“Swans” Painting Process

Recently my church was having a fundraiser and I volunteered to do a painting to sell at the silent auction.

Our church has a beautiful bronze sculpture fountain of swans sitting at the headquarters in Edmond, Ok. It is dramatic and memorable so I decided to use it as direct inspiration.



Turning a streamlined almost detail-less metal swan sculpture into life like swan color painting was more challenging than I expected. But I enjoyed figuring it out.

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This was the photo I drew from for the layout and lighting

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I pulled from this photo quite a bit for color and the background.


I wanted it to fit with the Joanna Gaines style color scheme and overall feel.  I wanted to make a painting that I would gladly hang in my own house in case is proved to be unpopular at the auction. lol

The painting was 24″ x 30″ and gallery wrapped. I put the painting all the way aroung the edges so that framing wouldn’t be necessary.

I started with a canvas I had prepped years ago with gesso and modeling medium. This covered the canvas texture completely. It was almost smooth. It kind of had an Italian plaster look that you see on old world plastered walls. I was happy with that. Smooth but just enough texture to have character.


The water was a new thing for me. It was a challenge to get it to look alive and not flat and solid…..I’ll do better on my next water painting….

Here’s the finished piece. Sorry it’s a little washed out by the light.

I learned that I think I would really enjoy landscapes and I hope to try some out this year.

The biggest challenge with this, and all my paintings really, is the shine.

I. HATE. SHINY. PAINTINGS!!! Especially when I made them.

I used matte medium in every stroke of the piece but it was still quite shiny.

I will keep hunting for that perfect thing that makes acrylics absolutely matte.

Other than shine, I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. I’m very happy to say that it had several bids and the woman who won had great intentions to use it as an inspirational reminder for her daughter. Thank You God for using this painting! I couldn’t be happier about it!!


Thanks for looking! If you have an idea for a landscape or wildlife scene that you need above your couch or mantel, let me know!!!

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