View Full Version : Snowy Creek

12-06-2002, 11:22 PM

Title: Snowy Creek
Year Created: 2002
Medium: Oil
Surface: Canvas
Dimension: 16 x 20
Allow digital alterations?: Yes!

This is my first winter scene. It is Alla Prima about 2 hours, the hardest part was getting the snow color to NOT pick up the tree's brown. I had to lay it on thick.

All comments good and bad welcome.

12-07-2002, 10:26 AM
i like it best when you lay it on thick

Wayne Gaudon
12-07-2002, 10:34 AM
a few things that might help you .. you need shadows in your snow in the trees .. look carefully and you will see a line of shadow between the snow and the brances .. this will sit the snow down as well as other branches will throw random shadows across the bigger clumps of snow ..

don't worry about getting brown in your snow .. snow has every color of the rainbow in it .. it's the values that kill you .. your snowbanks along the river don't receed very well .. if you made your distant snow out of greys made by mixing complimentaries and then used purer color greys and whites at the forefront it would give you much more distance ..

use as little pure white as possible .. save it for an area where you want the highest contrast and remember .. white is cold so place it bay a warm dark for better contrast .. ie.. white beside a red dark will fly more than white beside a blue dark .. or so the theory goes .. test it out. The strong whites in the trees suggest strong sunlight yet there are no strong shadows ???

All in all .. aside from the helpful hints I've tossed your way, this piece has great potential .. really like the colors and the composition ..

Alan Cross
12-07-2002, 02:04 PM
Great start love the sky and background.....shadows will help.
Alan :)

12-07-2002, 04:53 PM
Thanks for the feed back.

I was looking at my "Snowy Creek" and considering what you both said (Wayne and Alan) about shadows. I have 2 questions about that. Does the reflection in the water of the trees on the far side bank have anything to do with the location of the shadows for those trees, or is the reflection's position in the water due to the viewer's perspective? I would assume that reflections and shadows are two different things.

And second, since it seems the light is coming from directly above, I was having trouble wondering where to place the shadows. I figured the shadows would be short, and on the inside slope of the creek's bank which leaves little room for placing shadows to give the effect of anchoring. Or would the shadows extend into the water? Would that be a shadow or a reflection? O.K. now I'm confusing myself. :confused: Would it be wise to put some shadows of trees not seen... in the foreground at the bottom left? Or maybe fill that space with tall like grasses to play the shadow game?

And lastly, as the banks fade into the distance the snow should become greyer right? And in that case what should the water be doing?

Your wisdom is greatly appreciated.

I thank you All.


Wayne Gaudon
12-07-2002, 09:53 PM
reflections make their way to the viewers viewpoint . shadows fall away from the sun .. as for the placement .. lie .. it's a painting .. make it look better .. all things recede .. here is a psp quick fix .. rememeber the colors are not exact as I would paint them .. this is pc and I don't have time to due it up correctly but you will get the point .. see, I have added shadows and shades and darkened some of your brights .. hopefully it will be enough to spark you ...


12-07-2002, 10:00 PM
Some excellent advise from Wayne. Don't be afraid of coloring that snow. This is going to be a beauty!

Helen Zapata
12-07-2002, 11:45 PM
Wayne also lightened up those furthest trees in the distance, which is what I was going to suggest. :)

Helen (purty painting!)

12-08-2002, 03:21 PM
I started to redo before I saw your suggestions. Here it is with some shadows and twiggies. The photo kinda lacks. I lucked out with the original.


Alan Cross
12-08-2002, 04:34 PM
I see shadows coming from two directions the little ones in front are pointing up and the ones on the far bank are pointing down.....
Alan :)

12-08-2002, 05:25 PM
Dangit, You got me on the shadows. I was wondering how the slopes on the snow would effect the shadows. Oh well, I am still learning. I am sending this painting out via e-mial to friends and family for an electronic Christmas card.

12-08-2002, 09:36 PM
Shadow correction or a dang good attempt at it.:D

12-16-2002, 02:43 AM
I love how the distant trees fade to a rosey glow in the distance. In water color it would be a rose madder wash applied early! This oil painting looks like a watercolor - the same sort of lightness and feel.

Excellent piece.