Eunice J. Friend

Delilah Mood Zoom Demo

Friday 19th January 2024

Eunice Friend had already given everyone who had subscribed to the Zoom Demonstration the sketch of the comical cow she was going to paint as well as the reference photograph to work from. She uses a limited palette and she has created her own paints which explains the colour Friends Grey. It is similar to Payne’s Grey which can be used in its stead.

Eunice has always enjoyed painting but in the last six years she has made it her full-time occupation. She has two children and she lives in Northamptonshire. She teaches art through subscription and all the information about her work and her lessons can be found on her website

Before starting Eunice mixes her colours on a porcelain palette, never a plastic one. In her opinion it would be better to use a plate than a plastic palette. The first mix was made with Phthalo Blue, Quinacridone Magenta and Burnt Sienna. If the mix is going slightly green add more of the magenta. Incidentally, Magenta + Burnt Sienna makes a good pink flesh tone.

Using a Size 12 round brush Eunice paints the forelock at the top of the head. Be sure to leave white space to suggest the fur texture. Under the eyes dot the paint rather than spread it to create more intense marks. Use Friends Grey or Payne’s Grey more thickly to drop into the taupe colour then by adding some water to the mix take some of the paint down the edge of the face.

To paint the nose dampen the nose area to paint wet in wet. Lift your paper to see where the paper looks glossy. Remove any puddles with your brush. Having mixed the pink paint to paint the nose make the area around the nostrils slightly darker. Mix Burnt Sienna and Friends Grey to a thicker mixture for the shadow area in the bottom corners of the mouth.

Whilst the paint remains wet create a little fan brush with your paint brush. Don’t worry the hairs will bounce back. Using this fan shape pull some of the paint out from the face to create some hairs on the side of the face.

The spots on the nose were all painted in the grey mix. Watch the condition of the paper. Too much water is what can create ‘cauliflowers’. It needs to be damp but not wet so that the paint is easily controlled. Some of the spots on the top of the nose will be lifted out later when the paint has dried to create the impression of sunlight hitting the top of the head.

When not demonstrating Eunice used a Faber-Castell graphite water soluble Hb pencil to sketch her drawing however the outline needs to remain clear for the demonstration. She is using a block so the paper has not been stretched but it can still lift in the middle if it becomes very wet.

While talking about materials and techniques Eunice talked about an eradicator brush which is a short, stumpy brush that is good for lifting out. It is possible to create your own by cutting a straight line across the hairs of a paint brush. Remember to always wipe the brush clean after every lift.

The cow’s eyes are on the far side of the head. Eunice uses a size 6 brush to paint the eyes and she uses the paint straight from the pan so that it is thick and creamy. Take care to leave a highlight in the eye and the white area at the bottom of the eye. Gently ‘walk’ the paint into the eyeball.

It is time to paint the ears and Eunice will ignore the tags in the reference photograph and even emphasise the pink in the ears. Back to the size 12 brush she applies the pink on dry paper and then works from the inside out with the grey colour. If you paint from edge of the ear into the wet pink paint the grey will leave an undesirable blob as the paintbrush is lifted, so paint from the inside out. Use flicking movements along the edge of the ear to suggest fur and be careful to leave some white space again.

It can sometimes help to turn the paper around so that the hair of the fur goes in the right direction. Create a fan brush again to soften the edges and make them appear fluffy. Repeat the whole process on the other ear.

Eunice has a set of faux red sable brushes on her website (size 12, size 6 and a rigger). It is also possible to purchase a set of her high pigment artisan watercolours from there too.

The body is painted wet into wet so that it remains softer in appearance which helps to keep the focus on the front of the face. After painting the body Eunice uses a hairdryer to ensure that the paper is completely dry before painting the background.

Phthalocyanine and Magenta can mix a variety of shades of blue. She uses clean water and takes care to mix the desired shade of blue for the background. She paints areas of the sky with the clean water and then drops colour into the water in a series of water-blot-creep softening the edges as she paints. The intention is to create the impression of a summer sky.

When the painting is completely dry there are some final touches that can be added. To add whiskers it is possible to use a gel pen, a craft pen or white acrylic. Eunice used a nib pen that she had to hand to scratch into the dry surface. Earlier she had used the pointed end of her paintbrush to create indentations in the nose to suggest lines in the skin. To end the evening she used the blue/brown mixture to splatter into the sky. Hold the brush parallel to the paper to do this.

Everyone had been encouraged to paint along if they would like to and several members had done so. Below are some of their Delilahs.

Here is a finished version of Delilah from the website Eunice J. Friend. Thank you to Eunice for a very informative and engaging Zoom demonstration which she recorded and has already uploaded to Youtube:

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