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~ Rock Foraging Nature Artist & Real Estate Agent in Kingston, AR ~

Madison Woods is my creative chosen name. My real name is Roxann Riedel, and aside from being a nature-loving artist, I’m a REALTOR® with Montgomery Whiteley Realty.

(479)409-3429, or email madison@wildozark.com

Today is Wednesday (Jan 17, 2024) and there’s still snow on the ground outside from last week’s arctic blast. The horses and cat are fed, husband and myself already had breakfast, and the hot water lines are still frozen, along with the toilet, washing machine, shower, and bathtub lines. Yesterday I finished making the bone pigment oil paint that I’ll need for this painting of Brahman Mama #905. And right now I have the easel all set up, my reference photo in plain sight.

Brahman Mama in real life. The reference I'm using for a painting of her.

I’m procrastinating with various other tasks while I wait until I am ready to place the first strokes of color on a large gesso board.

I don’t know what her name is, really, but that’s the title I’m giving the painting. It’s always unnerving to put that first splash or swipe of color onto a blank canvas. The bigger the space, the bigger the case of nerves, it seems. This one will be 36″ x 24″ and a grayscale using bone black and titanium white. I’ll be ready to begin in a little while, just as soon as I think a little longer about what I want to do first…

So I finally got started and you can see why so much anxiety about the first lines. They never look good, and I know this. But I also know it’s a start and I can’t get to where I want to go without at least starting. In the last image, don’t fret over the messed up topline on the cow. That’s all going to be fixed later. Right now I know the cow is where I want her to be on the canvas, and that’s the main reason for the initial sketch of her.

Next I’ll spend a little more time on background and middle ground and then lastly I’ll work on the cow. There won’t be a lot of detail anywhere except on the cow and the sprigs of grass at her feet. She’s the focal point, not the landscape. But I want the landscape to give her a setting. Tomorrow if the first layer has tacked up enough, I’ll work on it some more. If not, it’ll be Friday before I can get back to it.

Background Almost Done

I’m working from the background forward. But I’m not sure if I’ll do the whole cow before starting the middle grounds… still trying to decide how to proceed with that. And there’s shading I need to repair in the right background, but that has to wait until the paint is dry. I can’t wait to get started on the voluptuous folds on the dewlap, and the shading and highlights of her muscles. She’s going to be a beautiful portrait, and I’m really happy with her so far.

Evolution of a face

So many veins and depressions, but in the end it’s still all about shadow and light. So that’s what I tried to focus on. She still needs some details, but I think the face is ‘there’ now.

Painting evolution of a Brahman cow's face.

Brahman Dewlap

The dewlap is my favorite part of a Brahman cow. Today I made it to that part of the painting and I really enjoyed it, just as I thought I would.

In the meantime

Here’s a little of my history with painting these cows to keep you occupied while I get started on the new one. You can see all of my cow paintings by clicking here. Some aren’t Brahmans. While I’m painting this one, when waiting for layers to dry, I’m also working on a broad-winged hawk. There’s a link to it if you’d like to see.

I love painting Brahmans

This breed of cattle have such beautiful sinuous lines, interesting shapes, and varied colors. I’ve only painted the gray/white ones so far, but I’d love to tackle a brindle one day. Their personalities are stronger than other cows I’ve been around. I just really like painting them. Brahman Mama will be the 4th one I’ve done, and the 2nd in my oil paints. I hope I can do her justice on this larger scale. Here’s the others so far, from the first Baby Brahman to the latest to date of my granddaughter’s show heifer.

The first two were watercolor grayscale, third in my oil colors, and Brahman Mama will be grayscale in oils using hand-processed bone pigments with titanium. None of these are available, but if you’d like a Brahman painting, get in touch! My email address is madison@wildozark.com.

Contact Mad Rox: (479) 409-3429 or madison@madisonwoods and let me know which hat I need to put on 🙂 Madison for art, Roxann for real estate, lol. Or call me Mad Rox and have them both covered!

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