View Full Version : 1st Snow Scene, oh my I need help.

12-04-2012, 04:46 PM
Attached is my first snow scene - it is from a photograph taken going up a hill as the sun was setting and was an overcast day.

Oil Pastels, 5x7
snow underpainting colors were: violet, gray and white
colors used on the snow were: ultramarine dark and light, prussian blue, payne's gray, light violet, white, vandyke brown light, some pink and pink-gray. Finally I have layed in some darker grays.

In preparation for two snow scenes I have planned I wanted this to be a dry run on painting snow.

I'd like your opinion on whether this is a believable snow scene - as it was near end of the day, the sun was setting and things were getting darker with more shadows within the snow. There is a trounced pathway on the far right. I paint a lot of seascapes and like foam patterns, I was trying to find patterns in the snow - but, I'm thinking maybe I should have done sweeping broad strokes over my underpainting. I am unsure what my base layers of oil pastel colors should be if there is more shadows with little snow - maybe I should have painted with darks first, w/white sections left alone so they didn't get muddle with the first OP layers. See, I've confused myself.

I've never painted snow and have only seen few instructions around how to do this. Looking forward to comments. Thanks, Mary


12-05-2012, 08:01 AM
I like what you did, looks like snow to me. The only issue I have is there's no point of scale. I have no idea of if I'm looking at shadows of hills, or bumps.

If this is bumps, and grasses peaking through the snow - which I think it is, then it's a spectacular job.

I don't think I can appreciate the range of colors on my computer screen fully, but it does this varied. Really nice work. I think anything you do "on top" of this will shine in the glow of the snow...

12-05-2012, 08:20 AM
Hi tony - thank you for responding, I really appreciate it.

The background of the piece is this scene was taken (at the end of a gray day as the sun was setting) from an English Moor going up a slight hill w/nothing else in the scene - quite baron. At the top of the hill you can barely see the land recede into the distance.

You are spot on about point of scale. Yes the land is bumpy w/some dried grasses peaking through the snow. Perhaps I could paint several trees way in the background and maybe that could give the piece a point of reference.

What do you think? Thanks so much, Mary

12-05-2012, 09:20 AM
I've made several changes to the scene, keeping Toni's comments in mind:

Added a few trees in the very background
Added and changed the slant of the slope
Added a bit more dried grass, lowered some of the values and put in more shadows around the grasses.
Added more the fading sun's colors to the snow.

Thanks for your comments. Mary

12-05-2012, 10:57 AM
Cracking painting ---don't fiddle with it :)

12-05-2012, 10:59 AM
Beautiful, and the improvements really helped.


12-05-2012, 11:59 AM
Hi Trumper: Thanks so much for the lovely comment! I agree with you to let it be. Appreciate hearing from you on this painting.

Hi Mike: Thank you for taking the time to review the painting. I appreciate your feedback - thanks!

12-05-2012, 01:09 PM
Excellent. You have this snow thing down pat. Beautiful colors/light.

12-05-2012, 03:34 PM
Hi Tony, thanks so much - glad you like the final. Thank you for all your assistance. Mary

12-06-2012, 03:16 AM
As well as the extra definition on the tufts of dead grass, I REALLY like the "thing" in the distance on the left which may be a stunted bush, or may be something else altogether - it adds a huge amount to the atmosphere, sense of distance and mystery of the piece.

12-06-2012, 07:21 AM
Hi Apodemus - thank you for coming back and revisiting the painting, I really appreciate it.

Tony gave me the suggestion to build a point of scale so I decided to accentuate the hillside on the right and put the stunted bush in the left-background. Based on your feedback it reads correctly.

While painting the snow it finally kicked in and I started to treat it like sea foam on ocean waves and at the shore line - that help me start to define snow and patterns. Now I have to learn how to build bulk and mounds of snow and I'll be happy.

Thank you! Mary