With this cool weather pattern, I am sure you have been pulling on a woolen coat, scarf or sweater lately. I was looking for a warm painting to share and thought this might appeal to you. You can see this original watercolor, “Wool Patterns”, at my exhibit “The Color of the Midwest” through March 30th at the Red Door Art Gallery and Museum, 418 Dakota Ave, Wahpeton, ND 58075.
These sheep were on County Road 20 on my way to the lake. The herd had its guardian llama and some geese with it. The geese started honking at me and a lama stood between me, the fence and the sheep. Apparently llamas are often placed with a herd to protect them. The sheep I wanted to photograph totally ignored me until the bellwether trotted in from the woods to visit with me. He told me all about his mother… just kidding, but it was nice not to have the herd run away from me. All of the sheep joined him. A wether is a castrated ram and the bellwether is the leading sheep of a flock, with a bell on its neck. The shepherd can hear the bell and locate his flock and the sheep will follow him. Thanks to the bellwether, I took some nice photographs. If you know what breed these sheep are – I would love an email!
I learned much about sheep when I created my children’s book “Samson’s Gift”. It has a “Sheep and Wool Fun Facts” page for kids at the back of the book.
In this painting, I first painted a warm grid on the piece using the colors Scarlet Lake, New Gamboge and Cobalt Turquoise dark which I used a limited palette. I drew out the sheep and put a horizon line in the back. Dark and light patterns show through the sheep and I painted right over them. I needed to lift a few whites which added to their fuzzy character. Then, I pulled it together with the shadows which were very carefully crafted. Note how the faces grazing are in and out of the shadows.
Sign up today and learn more at my “Joy of Color” workshop May 20th-23rd at the Holiday Inn, Fargo.