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Thursday, October 31, 2019

Don't Be Afraid to Paint Animals!

'French Cows from Life'                5x7          pastel            ©Karen Margulis

I am getting ready to paint the sheep and goats from my Norway trip and I hesitating. They look hard to paint! But then I remembered and important lesson I learned a few years ago. I am sharing it again here. Now I will tackle those sheep!!

It looked daunting. But I really wanted to paint them. The cows surrounded our home base and wandered the fields near our home. I went out each morning with the intention of painting the landscape but I kept being drawn back to those cows! But I would I paint them from life. They were always on the move or were changing positions. Would I be able to paint fast enough? I hesitated.

But then I remembered advice given to me when I first started painting. I was taking a workshop with Terry Ludwig. And somehow the subject of painting things other than landscapes came up. I expressed my fear of including figures or animals in my landscapes. His answer was simple.

  "They are only SHAPES"

They are just shapes. That made sense. If I stopped calling them by name and just looked at the shapes I should be able to paint the cows. It wouldn't even matter how quickly they moved because I could quickly capture their shape and gesture. Once I focused on the shapes and values within the shapes I was able to get a good impression of those French cows.

Do you want to paint animals too? Starting in November we will be learning tips for painting animals over on my Patreon Page. I can't wait to share with you! Check it out at
here is a recent review of my Patreon Page:
"I am impressed with the way you teach and how you manage to get across some much information, while painting! Your patreon page is a treasure trove of knowledge and insights. I am just a hobbyist and a beginner and I am delighted to learn from you."

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