Saturday, February 12, 2011

Snowy Trail

Snowy Trail
Watercolor 11" x 15" Mats to 16" x 20"

It keeps snowing, so I keep painting snowscapes.  If it keeps snowing where you are as well and want to keep capturing the cold weather to help cool you off in July, the following are some tips for painting snowscapes.

Advice on Painting Snow:
Snow transforms a landscape, softening edges and imposing tonal harmony. In bright sunshine, its reflective quality gives the landscape a dazzling brilliance, with trees and other features standing out in contrast to the prevailing whiteness.

When painting a snow scene in watercolor, you need to work logically from light to dark, conserving the white of the paper for the snow and applying washes carefully to the surrounding areas. Using masking fluid as needed to preserve the white of the water.

Warm and cool color contracts are very evident in snowy landscapes. Shadows are a characteristic blue-lilac color and were often depicted in winter scenes by Impressionist painters, who understood how these colors complemented the yellowish orange of the winter sunlight.

Advice on Painting Winter Trees:
When painting winter trees, especially leafless ones, consider their structure and growth pattern carefully.

Use the flat of the brush for the main branches and the tip of the brush for the small ones.

When you paint towards the end of a branch, the line will naturally become thinner as you complete the stroke, creating a realistic effect.

A liner brush, a rigger, or a small palette knife can be used to paint very fine, thin branches.

Three Things to Remember When Painting a Snowscape:
Snow white paper….the snow is represented by the white of the paper itself.

Cool shadows are painted using cool violet-blue paint to contrast with the white of the paper and the glint of sunlight.

A crisply painted tree, fence post, house, or other object will create a focal point to draw the eye into the painting.

Don't complain about the snow.....paint it!  You'll be dreaming of this cold weather in July and August!

Happy Painting!

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