Art,  Inspirations,  Nature,  Painting,  Watercolor

Casein Painting of the Meadow Deer

meadow deer in casein
Sunset Deer

This painting is a little diversion into casein.
Casein is water based paint and contains casein, the protein in milk. You can read more about it here.

 As you might expect it has a lovely creaminess and is very versatile for creating effects one cannot possible do with watercolor or gouache.{at least I can’t!}

I based this painting on the photo below.
I may paint another now that I’ve discovered how much I love casein.
I love the transparency of casein but also realize now that to paint over the top of a painting with a hazy sort of wash, the painting must be mostly done and completely set, that takes several days.

My poor little deer are not the color of chocolate but I was finished with the painting as far as they went!!
Better to give it another try, another time.

deer sunset
Deer sunset

The deer show up most spring and summer evenings to graze in the meadow above the vineyard.
The light is magical at the right time in the golden slant of the sun’s rays.
It’s almost a lavender light that I thought might work with casein.
That lavender light lasts about 5 minutes so one must move faster than painting would allow so I’ve taken photos and pushed it a little to the purple to give me a bit more of it.

Casein is a lovely medium to use and quite easy to use as well.
Much easier than acrylic because it dries more slowly and is more opaque than both watercolor and acrylic.
This painting has a transparent acrylic underpainting. Lots of orange and pink under the blues…

A good book on all watermedia, watercolor, gouache, casein, and acrylic, is by Stephen Quiller, the master of the medium. You can find it here.

Stephen Quiller, casein + acrylic
Stephen Quiller, casein + acrylic

Color is the most emotional element that we, as painters, have. And if it is used well, color can go a long way toward expressing an artist’s intention or enhancing a mood.
~Stephen Quiller

Art, Photography and Text by L’Adelaide, ©CountryWomanPaints. All rights reserved.


  • janellmithani

    Wonderful painting and photograph! I have thought about trying out casein. Glad you shared that you can under paint with acrylics. Love how your art is always so colorful! I hope you are having a wonderful weekend!

    • ĽAdelaide

      Hi Janell… thanks for your kind comment. It’s good to be painting again, albeit fitfully… hoping to regain my health one of these days. i hope you try casein… you will love it if you like the textural quality and using gouache. it’s very similar.

    • ĽAdelaide

      Hi Victoria… thank you for your kind comment about my paintings. I adore color and have to have about three palettes going at all times. 🙂

  • arnly

    I love this! And I love how you got to it, with the slightly pushed photo of the most ephemeral moment of the day. I’m also an admirer of Stephen Quiller’s work. His unique use of color (the first time I saw it) reminded me of your work. I wonder if he also tastes the world through his eyes…

    • ĽAdelaide

      Hi Steve…always good to see you again! interesting you too love quiller’s work. i do believe he IS the master when it comes to using watermedia of all kinds. have you noticed how he does his sweet sheep😊 and that he always “must” include a few? That made me think of you 😀

      i have all his books and his dvd’s, collected over the years. i have no idea how i came across him all those years ago but he has definitely helped me see color a bit more constructively, not so all-over-the-map as i once was.

      hoping all is well in your world!

      • arnly

        I will have to look up his books! Unlike you, I think I could use some stretching when it comes to my colors… I feel too constrained. And I DID notice his sheep that show up SO often. I love them. I made peace with mine.

    • ĽAdelaide

      Hi Mamie, thank you for such a lovely comment. I’m glad you see the joy in my painting as i do enjoy them and the color reflected in the sunset. as for the calm part… well, perhaps we could wish that might happen along… eventually 🙂

    • ĽAdelaide

      Violet, it’s so nice to see you again. I’m wondering if my reader blipped again and I’m missing your posts! I’ve not been online as much as I’d like so might simply not have seen them as there are days when… well, it’s quite aggravating! Thank you, sweet Violet, for your kind comment. 🙂

  • Marika Reinke

    I’m happy to see your newest painting! I love your work – Please keep doing it! And I enjoyed reading your write up on the traits of casein. Thank you, I’ve got it in my back pocket when I’m ready to move on.

    • ĽAdelaide

      I think you will enjoy the challenge, tho it is not a demanding medium… simply fun and a different look from working so transparently as i usually do… since finding i love gouache with my watercolors, casein seemed a neat idea ☺️

  • Leya

    Linda – I’m on my way back again, but for the rest of May at least I’m over my head with work. ALL national tests are in spring. Now I took the time to enjoy your work. And enjoy I always do! Casein I have never heard of, but it looks and sounds as smooth and transparent as you show and describe it. This deer painting went straight to my heart!. The joy and the light and the way your colours flow.

    I’m glad you are coming back to painting – only wish I could come over to buy one of them. Do you sell them? One of your pieces would lighten my heart, sitting on my wall to greet me every day.

    • ĽAdelaide

      What a dear comment, sweet ann christine. Yes i am now at the point i am ready to let my babies go. I was going to say i plan to paint another or two of these, one for my son and perhaps one for you? I haven’t sold in years, thought i’d never again want to but the year has been so expensive for me medically… So i have had to become a little more practical! 🙂 I’m trying to figure out how best to go about it.

      Drop me an email or comment and we’ll work it out. xxx

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