On the Easel: Maryvale, Cows

(My “On the Easel” posts give you a behind-the-scenes look at what I am working on, what went well, what went wrong, and things I learn.)

Let’s take a look at how I painted Maryvale, Cows. This is one of my favorite paintings from this year.

Dan Scott, Maryvale, Cows, 2022

Reference Photo

Below is the reference photo I painted from. Feel free to paint it for yourself. Here is a link to the full-size image.


  • Oil on Ampersand Gessoboard,18 x 24 inches.
  • Main colors: Ultramarine blue, cobalt blue, cadmium red, alizarin crimson, cadmium yellow, cadmium yellow light, viridian green, and titanium white.

Refer to my supplies list for more details on what I use.

Notes and Lessons Learned

  • The painting has two distinct segments: the cows and the landscape. I used a different approach for each segment. For the cows, I was more careful with my rendering and paid particular attention to the form, structure, anatomy, and edges. For the landscape, I was more focused on the ambience, color, and texture.
  • A key challenge was making the parts fit. The cows needed to appear distinct and realistic yet also as one with the surrounding landscape.
  • The painting follows an analogous color scheme. That is, it features colors that are closely related—green, yellow, blue, and many tonal variations in between. This color scheme appears calming and peaceful when it works.
  • I’m having this painting and a few others framed. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

Progress Shots

Dan Scott, Maryvale, Cows, 2022

Detail Shots

Want to Learn More?

You might be interested in my Painting Academy course. I’ll walk you through the time-tested fundamentals of painting. It’s perfect for absolute beginner to intermediate painters.

Thanks for Reading!

I appreciate you taking the time to read this post and I hope you found it helpful. Feel free to share it with friends.

Happy painting!

Dan Scott

Draw Paint Academy

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Dan Scott is the founder of Draw Paint Academy. He's a self-taught artist from Australia with a particular interest in landscape painting. Draw Paint Academy is run by Dan and his wife, Chontele, with the aim of helping you get the most out of the art life. You can read more on the About page.

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