Given the task of combining an object and an animal excited me. Having the idea a week before the project even started helped. But, what I originally had in mind is certainly not how it turned out. The drawing evolved into a being with life of its own. The way it sits on the paper, out of the paper and some of the lines are different than what I had imagined. As an artist I generally liked to keep things realistic. I preferred to have them ‘pretty’ and as straight as possible. Often times my drawings were nice in appearance but lacked character. There was absolutely no movement.
Through this project I have learned how to give something life. Between the eyes and the movement of the body. Before the hoof-heel was kicking out beneath the cow, it was simply sitting on the ground, looking pretty. With Connie’s suggestion, I flipped the heel up with complete disregard to how it would distort the boot. Instead of making it pretty like I might have done on my own, the heel creates a grotesque boot form.
Beyond just the heel, the front of the boot that became the mouth also evolved from the original. First, the mouth was just opened slightly. I chose to have a gaping mouth to give more expression. The tongue lolling out of the mouth is also meant to enhance the character of the cow. In the process of creating the mouth I also researched about cow teeth. The pictures did not show any top teeth so I researched it in order to match the mouth to a cow as much as possible. The cow actually has no front teeth on top, only on the bottom. The eye, larger than it would be on a realistic cow, has a lot of white around the iris intentionally. The cow is meant to look excited, scared or even enraged. Originally there was to be a branded symbol on the cow, giving more reason for the cow to appear frightened. But, with such long hair, I actually wondered if a brand would make sense. It did not and instead, I placed a tag in the cow’s ear.
The form of the cow is foreshortened. It further adds to the movement of the cow. The cow appears to be running from or towards something, hence the wild hair as well. I also chose to have the cow come of the page in the front and the horn in the back to attempt to push it closer to the front of the space of the paper. The line weight changes are meant to push the space in the paper as well. The front lines are far darker to bring them closer to the front. Through the use of atmospheric perspective I pushed the cows hoof heel towards the back.
Usually my compositions are somehow centered in the picture and the whole object is on the drawing. I feel that drawing the cow the way I did helped push boundaries for me as an artist. The cow is not ‘pretty’ and is instead a unique character. Emotion is actually conveyed in this drawing.
The boot portion of the drawing was decided to be ambiguous in what it was. So, in order to bring more of the boot to life, more details were added. The details added were the swirls onto the top half area of the boot, more definitive lines along the edges and even bringing the swirling designs into the cow’s long hair. It manages to enhance the cow’s wildness and movement. More detail was also laid into the hoof of the cow to give more depth to the drawing.
This project pushed how I see my own art. I no longer need to have everything ‘pretty’, or perfect in every way. The distorted form that flows off the edge of the page. I have gained more confidence in allowing my art to have life without the need to be realistic.