Paint this Cute Cow! {In B&W or COLOR!)

Hi friends! When I was little I had 4 pet cows. I vividly remember going out to visit them one day and toppling into their water trough which was as big as (and for all I know could have been) a bathtub! My mother was always worried that I would get trampled by the cows and one cow had a temper so before I was too old they moved over to my grandfathers dairy farm. That was fine because his cows grazed in the big pasture between our houses so I could see cows whenever I wanted. I no longer drink milk but when I was a kid every night my grandfather would drop off the newspaper and 2 glass jugs of fresh milk (with two inches of cream on top that my dad used in his coffee and shredded wheat in the morning.) I was never a farmer but I loved seeing the cows and also helping myself to musk-melons and strawberries that my grandparents grew. My sister now lives next to my grandparents old house and she even keeps my grandmothers flower gardens growing and the old rhubarb patch is still there for my occasional raiding LOL!


Today I thought I would return to my roots and draw a cow. The first part of the tutorial is completely black and white using the supplies in the April Smart Art Box. They still have some boxes available if you want one. The thing I like about the Smart Art Box is that it has everything you need to complete a project and get a strong foundation in an art form without being overwhelming. Here is my drawing using only the supplies in the kit:


In today’s video I will take you through he drawing and then at the end show you how to add mixed media touches to colorize your drawing if you wish.


Having the strong grayscale painting really makes adding color a snap. I love the versatility of the micron pens too because I can use them under water based and alcohol based media with no smearing!

In the first part of this tutorial I am using supplies from the April Smart Art Box:

  • 7 Sakura Micron Pens
  • 6″x8″ Strathmore mixed media pad
  • Alvin draft line pencil (0.5mm)
  • 3 Touch Five Twin tipped markers
  • Creative Mark eraser
  • Addition supplies I used for the mixed media bonus at the end of the video: pastel pencils, watercolors
  • Reference photo by Debra Underwood at Paint my Photo

Watch the demo for the full instruction. I love how the Micron pens are permanent under alcohol markers and watercolor. This painting took 30 minutes in real-time to create:) So, which is your favorite? The black and white or the color version? Let me know in the comments!


If you would like to order this box or sign up for a Smart Art subscription please visit our sponsor Smart Art Box. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!


18 Responses

  1. That drawing is AMAZING!!! I can see you grew up with cows and know what they look like!

    I like both versions and couldn’t say which is best. I like the gray drawing because one can see it’s really three-dimensional but the colored painting is also nice because the background is so well-done and the colors you used for the cow look so right too.

    What astonished me so much is that one can put watercolor on top of a gray drawing! I know people used to first sketch a painting in sepia oil paints and then add the colors on top and some people still do that with chalk pastels, but I thought that only works for opaque mediums and transparent mediums would end up looking mushy. I’m trying to remember if I have something I could use to try that out under watercolors too, maybe the grays of Polychromos – but they would repel watercolors and not let them add a layer over them. Hmmmm …. Inktense?


  2. Oh seriously cute! I love the little guys, and you did such a spectacular job on her.


  3. Lindsay you are so good I love that cow. I wish I would have picked up my mom and dads talent for drawing.


  4. Omg I haven’t heard anyone talk about musk melons since my dad died, and never heard anyone else refer to them by that name but him. Makes me very nostalgic. The cow is just too cute.


    • My grandfather had “the sugar” as grammie would say so he could not have sweets UNLESS he grew them I guess LOL!


  5. Love this. I think I might try it!!


  6. I, too, grew up on a dairy (in Texas) and I had a few special pet cows, and assorted pet farm animals. Love this piece of art!


  7. That cow is so cute no matter what her color.

    Kind of reminds me of when I lived on a mini farm (7 acres) and we purchased a 3 day old Jersey calf which we were going to raise to become a milk cow. I fed her from an oversized bottle full of a mixture which was appropriate for baby cattle. I named her Baby and she followed me everywhere on the property. When the owner of the property let us know that his daughter and grandson would be moving back to the farm, we ended up having to move back to town and had to give up Baby to another farmer. I missed her for a long time.

    Both versions are nice; but, I like the color one best.


  8. i too grew up around many farm animals we raised a ster we named him amos but i remeber the fun we had with him. your drawing of the cow is awesome you brought it to life, i liked the colored painting but would rather you would have done two different cows because there were pluses to both .


  9. It’s been a long time since I heard anyone talk about musk-melons! And I learned to eat rhubarb at my great-grandma’s, right out of her patch!


  10. Amazing. I don’t know how you do it. Well, I do. It’s called TALENT. I like the black-and-white, but love the colored cow better.


  11. That cow is beautiful! I like the idea of starting in grey scale first. I’ll watch thevideo tomorrow before I paint. Thanks!


  12. I LOVE THE COLORED COW. He makes you want to reach out and give him a huge hug.


  13. the black and white is awesome but give me color. I love color!🙂


  14. The drawing was superb. I like the black and white version, but, since I like color so much,I would have to vote for the color. The cow has such a sweet expression.


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