Saturday, June 30, 2012

Cow Studies


Turning into final approach to complete a long-laboured Work-in-Progress, I knew I had to fine-tune the drawing of one of the cows. My original ‘model’ was photographed behind a bit of fence and I blithely assumed that I could somehow make up the hidden portions from images on google. Or make it up from my head.

Well. There are NO images of a cow from that particular angle (looking down from three-quarters behind) on the entire Interweb. There are plenty of pictures from eye level, and not a few disturbing images from lower than eye level, but none from the required elevation.

Looking for inspiration, I visited the big museum in Edinburgh – I seemed to remember some stuffed cattle there - but their recent very expensive redevelopment has resulted in much fewer animal displays, and definitely NO cows. (Actually there was a yak in the human ethnicity section, but a yak is a cow in a gigantic fur coat, so the local anatomy of its arse was much obscured). There was, as a consolation, a stuffed Quagga, which I was able to photograph from the correct angle by reaching up on tiptoe, and one of the drawings is a study made from that.

So I did indeed end up having to work it out from my head, from level views of bovine bottoms and a quagga – as you see in the other drawing.

A Quagga is not a bovine, but an extinct form of Zebra.

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