View Full Version : "Bug's Eye View", Australian Black Swan

12-13-2009, 08:08 AM
Hi guys. This is a 12" x 16" black scratchboard. It's from my own reference of a black swan which came up to my camera. I'm using watercolours and coloured pencils and the grass and reeds were done quickly with a curved knife. I'll be adding more layers of colour / scratch as I go.



12-13-2009, 08:39 AM
Interesting "pose". I like it.

Terry Wynn
12-13-2009, 09:20 AM
This is gorgeous! About as close as I want to get to a swan!


12-13-2009, 10:36 AM
beautiful start and interesting combo Patrick will be back looking in for updates.


Damian D
12-13-2009, 10:52 AM
As usual, very nice job. Love the depth on this one. Makes you wonder if this is what a bug see's before it becomes lunch.

12-13-2009, 11:01 AM
I love that closeup!!!! I am watching you work.

12-13-2009, 12:03 PM
Your work is always amazing.

12-13-2009, 02:11 PM
That is cool!

12-13-2009, 04:59 PM
LOVE IT!! Made me laugh when I opened it...those eyes looking right at you!
Can't wait to see the finish!

Rahul Parekh
12-13-2009, 11:08 PM
Hi Patrick,
looking strange painting in first pic to me!!!, but in second image...the composition is unique with lovely depth of field and curious looks of swan is highlight of the painting. lovely work. will follow your WIP to watch the final outcome :)

BTW..How do you prepare your black scratch board and which tools you are using for scratching lines for fur, feathers and to create other natural elements? :confused:

All best wishes,

Cheers, Rahul

12-14-2009, 12:38 AM
I think this is freaking adorable, I love it, love it. It is so neat when the opportunity arises to be able to catch a shot like this, awesome:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

12-14-2009, 09:19 AM
Great pose and feathers Patrick. Was you not nervous, being so close? I don't now about black swans, but the swans we have in Sweden can be qiute hostile against humans.


Ali khamis
12-14-2009, 09:46 AM
Lovely work.

12-14-2009, 12:05 PM
Beautiful!!! Love it.. what a pose!!
I Love closeups!!!
Your work never ceases to amaze me Patrick!!

12-17-2009, 06:55 AM
Many thanks everyone :)

Tomas, this type of swan isn't too agressive and in fact this one is from the banks of the river Torrens right here in Adelaide and they are all quite tame. I have been on the wrong side of the white ones in the past (the mute swan) where one attacked me and bit me in the "you know whats" :eek: :lol: and wouldn't let go!!!!

Rahul, Ampersand does the preparation for me :lol: and their product is awesome, but these are my tools


The two curved blades on the left are what I used to clear the black from the sky and also I did the grass with them. The next two are fibreglass brushes which clears the ink in a soft way and I used them on parts of the feathers, the next is a brass brush which I use for hair (I haven't used it on this one), the next one is a tungsten scriber which gives a very thin line but without much ability to make that line interesting so is good for lots of thin and consistent lines, and the one on the right is my all rounder, the one I use the most and I can vary the line with it by turning it in my hand which gives thin or thicker lines or even varied along the same line.

I still have more to do on this. The sky is actually oil paints as I needed something to fully cover some messy marks I'd made :lol:


Rahul Parekh
12-17-2009, 10:04 AM
Patrick, Painting is coming out lovely and swan is looking too BIG now with this camera view :). and Thank you for your kind information and showing your tools. Great...amazed to think that with such sharp tools we can create lively artwork!

I'm surprised that a day before I've purchased the last orange one (your all rounder tool) with almost similar blade :). I'll soon try tiny scratch board art. I think I need lots of practice and later purchase other tools as well and mean time my friends can laugh a lot through my funny scratching ha!ha! :D :lol:

12-17-2009, 10:13 AM
Looks good Patrick. I was wondering how much pressure you need to apply to remove the black ink. Do you "dig" or just lightly scratch?


12-17-2009, 04:39 PM
Thanks Rahul and Ian. Rahul, I doubt we'll be laughing :lol:

Ian, I'd say the goal is to scratch the ink off but not to scratch into the clay. Of course, it does get scratched into but I try to be as light as possible because that way, there's more clay left for layers (scratch, add colour or diluted ink, more scratch, more colour etc etc). It definitely doesn't need much pressure and in fact you can get into a groove and what looks like it might have taken ages can go quite fast.

12-17-2009, 05:12 PM
I really love all the detail you put into your work Patrick. This is really beautiful!

12-18-2009, 06:17 PM
great work Patrick!!! but god i would run if i saw this chap coming towards me he has meaning in those eyes lol x

12-19-2009, 02:02 AM
Nice work Patrick thanks for showing your tools

12-19-2009, 03:50 AM
Thanks guys :)

Scary fellow for sure. This is the finished item. Maybe I should title it "Bug's Eye View"?


Here's a couple of closeups which don't really show you anymore than the main picture



12-19-2009, 11:46 AM
It turned out beautiful!!! I love it!

Paul Hopkinson
12-19-2009, 02:49 PM
Very fine work! Ooh, I am so tempted to purchase some scratchboard from somewhere!

12-22-2009, 09:15 AM
Cool! I really love the variety of textures. He looks pretty intimidating!!

12-23-2009, 04:09 AM
This is really beautiful Patrick!! Love the texture in the grass & feathers. I'm not used to swans, so this pose would have made me back up a few steps.

12-23-2009, 04:37 PM
I love the title! Definitely made me laugh!
I really love the angle ~ he looks like quite an inquisitive character, though I wouldn't envy any bug's seeing him from that perspective! Great work :)