Monday, August 30, 2010

Day One - "A Full Twist"

     In executing this painting, it may feel like we are starting off slow, but I promise we will accelerate rather quickly.  Since our color palette is rather narrow towards the end of the painting, we will be making corrections that may be hard to see due to the limitations of working with a photo via my blog.  We’ll be making small tweaks, and you’ll just have to trust me that this process will benefit your painting.  So do the best you can with the limitations we’re working under.

     This is my drawing, ready to go.  You can see I’ve taken my favorite grey mixture of Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Umber and established some early darks.  These aren’t washes, rather they lean more toward rendering with paint.  I like to re-establish parts of my drawing early on.  I’ve added darks into the eye, nostril and various areas of the head.  I try not to get carried away “re-rendering” with paint, but I’m more confident with the features already coming to life.

     Now, I’ve laid in a clear water wash over the face.  I let this wash dry a bit (where the sheen just starts to fade).  Then I applied a grey mixture of Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Umber, wet into wet, to define the brindle markings of the face.  I also define other areas including the neck, the brisket and front legs.  Let this dry naturally and completely.

     I want to establish an under-painting of the umber color of the steer.  This wash should be kept light (as least as light in value as the lightest part of the cow that isn’t white).  I know it sounds confusing.  Just study my photo and aim for that value.  We are again at the whim of “demo by blog”, but we’ll get through it.
     Tomorrow we start building washes and layers, now that we’ve got our under-painting established.

All content and images © Mark Kohler Studio.  


  1. I just soaked this up like a sponge and got so excited. Do you know how many great photos I have of longhorns and how many attempts I've made at a good one??? Well, thank you, thank you so much for just taking this step by step! Like you said- ask a master when you get stuck!

  2. Well, I wish I was a Master, but I'm not. I'm glad you've found this so helpful, and don't hesitate to contact me, if you have ANY questions. I enjoy doing the demos, and there will be more!