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Brahman Calf Baroque style

Painting of a calf inspired by the old Baroque portraits of the 17th Century. Oil on canvas. 100cm x 100cm

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Painting of a calf looking inspired by the old Baroque portraits of the 17th Century. Inspired by the works of Vermeer, I am forever endeavoring to learn from the masters. A never ending and somewhat insurmountable task. But you try. And in trying you have to make sure you find the best reference to work from.

So, there is a Royal Show in Pietermaritzburg once a year. There are toffee apples and merry go rounds and John Deere tractors and merchandise. You get to ride the Ferris wheel at night and watch the fireworks whilst listening to bands. There are Toyota trucks taking on the obstacle courses and you get to drive them. Little piglets wriggle as you giggle. Baby rabbits are so fluffy!!! Horses are jumping and bulls are in the ring. Out the back are stables and stalls where the animals hang out before they go on parade. We found little brahman there, lying in the hay. What a babe.

He loved his forehead being scratched and stroking him behind the ears. Such long ears! I asked if I could take his photo, as I explained I wanted to paint his portrait. He was remarkably nonchalant about it. He then turned and looked at the camera 'both sides of my face please, I don't have a good side, I'm just great all round'. He then turned away and started chewing. What a legend.

Now, back in the studio, I had to edit out mum's legs and hooves and a grubby wall and he had poo on his shoulder which he wasn't that impressed about but it was all realistic. For a Baroque style portrait we needed to create a strong contrast between the background and foreground known as chiaroscuro. Also, typical of the Baroque period they depicted scenes of everyday life, or rather, realist scenarios. You may remember the girl with a pearl earing, posed in subtle perfection. This guy had a yellow tag in his ear but I used artistic discretion to leave it out so that the focus would be entirely on him, with a pyramidal composition of the ears leading to his forehead and a glorious little shiny nose. This was an enjoyable painting.

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Original | Print

Original Oil, Limited Edition Print

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