Friday, September 23, 2011

How to Paint Snow -- Having fun Painting Snow

Painting Snow - How to paint snow scenes

One of the easiest subjects to paint must be snow, or so most people would think. Yes, and no. The truth lies somewhere in between, as snow paintings really are fascinating, and great fun to paint. If you really want to capture the beauty of a snow-filled landscape, that chilly feeling of crisp snow just fallen, and make it seem as realistic as possible, then you really have to study the colours that are present on the surface. Over the last two years I have attempted three or four such scenes and learnt something from each. Each snow scene brings new challenges and reveals new colours that are found in the light reflection on the snow. Snow scenes really are something you can be inspired to paint. All sorts of colour is found in the shadows and reflections of snow. In some cases you can throw a wash over the whole surface and in other occasions you can add in warm streaks of colour such as yellow or warm tones. There is a huge variety of possible colours that can be placed in snow paintings, so don't feel compelled to paint just blue tones like many of the examples I have here.

How to mix colours for a snow scene

By looking at many snow scene paintings, you can build up a reference of colour combinations and effects that work well in paintings of snow. In the above paintings, I used combinations as follows: thalo blue and white, raw umber and white with a hint of mauve, and prussian blue and white. These are just suggestions. It is best to gather together a collection of several different snow paintings that you can refer to, to help in future paintings. So far I have used very little variation in the colours of such scenes but I am going to have to find or take a few good reference photos for future work which have good sunlight falling on the snow, so as to be able to include the warmer tones in the painting. Including the warmer tones as well as the more common blue range adds interest to the snow scene and makes for a more interesting painting overall. I hope to be able to show what I mean regarding how to paint a snow scene in a future post after I have completed a more colourful one. For now, don't be afraid to experiment - making mistakes is all part of learning how to paint.

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