A beautifully elegant swan swimming in a cool lake. You can buy this print at my *Redbubble shop.
These big beautiful birds are a great painting subject for learning how to paint white. You might think white is easy but it’s actually on of the hardest shades to paint to quite a lot of artists.
I used a photo reference that I took.
Start with a background colour you find most comfortable painting on. I usually go for a light to mid grey but this time, I wanted to try something different so I chose blue for water.
Since I’m not keeping the linework, I spent about 30 seconds on it to get a shape and idea of whats going on in the image.
A swan will usually mate for life. If their partner dies, they will take up another mate.
Next, loosely paint in your colours and some basic shading.
This is the first time painting water for me so I was unsure of colour but, I decided to leave myself an idea of the waves and where the light and dark would be.
A male swan is called a cob and a female is known as a pen.
Clean up the colours next to bring out the shape of the subject.
In this step, I defined the water as best I could. It didn’t really matter how the water behind looked since the main subject is the swan, not the water.
I sketched the water pattern very roughly to use filters on later.
A swan is not only white in colour. There are actually black swans that are native to Australia and black-necked swans that live in South America.
Don’t forget that there are many options in Photoshop to help make artwork and photos pop.
For the water in the background, which is on a different layer, I used the options under filters => Other => Maximum and Minimum. These filters are great for creating magic and fire so it’s a good idea to get use to them.
Moving on, I painted the reflection of the swan in the water.
A group of swans is called a bevy or a wedge in flight.
The last part of this painting is the swan details.
There aren’t really many details on a swan, I guess you could call them the beautiful minimalist birds of the animal world.
Have a wonderful day!
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