Painting pigs

Who cannot smile when they see a cute piglet frolicking around in straw or a large sow wallowing in mud on a sunny day?

piglet Sophie snuffle DARK  ETSY 2014.jpg
Watercolour Pig – 8×10 inches – “Sophie Snuffles for Truffles”

Yesterday I visited Warren Mill Farm near Pendoylan just outside Cardiff for the fun of spending time petting some farm animals.

These are some of the shots I took with a view to painting them at some point.


I was allowed by a very sweet goat to rub his ears and neck as he pressed his head against the shed door in bliss. Every time I stopped he got up onto his hind legs and bleated at me – I could easily have taken him home. His coat was the most delicate almond honey colour and though he nibbled my fingers delicately with his lips he never once tried to bite me.

But I digress – back to pigs.

piglet black etsy.jpg
Watercolour Pig – 8×10 inches – “Oh Do the Okey Cokey”

Pigs have held a special place in my heart since I had an in depth chat with one – albeit through a fence – down a country lane just outside Crickhowell last year. As I crouched down to see the pig’s face I got to see those wise and tolerant eyes under his huge ears. He snuffled around in the mud with his wrinkly distinctive nose and at intervals came closer to me and I spoke to him about how lovely he was. I took photos but they were a bit blurred.

Since then he has popped into my mind and I often wonder about him.

A week or so I got the idea of sketching some pigs so here are those sketches – I love using a Caran D’Ache Technalo pencil – lusciously rich and velvet when used on cheap kids paper!

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Today I got down to painting some pigs in watercolour to try and work out the best mixes for their skin tones and shadows thereon.

First washes of watercolour pigs underway today – more tomorrow

I find that Rose Madder Genuine mixed with Winsor Orange gives a good pink skin tone and then added to that a speck of cobalt blue gives shadow.

Also I used winsor violet and burnt umber for a grey and some alizarin crimson greyed with a speck of sap green for another muted pink tone.


I painted the body with clear water first and let it soak in until there was a faint glisten on the paper then I added my washes and as the minutes passed simply added stronger mixes of the first wash or added the shadow colours.

Still more work to do yet but I am just trying to get away from the stereotypical pink pig and explore other hues.

Farm animals are a joy to paint with their antics, gestures and fabulous plumage and particular shapes and sizes and below are a few more of my efforts in watercolour and pencil.


To shop my archival pig and piglet prints simply CLICK ON THIS TEXT.

Finally – to view a heart-warming video of the most ENORMOUS pig ever roling over for a tummy rub then click HERE.



4 thoughts on “Painting pigs

  1. Lovely paintings Alison, and I love the ducks, geese, goat ,pig etc. etc.:) all animals in fact. Is the geese and tree drawing an illustration for a book? It is beautiful.

    1. Many thanks Rainylane – I love all animals and painting them is endless fun. The geese and magic tree is a pencil illustration that I did following a visit to Hampton Court Hall near Hereford 2 years ago. There was a huge tree with a door in it! I photographed it and then a few weeks later had the idea of geese around it – just fo rfun. I have the illustration in one of my art sketchbooks. I have had the idea of doing a series of animals like foxes and goats etc – all around the tree 🙂

      1. Hello Alison, I have just read the excerpt from your book about Terrier Cabin. What a wonderful story but so sad where you left off… I really hope the dogs will be alright. The watercolour illustration is lovely. I get very confused trying to work out how to use my blog but at least I can connect with people whose work I admire. I hope you are feeling well now after your big operation. 🐕🦄🐈🐱🐤🦅🦇🐇

      2. Hi rainylane and sorry for my delay. yes – I ran out of steam and life took over as I went back to work. I would like to finish it. Nothing bad is going to happen – don’t worry 🙂 I am so much better after my op thanks. I have more freedom and less worry and can be more spontaneous. Thanks again for your comments – Alison

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