Painting a Mute Swan – An Individual Approach

My latest piece of wildlife art is a slight departure for me. I’m working on a watercolour of a mute swan and, apart from an occasional sketch, I think it’s the first time I’ve painted one.

As a wildlife artist I wanted to show my own individual interpretation of a swan, so I’ve tried to find a fresh way to depict one of our most familiar birds.

The painting is made up of a dozen images, each showing just a small section of the bird so that each appears as an abstract arrangement of shape, tone and colour.

Sometimes I go out and see a bird or animal in a particular pose or situation that immediately makes me want to paint it. There may be little or no adjustment from the original inspiration.

This painting is very different, with several different influences coming together. I saw a photographer’s series of swan images, I own a poster with a number of similar images grouped together for balance and tone, and I’ve used my own sketches and photographs.

Will it all work? At the moment I’m somewhat uncertain. It’s not something I’ve done before, so it’s a steep learning curve. I’m enjoying the process though and it’s a good opportunity to experiment and expand my range of work.

If it doesn’t work I’ll have learned a lot, and if it does work I’ll have succeeded in my aim.

As I often say to my students: art is a win:win situation – sometimes you succeed and sometimes you learn.

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About Jackie Garner

Wildlife artist.
This entry was posted in Nature, Painting, Wildlife, Wildlife Art and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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