Composition & Design Overview

How your subject, in this case it's cows, relates to the edges of the canvas, or paper, is one of the first things you should consider. Some basic questions you may ask are:
Is this a portrait?
Will I include the barn and the silo in the background?
How will the layout affect the edges of the canvas?
Again, these are just examples and you may have other questions depending on your vision. But the possibilities are endless as you can imagine. But to paint any subject successfully the composition should be of the utmost importance.

Composition & Design

Before picking up a paintbrush you need to consider how you would like to portray the cow. There are endless possibilities. Below I've shared some examples on how you could approach composing your painting(s). This is a good starting point and needs to be addressed.
I recommend you explore all of these and many others in your abstract cow painting journey. Since we are all unique in personality it makes sense that one design may become more appealing than other options.
Example One: Grouping
Grouping is a great way to show the character of how cows seem at the farm. It adds additional interest as opposed to a lone cow. When grouping it's recommended to work in odd numbers like 3, 5 and so on. Also look for ways to create balance by grouping two cows while leaving one by itself.

Example Two: Centered Portrait
This illustration shows the cow straight on looking towards the viewer. It invites a more personal connection as if looking someone in the eyes. Notice in the example how the shapes are not symmetrical. Even though the cow is centered the asymmetrical shapes offset the layout.

Example Three: Profile
A side view has a completely different feel when viewing. There's more mystery as the viewer is somewhat curious about what the cow is looking at. Less intimacy than the centered portrait don't you think?

Example Four: Offset Portrait
This is an interesting composition as you will have more negative space to work with. Basically using the background to interlock with the cow.

Example Five: Cow With Landscape
This option would offer the artist a chance to include manmade objects and a scene to complete the story. However, the cow becomes part of the story and not the focus like the portraits. Again, it's all about what appeals to you! So, I would recommend exploring here just to see if this is your gateway to developing abstract cow art.


Abstract Cow Painting Techniques

Simple Yet Highly Effective Techniques

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