Elegant Swan Digital Painting

Updated: Mar 9

Have you ever sat and watched the swans in a lake? They are so peaceful and graceful with their proud figure. They glide effortlessly across the water with their powerful webbed feet.

Of course, they do have a nasty side too but usually when they feel threatened or are protecting their young cygnets.

Did you know! A female swan is called a pen and a male swan is called a cob.


It's always a good idea to get your bad drawing out the way first by doing a few scribbles and letting yourself create something you would deem as horrible - someone else might like it.

If you are confident enough with your understanding of the swans' anatomy get drawing possible poses you might want your swan in. For mine, I used a photo reference that I took myself - unfortunately, the picture is stored in the ever famous 'safe place' and I have yet to find it again but when I do, it'll be added to my royalty-free photos and membership.

I started my swan with a nice quick digital sketch in Photoshop using the airbrush to lay down my foundation to build from - try not to put too much thought into this, thinking is a destroyer of art.

On a new layer, I laid down the base colours with the same brush set to a higher opacity and then used a flat brush to clean up the colours. Here I also started using a pressure-sensitive brush to add some depth to the shadows and give the water a softer reflection of light.

A swan doesn't really have a lot to think about so I spent more time with the shadow in the water below it than I did with feather detail. White is a hard colour to work with so I also had to make sure I didn't use too many dark shades to keep my swan clean, white and elegant.

Did you know! A swan pair usually mates for life but they have been known to separate if the nest fails. A swan will also find a new partner if its' own has passed away.

Have a wonderful day!

Charmaine x

P.S Do you have any interesting facts about swans? Share them in the comments!

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#painting #bird #illustration #nature #Animal #digitalart

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