Ridge Road Spectators

Original acrylic by Peter Ferber


12 x 9 inches, 16 1/8 x 13 1/8 inches framed size

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“This is another example of a subject that I almost passed by, and I would have if not for the late afternoon sun across this pasture. I was on my way home from visiting another painting location and after catching a fleeting glimpse, stopped down the road and backed up for a real look. With the sun in another location, it probably wouldn’t have seemed so appealing, but at this moment it sparkled. I took a number of photos, thinking too that at least this would be some good reference for cows in the future. Reviewing my pictures again, the image really stood out to me. I had also recently seen some paintings by another artist who seems to specialize in back-lit cows(!) and it inspired me to try it for myself. The acrylic paints worked great for the effect I wanted, being able to dry-brush on many broken layers, so that the colors underneath show through, and really give a rich over all effect. Starting with an underlayment of red, believe it or not, I began with the sky and worked my way to the foreground. With each layer, it seems I needed to go back and tint what I had done before to make it work with the new layer, but eventually it all balanced out and I was ready for the cows. The quick-drying acrylics allowed me to draw them in right away, and even erase where needed (I don’t do cows that often!) They went in quite easily though, starting with a dark silhouette, adding color to define it, and finally putting the thin halo line around the edge to make it pop. One of “the girls” even obliged me with a second look, just as I had given them a second look that day!” – Peter Ferber