Su's Swan Drawing - The Mute Swan

When asked for a swan drawing, Su and the owner opted for the Mute Swan.  They are renowned for their long elegant necks bring grace, and magnificence to the river.

Their elegance can be seen as they glide over the river with little effort.  This talent is much admired by Su especially when viewed by kayak.  You can see their feet treading water, sometimes frantically paddling, while above the water their efforts are graceful and unflustered.   

Building up the Swan Drawing

Building the mute swan

As you can see the background is building up.


Building the mute swan

Then the key features of the Swan, and ripples are added. 

The swan drawing chosen for this piece, shows the gentle ripples of the disturbed water as they quieten back to the stillness.  It is up to you to decide whether this mute swan is gently drifting, on the water preening itself, or is it just treading water while keeping a beady eye on you?

Adding the shadows

The swan shades and ripples of the water are building up.

Adding the feathering details

If you look at the swan's body, compared to the last view, you'll see the difference in the details.

More color and ripples to the swan

Here the flash of the orange on the beak and its reflection bring this swan to life.

The art work was commissioned by a grooming competition for their 'Best In Show' winner.  The prize allowed the winner to choose a 30x30 painting of an animal of their choice.  

The winner liked the infinity loop created by the swan in this pose with its reflection on the water. 

This art work is generated by using an airbrush, and the appropriate paint.  Su likes to share 'behind the scenes' images of her work, so you can witness the masterpiece being created.

 It also shows you that it is her handiwork!

This is why with the mute swan you will see some sketch work and some area's which are masked.

This is so Su can build up the paint layers and her airbrush can work it's magic under her careful guidance.

The masking also allows Su to add the finer details.

This generates the photo-quality finish to her artwork which is admired by many.

Something that many people probably don't realize about Su's process is seeing a picture which looks finished.

Then you realize that Su is scowling at you, because it's not finished!  With that she takes some of the paint OFF!

This layering technique increases the depth and vibrancy of the colours.  

Once this has been done we can all stand back and admire the finished result, without a scowling Su!


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