a flat even red.
More layers of paint are added, and my Mom gets up close and personal.
The photo above and below show how much difference the lighting makes in the final photo of a painting. Neither is actually exactly as the actual painting, one is too cool, the other too warm.
No photo ever shows the paintings off sufficiently, but natural light is the closest.
I was most anxious to detail that wonderful white hair, or is it fur?
The red is rich now, and the body is taking shape. Notice the tiny looking reference photo
there at the bottom !
The above photo might look finished, but if you compare it with the photo below you'll notice
more striking highlights in the whites, the hair on his back among other things, photo below is the finished piece.