I’ve always painted birds which are standing on the ground – I have done a few which are on a tree or branch but I don’t like these so much, hence the feet. However, a swallow is so iconic in flight, I wanted to try this. It’s a challenge sometimes to find a reference picture where the position of the bird fits nicely in to a square frame, and I do have to adapt the bird on most occasions. I found a stock image of a swallow and made her in to a him by extending the tail streamers.
The head and throat have silver gouache mixed with the indigo, and this iridescence never shows up when I photograph the painting, but it does catch the light in a pleasing manner.
Original gouache painting on 30cm square Somerset paper. £40