Saturday, 19 April 2014

Spring has sprung and lambs are everywhere

I love this time of year in Caithness as little lambs are being born all around us - we can look out the windows of our dinning room, sun room and kitchen and see them bounding all over the fields behind our house, running after their mums and forming little gangs that race up and down after each other.  It's cuteness overload (and I try not to think about their fate despite all the many TV adverts showing their cooked limbs served up with mint sauce - yuck).

Anyway,  we've been taking loads of photos of the lambs with their mums and I decided to do a little ACEO version before trying a larger painting.  

Sheep and lamb expressionist ACEO Nicola McLean
A mother's love - ACEO in gouache and watercolour

I wanted to try something a bit more expressionistic for the background rather than trying to paint in what was actually there so I dripped some paint and just let it run to see what it would look like. I think I like it, although it'll be interesting to see how it looks on a larger piece. 

I think because the animal paintings I've been doing recently have been semi-realistic and very detailed and time consuming I just wanted to try something a bit looser and fun. It seems that I'm not ready to tie myself down to just the one 'signature' style just yet!


  1. They are little cuties when babies and you have captured the shy little fellow.

  2. its beautiful, and one should never paint one self in a box which limiting to one style does in my humble opinion, lol, but heck, hat do i know, lol this will be a beauty big, i find painting small much harder than big, maybe i am strange, i love sheep, i would never eat one,

  3. Lovely painting of the sheep, ma and lamb. You have just the right 'feel' of her coat, not just texture but depth and warmth. I'm sure you know The 'Henry Moore's Sheep' book, which I love getting out and feasting on from time to time, but I also found that Googling Henry Moore's Sheep brought up loads of his sheep drawings.
    Having said that I understand what you are saying about freeing up and trying a new way, and agree with you.
    Always a pleasure to visit you.

  4. Hey Nic, just saw a review of some vegan watercolor paints you might find interesting.
    Love this painting, it makes me want to go out and find some lovely wooly creature to pet.

  5. It's nice to try out different styles with different this.

  6. So cute .... I like how you did the background. It's nice to change styles every now and then. I always go back and forth between different ways of doing things and trying out new things as well. You have to keep challenging yourself otherwise it's no fun. And don't worry, you still have your signature-style :-)

  7. Love your woolly sheep and lambs. Yeah I love the loose green in the background. Wonderful contrast. Did you hear about that geep that was born in Ireland? - a goat mounted a ewe and the result was a geep. Maybe that'll happen to one of your sheep one day. Happy PPF!!

  8. You get to see the best stuff out of your windows. I love your little woolly lamb and sheep. I was just in Antigua and the sheep there don't have much wool. Too hot. I thought they were goats. Shows you what I know. I do like the background you painting on this. Looking forward to a larger version.

  9. I have to say that I still see your style shining through despite the background. So you have a style regardless, which is awesome! It's a lovely painting!
    I am the same as you when I look at animals and I find myself worrying more and more about there inevitable end - and yet I am a meat eater! This is something I am struggling with more and more recently...


Your comments always colour me happy! Thank you for popping by.


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