Hey everyone! Hope everyone is staying warm. We’ve been snowed in for a few days now. I was supposed to fly down to the Bay Area for meetings Monday but my flight got cancelled. Rebooked for Thursday and it’s already been delayed…so I guess we’ll see!

With all this snow around, I got inspired to start a snowy scene. Snapped this pic down by our pond the other morning.

Want to try to capture how cold it was out there, and that Stark early morning light.

I start with a very light pencil drawing of the main elements and began with the sky. It’s easier to paint the gradient and then come back and paint the trees on top, so to begin I concentrate on getting a natural feeling gradient. I use soft bristle blender type brushes and am careful where I put my brush, as one misplaced mark can take a fairly amount of work to blend back. I lay a decent amount of paint on so Im not fighting with the surface as much. I find it’s easier to blend with more paint.

I pre-mix my paint for the larger areas. I use a palette knife, and hold a glob of paint up in front of my reference to check it. I will mix and modulate until the color seems to disappear into the background when I squint. I’ve found it’s totally worth doing this because the color is rarely what I’d initially perceived it to be, and it take a lot of the thinking out of it, so you can focus more on transitions and not losing the drawing.

The sky is basically just ultramarine blue and titanium white, with a little tiny bit of magenta added on the left side, and then I used I bleached titanium white toward the horizon line. At the very edge I dropped in a super subtle transparent red oxide lake to warm it slightly, but was careful not to get too syrupy with the colors. Want to try to keep this cold, and I think restraining the palette will help lend to this feeling.

Once the sky was blocked in I drew in the shape of the pond and directly painted both it and the snow on the ground. Just want to get the big shapes more or less pinned down for now. Ill come back in and detail and correct on the next few passes. It’s ugly right now, but I get a feeling I’m going to be doing. A lot of dry brush stuff to get the textures of the snowy shoreline and frozen pond.

Here’s a time lapse video of the process so far:

Now, its time to wait. Both for the paint to dry, And for the snow outside to melt.

Also figured id post this painting I did a few weeks ago as well. I try to do little studies like this often, as they’re low commitment and I can often focus on one aspect or effect. Often times they don’t work out and get sanded, but I liked how this one turned out. These are our oldest, Melvin’s first shoes. Maybe not the first ones but the ones he leaned to walk in. Aside from them having great sentimental value to me, they’re also made out of this cool gold material that I thought would be fun to tackle.

Painting metallic stuff is super interesting, as it’s less about the actual colors and more about the transitions. Harder darker shadows, brighter tighter highlights, and saturated reflections. Basically, a lot of fun!

Painted this fairly directly from life, starting with a very light pencil drawing and carefully pre-mixing my main colors to match what I saw as closely as possible.

Spent about 2 and a half days on it. Had a blast. Wish they all worked out like this.

Happy Valentine’s Day too! Be sure to give that special someone in your life a big hug and kiss and let them know how much they mean to you!