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