Monday, December 29, 2014

Snow Scene Trilogy

A snowy day, the perfect day for painting snow scenes.
I have been home in Ouray for almost a month.  As soon as we returned from 2 months of great hiking in Utah, I got out my paints and printed some reference photos of some of the radiant red rock canyons we had explored.  I put paint on paper trying to recreate the magic and feel of those hidden canyons and sandstone monoliths.  Phooey, it just would not come out as I saw it in my head.  Into the trash.  I tried just wasn't working.  Then yesterday with all the fun and activity of Christmas behind us and also with the completion of a unique sewing project (quilt), I got my paints out once again.
This time I scanned thru some photos from last winter's snow shoeing excursions.  After all it is winter and it is snowing.
There is a fire glowing in the fireplace and there is football on the TV, a great time to paint. 

This is a sketch of my first scene with the sky painted.  I used a wet in wet technique with cerulean blue at the horizon and adding cobalt and ultramarine as I went up.  When it was still damp, I used kleenex to make the white streaks in the sky

Here, I am just starting to add color and shadow to an area of snow.  Since my sky was still damp and I did not want to chance other colors seeping into the blues, I moved down to an area that I could wet without disturbing the sky.  After wetting this area I dropped in some yellow, permanent rose, and a mixture of permanent rose and cobalt blue.

While that area was drying, I wet the mountain and added some exposed rocky areas with an ultramarine - burnt sienna mixture.  Then I took a small flat brush and mixed sap green with june bug and ultramarine to create the trees and their shadows.

Each area of snow was done wet in wet.  The different colors and shadows give contour to the landscape

"Climbing Higher"

Second scene:  I wanted to give the affect of a glowing low winter sun and so I used a light wash of yellow in the sky on the left, then added my blues and permanent rose as I moved to the right.  While the sky was drying I wet the lower area of snow and used the same colors as in the sky.

Here the same colors are used to create the contours in the snowscape, and the same green mixture I used in the first scene for the trees.

More trees, more shading and shadows to indicate the direction of the light 

"All Is Calm"

The same techniques and colors were used in this third painting.  I wanted the three of them to compliment each other.  Each one is 8x8 and will be matted to 12x12 or in one matt all together.
"Making Tracks, on Red Mountain"