Thursday, February 01, 2007

On Painting Snow

Note: I started this post on February 1, 2007 and am just finishing it on April 15th!

my weekly painting class cancelled this morning due to snow and ice that fell overnight, blanketing these mountain roads and fields with both beauty and treachery, I thought I would take advantage of the time and write about painting snow. I am looking out the window behind my computer desk as I type. If it weren't for the icy cold rain and sleet that is still falling, not to mention the warm and comforting fire in the fireplace, I would be out painting or, at the very least, photographing the snow-covered hills, trees and pastures. I LOVE painting snowy winter scenes complete with the leafless skeletons of the deciduous trees, the snow laden evergreens, snow drifts and white topped fences, houses and barns!
In all of my drawing and painting classes and workshops, I stress the importance of value. In the language of visual art the term refers to how light or dark any color is as well as to the all the greys (neutrals) in the range from black to white. Painting snow, in light and in shadow, provides ample opportunity to maximize the effects of value for greatest impact.
Using color with white to add interest to the snow, cooler tones in the shadows, warmer tones in the light; pinks, greens, blues, yellows mixed with white add interest and intensify the effects of light on the snow.