New Painting Debut! “Checking You Out”- Mongolian Yak, Step-by-Step

Checking You Out 12x12" oil (price on request)

(This is a re-post since for some unknown reason it was posted as a Page, not a post when I originally did it last Friday)

While I first went to Mongolia for the wildlife, after a trip or two I started to notice the domestic animals, what the Mongols call The Five Snouts: horses, sheep, goats, camels, and cattle, which include “real” cattle and also yaks.

Mongol yaks are found in the northern part of the country, up in the mountains. Like the other “snouts”, they provide a number of products and functions, including being trained for riding. There will be a painting of that at some point, which I saw in the Hangai Mountains in 2010.

Sometimes they are crossed with cattle to create a hybrid called a “khainag”, which are stronger than the pure yaks and more easily trained to pull carts. But they don’t really look the same. The heads are a somewhat different shape and the coat can be much shorter.

The pure yaks make me smile whenever I see them. The cow yak in the painting is one that I saw this past August at Gun-Galuut Nature Reserve.

Here’s a step-by step of “Checking You Out”:

The reference photo. Not great light, but I liked her head with its fuzzy topknot and white muzzle; I also wanted to work on doing a 3/4 view.
I decided that a square format would work well and started on a tinted canvas with a brush drawing, both in raw sienna
The next step is to get color all over the canvas and establish the relative values of her head, going darker; I'm always correcting the drawing as needed as I paint
I now have my darkest dark areas in a cool tone and will come in lighter and warmer over it. The muzzle's been moved a little and the eyes re-stated also.
Everything is now set up for the final push as I will refine shapes, tweak edges and work on value contrast
Once again....Checking You Out 12x12" oil (price on request)

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