February 26, 2013
We’ve had two huge snowfalls here in Lawrence, KS, just a few days apart. The schools and university have been closed and most activities that involve getting out in a car and going somewhere have come to a halt. For me, that has meant more time for painting, but what to paint? I’ve read about a few artists who will paint outside in the snow but that is not me.
So I set up my easel and paints by my bedroom window warm inside while I looked at the snow outside. Snow is not that easy to paint. One reason is that living where I do, we ordinarily don’t see much snow so I don’t get much practice. At first glance everything just looks white but on closer inspection that is not the case. I’ve looked at paintings the Impressionists have done of snow scenes and what is emphasized against all that white is the shadows. I’ve looked at snow shadows through my window and tried to figure out what color they were. To me the shadows didn’t look as blue as the Impressionists usually painted them. I took some photos, trying to decide on a layout and when I printed one that I decided to use, there were those shadows in a grayed cerulean blue. I have also found photos helpful in getting the values (lights and darks) correct.
It was an interesting experience painting snow but I’m looking forward to painting spring flowers.