Protective Parenting

The Story Behind the Painting

Once again back at Lake Alford Park next to the Gympie gold mine and historical museum but a different pond from the other swans. This area had more cattle egrets and ibis in the trees and ducks on the banks. This area also had more slime on the water and less Lillies.

The other black swans didn’t take any notice of me or my camera clicking away but this black swan didn’t like either. It had a totally different posture and paced up and down so to speak, so I almost moved on to look for less irritated swan, but after I sat down it seemed to calm down a little.

I decided on a pose where the swan definitely thought I was up to something and had some trust issues. I guess it was just protecting its child from paparazzi with the noisy clicking camera.

My Painting Process

When painting on black paper the first few things you paint seem to be super bight as there is no other references. It’s not until more of the back paper is covered that things start to settle down a little and loose their focus.

Often when a painting is almost complete I will revisit the first few things I painted on the paper just to check if the values are still correct. Usually I find that they are a little too dark and need to be brightened up a little.

I found a much quicker way to paint feathers using the side of a chisel brushing with wet neutral grey gouache. As you can see on the back of the swan I started to use white to highlight the edges.

On the neck I used the same technique but to finish the feather off I used a fine brush with long white strokes.

The rest of the back feathers were painted with a fine brush using little strokes of neutral grey, then another layer of white.

As like the other swan this had a few brown tail feathers and other than the red bill, thats the only colours used in this painting.

Last step is to paint a few little ripples then add some reflections followed by a few bits of dust and stuff on the surface of the water.

I guess this painting was quicker than most but there is also hundreds of previous hours painting experience and you grow with each painting and find faster ways to achieve the same result.

Some artworks flow and others don’t, you can spend hours trying to get one small part of a painting correct, like the nose and hands of a wallaby I must have re worked them about 5 times, each.

Anyway thats a future paint and another story to be told later in the week.

Finished artwork professionally framed in none reflective glass and now the final piece in the swan family.

Swan Family Triptych

Gouache on Canson Paper.

For my Black Label collection I use Winsor & Newton Gouache on Black Colourfix Art Spectrum Paper or Black Mi-Teintes Touch Canson Paper.

My painting come from my own experiences that I have experienced and photographed while traveling. By reading this blog, you as a viewer can now hear The Story Behind the Painting. Where, when, what was happening while I was photographing the wildlife.
If you want more details about my adventures checkout my travel blog website 

Enjoy, Chris Osborne

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