|"Moo," oil on gessoboard, 12"h x 9"w, ©Jill Banks 2011|
Kidwell Farm is a working farm in Herndon, VA preserved by Fairfax County as part of Frying Pan Farm Park. Today it was filled with kids ... and horses, sheep, peacocks, hens, roosters, pigs, cows and goats. A noisy, amusing spot.
I started with the roosters and didn't get very far. Let's call them rooster scratches (similar to chicken scratches)... but perhaps recording the colors from life will help with the use of memory and photos. And a return trip to the farm. What was fun was to spend time with these creatures. I found I paid a whole lot more attention when I was trying to capture one of them in paint.
I had better luck with the cows. This one in particular. When an interloper came between this cow and me, the cow struggled to get back into position. (Even while I was considering changing from face #1 to face #2.) Eventually, though, cow #1 turned around ... along with the rest ... and I packed up and came home to work more from photos.
My conclusion for the day is painting a cow was a lot more difficult than I thought. Painting any animal from life is more challenging than I thought. The answer is working with a combination of painting on site and from photos ... bearing in mind the lessons learned from my 100 Faces project. (To rely on the photos lightly and trust what I saw during the live painting sessions.)
One funny bit about my time with the cow. There were plenty of human visitors checking out how I was doing and one woman noticed that the cow had a tag on her rear. I believe it read "heat checker" ... and she surmised that it noted when the cow was in heat. She then said, "Sort of like a mood ring."
100 Faces in 100 Days Project: www.jillbanks.com/jillbanks/100_Faces_in_100_Days_Project.html