I want to tell you about this painting. It's an 8×10 acrylic on a Fredrix Green Label Canvas titled “Incoming Swan”. I came up with the title because the swan is literally coming onto the painting.
This painting came about after a trip to the San Diego Zoo. While waiting in line for the sky ride, my family and I were watching a swan go around a moat. I took several pics with my phone. The photo included a metal bar, which I opted to leave out to create a more natural look. In the following paragraphs, I’ll explain the process I used to make this painting.
Over a grisaille, I painted sap green mixed with black for the darkest part of the leaves. I went over that with a transparent mixed grey to give it a denser look. For the leaves, I used a combination of blue green and yellow green, made using phthalo blue and hansa yellow.
To paint the water, I mixed a pale blue green using mostly transparent mixing white, some hansa yellow and just a touch of phthalo blue. I was going to paint the bank first. But I quickly realized I needed to paint the water before the bank, since the color from the bank was reflected in the water. I needed the color of the water to already be down before I put the color of the bank over it.
To paint the bank, I mixed transparent mixing white with quinacridone red and just enough raw sienna to keep it from being bright pink. I used various shades of this color plus sheer mixed grey to paint the bank.
Then I remixed the same color I’d used to paint the water and brought it up into the bank. I brought the color of the bank into the swan itself and it’s reflection.
To paint the body of the swan, I went over it with transparent mixing white. Then I mixed varying amounts of Mars black into that to make different shades of sheer grey for the shading.
I also brought the green of the leaves and the pink of the bank into the black of the swan’s neck.
For the swan’s beak, I used a combination of quinacridone red and transparent mixing white for the pink areas and ultramarine blue mixed with transparent mixing white for the blue parts.
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Painter of portraits and wildlife