There were some changes that I wanted to make to this painting. When I went back and looked at it the calves looked flat to me. So I did quite a bit of work on both of then adding value contrast. I also removed his rear ear and horn. Despite the fact that they matched the photo, they just didn’t look right to me, so out they went!
Previously, it wasn’t as clear as I wanted it to be that he has his nose tucked into her neck. I think that now shows better.
But one of the biggest changes I made was to the background. Before, the upper part was just plain dark green with a little mid-green mottling. I felt that I needed a real background, but not a complicated one. So I drew on my memory of the hills around Livermore and this is what I came up with. A bonus is that the blue of the sky repeats the blues in the halters which pulls the painting together better. The background is quite loose which I think is fine since it’s quite a ways in the distance. The only thing I might change is to refine the light shapes on the upper edge of the left far hill.
The fog coming over the hills is a bit cold and gloomy so I brightened the cows and hay immediately around them. I’d like to suggest sunlight falling on them, but I don’t think I have quite succeeded with that.