2018 Workshop Schedule. New workshops added! click here for details.
Visit my Patreon Page for more painting instruction

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

How to Paint Snowflakes...Making Pastel Snow

'Snow Painter'   Snow Person pastel 2013         6x8         ©Karen Margulis
click here to purchase $65
Let it Snow!  There is something special about a White Christmas. Not a stormy icy snow but a gentle snowfall that makes us grateful to be inside with family and friends.  We don't often get a White Christmas in the South and we aren't expecting one this year so I decided to make my own pastel snow for my annual Snow Person painting.

A Recipe for Pastel Snow
After I painted my Snowman I wanted to add some snow. After all he is an intrepid plein air painter. He is not afraid of a little cold and snow. As long as he has his Gogh box he can set up and paint in just about any condition.

How can we paint snowfall or snowflakes without painting a bunch of white dots?  

  • One way is to create a paste of shaved white or pale value pastel shavings and a bit of water. You then take a stiff brush such as a stencil brush or old toothbrush and dip it into the paste. Decide where you want the snow and run your finger over the brush creating a splatter of the white paste. When the splatters dry they will be stuck to the paper. If you get specks of wet on the paper don't worry. They will dry with no change to the pastel.
  • Another method for creating a snowfall effect is to use the dusting technique. Simple shave a white pastel over the area of the painting where you want snow. I use a palette know to make my shavings. Bigger pieces make bigger flake.  Then press the pastel dust into the paper with the palette knife or a rolling pin. I like to put down some glassine paper before using a rolling pin.
I wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday Season!  


Sea Dean said...

I love your instructions and demos. I've only made a few brave attempts at pastel so far, to mixed results, but with your help I hope to improve. Merry Christmas.

Lorraine said...

Merry Christmas Karen! I love following your pastel journey as I make my own way and have learned much from your blog. Happy Holidays to you and your family and all the best in 2014!

tim moore said...

Merry Christmas Karen...thanks for the gift of your blog all year long...

robertsloan2art said...

Merry Christmas and thank you for that fun technique! Both of them. I'd read about pressing in dry powder with palette knife or roller but not about the liquid spatter. Seems like that'd have a different and equally interesting effect.

Love your snow person painting. I had to grin as soon as I saw him with that bright red stick in hand and the Gogh Box open beside him. Too cool! Wonderful design!