Thursday, December 21, 2017

Painting Snow

A White Christmas is very rare in Holland. I don't even remember the last time, but the web doesn't forget, so I looked it up: the last time we had one was in 2010 and the one before that was way back in the twentieth century. We do have snow though, at least a few times every winter. Very inspiring for a landscape painter.

There's a common misunderstanding about snow. I hate to break the news to you, but it's not white. It has a lot of different colors, ranging from yellowish to light shades of purple, depending on the circumstances, but not white.

Snowy Polder, oil on panel, 7.1 x 11.8"

For example: in a snow landscape it gets very clear that shadows have a distinct color. Not just some darker muddy shade, but an actual color. In the above landscape the shadows have a soft purple haze, that contrasts with the warmer sunlit parts. Painting a snow landscape is an excellent opportunity to practice your colored greys. If you want to find out more about mixing colored greys, you could watch the YouTube clip I did on the subject.

Snowy Dune, oil on panel, 27.6 x 39.4"

Snow landscapes often hinge on the contrast between warm and cold colors. A few warm accents in a predominantly cold painting often make a big difference. In the Snowy Dune painting the bottom part of the sky and the dune grass (detail below) do the trick. If you want to be sure of the warm-cold contrast you could try painting your snow landscape on a mars red ground. You'll be surprised!

Snowy Dune, detail

Thursday, December 7, 2017

A quick guide to painting oil sketches on paper

It's been quite a while since I last posted a clip on YouTube, it was January 2017 I believe. It's not that I don't enjoy making them, but painting comes first and I've been pretty busy this past year. Anyway, I did another one and you can watch it on YouTube. It's 'A Quick Guide to making Oil Sketches on Paper' of just over 6 minutes. Hope you enjoy it!