This is the under-painting, done with thin mixtures of burnt sienna and French ultramarine. Animal studies like this require a little more care than landscapes and seascapes because it's too easy to "be wrong". If a tree branch is painted a little short or a wave a little too high, no one will know. But if the proportions of head, body and legs aren't right on a lamb, then most people will notice something is wrong, even if they can't identify what the problem is.
So I spent quite a bit more time on this under-painting than I would on any of my small landscape subjects. It doesn't look like much but there's probably 45 minutes work just in the under-painting.
(Millie. 20x22cm oil on board. © Andy Dolphin)
This is Millie, one of our pet sheep. I did a digital painting of her last August, based on a photo I took a few years ago when she was only a matter of weeks old. This oil painting is based on that digital piece. I used a limited palette of French ultramarine, permanent crimson, burnt sienna, cadmium yellow deep and white.