Animals with Pastels: Cow

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Lesson Description

In this lesson series, we’ll create a drawing of a cow in a field with oil pastels on Canson Mi-Teintes pastel paper.

Lesson 1 - Materials and Planning

In lesson one, we review the materials used for this lesson series and plan our composition.

Lesson 2 - The Cow

In lesson two, we draw the contours of the cow lightly with a graphite pencil and add multiple layers of oil pastels to the body.

Lesson 3 - The Sky

In lesson three, we'll develop the sky behind and around the cow with multiple blues, grays, and white.

Lesson 4 - The Field

In lesson four, we focus on developing the field of grass and flowers with layered applications of green, yellow-green, white, yellows, and purples.

Lesson Materials

  • Rembrandt Soft Pastels
  • Gray Canson Mi-Teintes Pastel Board
  • Pastel Pencils

Lesson Resources

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Reference Image

Finished Drawing

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Lesson Discussion

    • Hi Luis,

      You can approach oil pastels in any manner that you’re most comfortable with. I do typically start with the mid tones and work outward to push the range of value. Working from dark to light though is not recommended.

  1. Do you plan to paint a horse with either colored pencils or pastel pencils? I would love that. A friend asked me if I would paint a pic of her horse, and I could use some guidance. Thanks, Matt.

  2. Loved these lessons Matt. I did the Cat myself and really impressed everyone! I am now trying to apply the skills to a pastel painting of my friend’s sheep.
    Thank you so much.

  3. I can’t resist–it’s a cow, not a bull. Google British Simmental. Not all cows have always-visible udders, and that soft dewlap on the belly occurs in a lot of breeds and individuals.

    This piece turned out gorgeous. I’ve been looking for guidance on oil pastels that actually gets the kind of end results I want to achieve for a loooong time. Thanks Matt!

  4. I am having such a good time drawing with you. I’ve learned so much. I was wondering, do you use a certain kind of masking tape when you tape your drawings? When I pull my masking tape off of my drawing, sometimes some of the paper comes with it.

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