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Hairy Cow!

Well - I decided to try animals again.  Once, in the beginning of my watercolor painting career which began almost 3 years ago, I tried to paint a pet dog.  It was hysterical.  It didn't look like a dog - it was part dinosaur.  I repeatedly tried to get it right, paint it as a hint in the background, erase, retry and finally giving up, I thought, "Well, you can't paint animals!".  

I think I tried a distant cow in a field once and that didn't look right.  I painted a friend's dog that seemed to look like a cartoon.  Didn't match the surrounding painting.  It was maddening.  So, when I told Janet I think I am going to paint this hairy (Highland) cow picture that Kate took in Scotland this summer, she rightly responded that animals are too hard.  But, stubborn as I can be, I said I am giving it a try.

Well, this time, (perhaps because I don't know the cow?) it actually looked like the animal in question!  I am not sure how that happened - whether I have grown as a painter or whether it is such a unique animal that anyone can tell what it is?  But regardless, I like my cow.  I named her Tess. Kate went ATV four-wheeling on a little tour while in the Scottish Highlands this summer, and in a clearing she came upon Tess.  The photo actually has her handlebars in it, but I decided to concentrate on getting that mop right - and not adding any more complications!

Getting cocky after painting an animal that was so well-received, I thought, maybe now is the time to try to paint Joni.  Joni was 'my girl'.  A beautiful mutt who was a great companion/rescue for many years and who suddenly died this summer.  So I spent a long while searching for a photo of Joni that had some interesting background, and give it a try. My goal was to make her recognizable; not just look like a dog.  hah!  Wait til I try people!

There's the photo I decided to paint, and the draft of the painting so far.  I'm going back in to work on it later today, but while I know it is her, I'm not satisfied with where it is so far.  Still has a cartoon aspect to her;  I need to adjust the perspective or something!  Stay tuned and feedback is always welcomed.

- Lauren

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