Fluffy White Feathers

KC Gillies - swan pointillism illustrationI was pretty sure I didn’t want to draw a white bird. Creating a white bird with just black dots is, well, boring. Boring to do, boring to look it. But I’m in the middle of a project to draw a bird from every family in North America (I think that needs a better name…), and the swan was next on my list. Too bad the black swan doesn’t live here…

I didn’t have a clear picture in my mind either of what I wanted to draw. I had a couple different reference pictures to work from, but none had the “motion” that I was looking for. Let’s be honest, while birds can be incredibly majestic, they’re usually just… living life. So I just played. I really had no expectations for this guy, I wanted to get him out of the way so that I could move on to much more exciting ducks.

One of the things that I’m constantly striving to achieve with pointillism is texture. It’s hard to create something that feels tangible with just dots, so with every drawing, I try to get a little better at it. And so, with the mindset of “just play,”  I started drawing little fluffy feathers all over this guy. This was a bit of a happy revelation for me, being able to create this texture. I have always struggled to do the same thing with pencil, and thought that doing it in pointillism would be (for me) impossible. But, success! I’ve created several more pieces since this one, and furthered that same technique of drawing white feathers for filling in white patches. Stay posted!

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