There’s something about winter that’s quiet and comforting. Several feet of snow deaden any sound and there’s a pristine, untouched look to the landscape when you live in the country.
That’s why I’m enjoying painting winter landscapes – both the process and the effect are calming.
My studio has a north-facing window. I set up my easel facing west and I see the image above.
I turn my easel to the east and I find the source material for “White Pine”, below.
Then I move the easel a little to the right and I can paint “Backyard Winter”, below.
I like to call these plein air paintings, but I’m looking through the window, I’m not actually outside. But hey, it’s minus 35 out there…and I’m no fool!!
Next on my list of projects is a version of the image below. And I can take my time. It looks like the snow won’t be going anywhere soon.
Look quickly. This video will take you through a painting from start to finish in three minutes. I only wish I could paint that fast! I wanted to show you how I paint several of my images using a palette knife and shop towel, and I wanted to show that process from start to finish.
I painted the background an all over red-orange to begin, thinking the color would glow through in the final product. It doesn’t, but I learned long ago not to fall in love with any particular color or shape in the painting process. It’s all subject to change.
The video shows how I work back and forth between foreground and background and how I soften some of the sharp edges using a shop towel (with a little water if I’ve left the paint too long and it starts to set up before I can manipulate the color).
I mostly work from light values to dark values. I mix the color value with the knife then just kiss the surface of the painting with the knife to apply the paint. I work wet in wet when I want the colors to blend on the surface but I’ll let the colors dry when I want crisp, clear color changes.