How To Paint Abstract Cow Using Acrylics & Mixed Media


abstract charcoal cow drawing #2

abstract charcoal cow drawing

How To Paint Abstract Cow Using Acrylic & Mixed Media

A fantastic tutorial on how to paint abstract cow using acrylics & mixed media. The process is what makes the difference and where I find my freedom to paint cows expressively.

The complete course (available on will walk you through one approach where two cows are painted at once. Keep in mind Robert has a lot of experience painting cows. Plus he doodles and plays with keeping them expressive all the time. Below are a few suggestions that will get your juices flowing.

Many beginner, and experienced artists simply want the final result - a finished painting. But I can tell you from experience there's little chance to create an abstract anything unless you spend quality time discovering how and where to find the looseness.

Tip One: Try Some Charcoal Sketches

This is probably the most important step and the most often overlooked. I find artists are either simply too lazy to do this, or only focused on the end product. But to paint expressively you have to develop a sensitive connection to the subject and it's key features.

Here are some key points about this stage. Be sure to read over these and plant them in your mind next time you want to paint loosely.

  • This is not a composition sketch
  • Only focusing on details & shapes (see examples below)
  • Try to spot & address potential problems
  • Make creative & artistic connection
  • Try to add energy to the drawing - some emotion as to how the shape makes me feel as opposed to drawing exactly what I see
  • If you experiment with details and what interested you about a subject it will develop over time - you will discover what you want to include and what you can leave out

abstract acrylic cow sketch

abstract acrylic cow sketch #2

Step Two - Acrylic Sketching, or Doodling

Very similar to step one but this time with color using acrylics. Color presents potential problems and changes everything since now we are dealing with value, tone, shapes, brushwork and so on.

Here are some key points to keep in mind when doodling with acrylics.

  • Look at the palette for inspiration - not the image. Choose arbitrary colors that excite you
  • At this stage it’s important to explore with color and brushwork
  • This is where you discover the unpredictable side of art thus finding your freedom
  • Load up the brush with plenty of paint - don’t be stingy
  • It’s important to under-paint the sketches, don't create finished art
  • It’s nice to have these sketches for reference later on, hang them up in your studio
  • Sketching can expand your creativity is ways you never knew existed. This is where artists are born - don’t underestimate this exercise.