Draw the cow lightly in pencil. With Payne’s Gray thinned with water and a no. 5 round, paint the main lines and form of the cow. For the warm black of the cow’s coat, mix Burnt Umber and Ultramarine Blue. Paint with a no. 7 round with dabbing strokes that follow the cow’s contours. As the paint dries, add more layers until the black is rich and dense.
Although the cow’s tail doesn’t show in the main reference photo, adding the tail gives more life to the pose, as if the cow had just flicked away a fly.
Mix a grayish highlight color for the black areas of the coat with Titanium White, Burnt Umber and Ultramarine Blue. Paint with a no. 5 round. Mix a warm shadow color for the cow’s chest, belly, udder, legs and tail with Titanium White, Yellow Oxide, Raw Sienna and Ultramarine Blue. Paint with a no. 5 round. Mix a pink for the nose and udder with Titanium White, Cadmium Red Medium and Yellow Oxide. Paint with a no. 3 round.
Mix a bluish shadow color for the white areas of the cow with Titanium White, a small amount of Ultramarine Blue and a touch of Burnt Umber. Paint with a no. 5 round. Blend the grayish highlight color with the warm black of the cow’s coat using separate no. 3 rounds for the two colors.
Use a fairly dry brush to paint small strokes of black over the highlighted areas, then blend with the grayish color. Dry brush more grayish highlights over the black areas.