Painting a Cow

Miss E and I were watching a TV programme called ‘Home is where the Art is‘, which had 3 artists pitching to a potential buyer for a commissioned work of art. I asked her, “If you were to commission a piece of art, what would it be?” To my surprise she said, “a painitng of a cow”. Not what I was expecting from an 11 year old.

She had a birthday coming up so ………. off I went trawling the web to see if I could find some inspiration. Hey presto! Kath Dunne on Instagram was the answer. Her work is full of life and colour.

I saved this image to my computer

Kath Dunne

Isn’t it fabulous!!! Do go and have a look at Kath’s other work. She is an Australian artist and you can see her work on her website:

I wondered if I could paint a similar picture for Miss E’s birthday present.

I tried it out in an altered book to see if I thought I could capture something acceptable

altered book

Hmm, yes, I thought I could, so I started to paint with acrylics on canvas, sketching out the basic shape with thin white paint that I could rub off with a damp cloth til I got the shapes I wanted.first sketch for cow painting

With hindsight, it would have been better to block in the background of the shape of the cow first, in light and dark tones, before adding splashes of colour.


At this point I knew it was time to put the eye in – yikes – scary – the eye and the expression in the eye can make or break a painting. I needed to have a practice painting to work on alongside this one

practice painting

Gosh I did find it all a bit stressful!

Back to collage and sploshing paint around in an abstract way for a bit of relaxation, for a while – then onwards ……


And here it is, below, the finished painting – I wish I could have captured the look on Miss E’s face when I gave it to her – she was absolutely surprised and thrilled. She said it looks like Clover, her current show calf – so that is the name of the painting: Clover.

cow painting

I contacted Kath Dunne to ask her permission to share my painting with a link to her website and she said ‘go for it’! Creativity and connection across continents – love it!

I’m looking into making a few prints of Clover, let me know if you are interested.

34 responses to “Painting a Cow

  1. Love this! It turned out so good! I just started a new blog dedicated to trying out all kinds of new hobbies and documenting the process. My most recent post is about my at-home Paint Nite! Check it out!!


  2. This is soo beautiful!:)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a wonderful gift, and what a wonderful Grannie, rising to the challenge…well done, Sandra!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Goodness what a talent, I wish I could paint.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I watched that programme too. I wish they had more like that on TV.
    Clover is just lovely, no wonder your granddaughter was so thrilled. Well done Granny.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Fascinating artwork Sandra, you have certainly expanded your creative horizons. I notice the weekly photo challenge has become an annual/monthly challenge.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes that’s right Denis, on the first Tuesday of each month. This year we are sharing photos of ‘windows’ each month.
      You might also have noticed, I have stopped linking in with Ronovan and haven’t written a Haiku for months! I missed my Haiku buddies – you and Melissa, The Aran Artisan.


  7. That is a sweet Jersey, and her face is exactly right! You are a champ, Sandra, so talented!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Murtagh's Meadow

    Oh you are so creative. It is brilliant 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Great work, Sandra!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. You created a fabulous cow! It is every bit as good as the original and worth all those moments of tension and despair 🙂 As always your colour choices are great and this is another triumph. I would never think to paint a cow – clearly I need a creative grand-daughter!!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Mrs Jane Halvey

    I love your painting, what a truly special birthday present. How much more would I have liked it if Miss E had asked for a painting of a sheep, as I am nutty about sheep and would definitely been up for a print them.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Oh, my gosh! Fantastic! A present to cherish forever. How many gifts can be described that way?

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Wow. You created a fabulous painting. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Aren’t you the clever one? Reminds me when Mr. Tialys decided he could paint a Paul Klee exactly like Paul Klee had done – and he did. Shame we couldn’t sell it for the same price 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  15. You are so clever and you are right about eyes though the best eye of all including Kath Dunne’s is the one in the book. That cow is really looking at you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • So kind! Ah – yes, I see what you mean about the eye. To be fair to KD, her post on IG said she had not quite finished and needed to put the light in the eye, but did not post the finished painting as it had been sold.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. She is fabulous. No wonder she made a truly memorable present!

    Liked by 1 person

I love your comments, keep'em coming :-)

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