Cow for Graze restaurant

Graze Restaurant asked me to paint a cow for them. Here’s the progression (click any cow to enlarge), most recent progress at top.

If you want to read this from the beginning, starting with the delivery of the cow, just start reading at the bottom of this post and scroll up….

Done! Finished varnishing last week. Whew!

Wanted to get this uploaded before 2013, so here you go:

2 little terriers sit before a lifesize fiberglass cow painted with wisconsin-made products decorated on it's Holstein body. State of Wisconsin pattern on side of cow.

We all breathe a sigh of relief at the completion and varnishing of the cow.

closeup of wisconsin products

Detail

lifesize fiberglass cow painted with wisconsin-made products decorated on it's Holstein body. State of Wisconsin pattern on side of cow.

Side 2.

lifesize fiberglass cow painted with wisconsin-made products decorated on it's Holstein body. Closeup: fish. Closeup of fish

Side 2, detail.

lifesize fiberglass cow painted with wisconsin-made products decorated on it's Holstein body. Closeup: fish. Closeup of fish

Pretty much done…

lifesize fiberglass cow painted with wisconsin-made products decorated on it's Holstein body. State of Wisconsin pattern on side of cow.

Side two almost done (gotta soften the pasture-to-black transition on the right side of the state, soften the udder-to-white-fur transition, and clean up the blacks and whites…)

lifesize fiberglass cow painted with wisconsin-made products decorated on it's Holstein body. State of Wisconsin pattern on side of cow.

A closer look…

lifesize fiberglass cow painted with wisconsin-made products decorated on it's Holstein body. State of Wisconsin pattern on side of cow.

Side one details corrected. Done.

November–almost December–Aaaack!

What a nightmare this has been. Should be easy-squeezy, but with the other deadlines in October/November…. Oh well. Working away on side two now–getting there! Here’s side one, pretty much finished (below):

lifesize fiberglass cow painted with wisconsin-made products decorated on it's Holstein body. State of Wisconsin pattern on side of cow.

Side one pretty much done

lifesize fiberglass cow painted with wisconsin-made products decorated on it's Holstein body. State of Wisconsin pattern on side of cow.

You can see that face is getting there–pretty much done.

Final (Side One) State of Wisconsin with products

lifesize fiberglass cow painted with wisconsin-made products decorated on it's Holstein body. State of Wisconsin pattern on side of cow.

Wisconsin products modified (got rid of those white outlines around each object–just wasn’t working).

Side One almost done

lifesize fiberglass cow painted with wisconsin-made products decorated on it's Holstein body. State of Wisconsin pattern on side of cow.

Side one almost done…still needs some rearrangement of black spots…

lifesize fiberglass cow painted with wisconsin-made products decorated on it's Holstein body. State of Wisconsin pattern on side of cow.

You can see the horns painted now (over the texture added in the step below). Face pretty much done. Eyes still need some work, but close…. Hooves made to look more realistic/3-d with painting in the shadows to create depth.

Adding texture to the horns

lifesize fiberglass cow: closeup of horn texture

To build up the texture in the horns, I glob on various acrylic gel mediums. This one is a mix of Golden’s molding paste and soft gel.

October 1 progress:

lifesize fiberglass cow painted with wisconsin-made products decorated on it's Holstein body. State of Wisconsin pattern on side of cow.

Some of the locally-sourced, Wisconsin(!) products that Graze uses in it’s cooking. Products blocked in, painting in progress.

September 23 progress:

fiberglass cow painted by S.V. Medaris, showing state of Wisconsin in cow fur, plus 2 small dogs in front of cow for scale

Black and white Holstein colors blocked in (with my little helpers, for scale of course).

September, 2012

lifesize fiberglass cow painted orange

Blocking in the distinctly Wisconsin ;-) Holstein fur pattern.

lifesize fiberglass cow with state of wisconsin fur shape on forehead

Underpainting begun on forehead–trully a Wisconsin Holstein….

lifesize fiberglass cow painted orange

First thing is getting the white out. A layer of orange as the colored ground to make subsequent layers on top glow…

Some info from an earlier post:
Aug. 20
Graze restaurant has commissioned me to paint a cow for their patio.

The design will be a holstein (modeled after one of the dairy cows milked at Sassy Cow Creamery, where Graze gets much of their dairy products). Incorporated onto the black/white holstein pattern, will be painted the specific, locally sourced products–produce, Highland beef, trout, etc (that Graze buys from local farmers in the area)–from which Executive Chef Tory Miller and the Graze team create the dishes on their menu.

It just arrived today…

Unwrapping

fiberglass cow becoming unwrapped from bubble wrap and cardboard

Yep, it’s a girl!

white, grazing fiber glass cow unwrapped standing on cement out in country

Some suggestions from Fred…

So, the work for grad school continues. Fred Stonehouse, an incredible artist and prof in the UW-Madison art department, offered some great suggestions when I was totally whining about wanting to do big stuff, but that the woodcuts were taking too long (for completion of a body of work by the time my M.A. show comes around). Remember, we’re dealing with a different time frame here–grad school, which sort of condenses everything into 1 yr. increments, and each year should be a good, completely new body of work. Plus, full load of classes, day job…. Woodcuts take some time, especially big ones.

So, the dilemma was, how to make big stuff quickly and not get all picky over details like my bigger murals… I wanted to get away from the worry over detail and just be more expressive. If it worked, perhaps I could then take any good ones and make woodcuts out of them. Speaking of which, I am still making woodcuts, but I can’t physically make enough big ones to fill a show in one year, so it’ll be smaller woodcuts and big paintings/mixed media. Anyway, Fred had some great suggestions (use big, juicy brushes, and don’t worry about drips, etc)….

I think this 1st one is heading in the right direction. So far, good feedback. The most important thing is that it was a release–really just fun to do and how painting directly and with energy should feel….
turkey painting with little dogs in foreground for scale

The littles are here for scale. Paper is about 8ft tall…