In the top photo you can see the original photograph from a generous photographer/friend of mine (thanks Don Anderson!), along with a small value sketch. If you look at the actual painting (top) you can see where I've drawn grid marks lightly on the canvas. This is how I check my drawing to make sure my proportions are correct. Not much worse than getting 3/4 of the way into a painting and then realizing your basic structure (or drawing) is flawed!
The background is not finished but this feels like a good start. I've loosely blocked in the swan- don't get scared! The marks I've made are mostly for landmark purposes and how I begin to map out darker values.
OK, after posting these scary photos I'd better finish this in a few days, huh?!? I'll post the next or finished photos as soon as they're completed. Thanks for viewing!