I wanted to really populate a field with little lambs and sheep. In the original photograph there were only a handful of lambs and sheep in the foreground, but my artistic instinct was telling me that this had to be a very well populated painting to make sure anybody viewing my painting knew it was all about the little fluffy lambs and sheep in the fields.
I kept the idea of a sheep or lamb simple: a fluffy round shape, a triangular face and short legs, a classic case of repetition of shape.
The sky in this painting is a fantastic way to test your wet on wet skills, or to develop them further. I mixed a range of washes of cerulean blue, from really transparent wash to almost opaque. I wet the paper twice with a large hake brush. I let the water soak in to the paper and applied the first wash using a circular brush stroke with a large mop headed brush. I applied four washes of colour, the paper remaining very damp. I then took a small scrunched up very soft tissue and used different pressures on the paper to lift off colour. Keep the cloud shapes connected to suggest the principle of movement.
The distant land mass I painted in wet on wet using yellow ochre and burnt umber. I used the edge of an artist’s trading card to paint in the distant trees.
I painted in the lambs firstly with an undercoat of yellow ochre and then used an acrylic titanium white for the fluffy bodies. I used a chromatic black (burnt umber and ultramarine blue) for the faces and the short legs.
For the grass I used yellow ochre and three greens I had mixed. Undermixing colour is a technique that will give you plenty of scope for mixing colour on the paper and ensuring that green looks like grass and not more like fake grass, you need variation of colour for a natural look.
For the stone wall I used flesh tint and then varying tones of burnt sienna and burnt umber.