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Thursday, December 17, 2015

Painting A Snow Scene in Six Easy Steps

'City Kids'           8x10        pastel        ©Karen Margulis
Greta is a city kid. Even though she isn't quite two years old she goes to her neighborhood park everyday. She has a group of friends already and I can just imagine the day when they will be old enough to go on the sledding hill. This painting is dedicated to my granddaughter and all of the city kids out there! 

I took some step by step photos as I painted this one. Here are my steps and my thoughts as the painting developed.

I chose a homemade support which is mat board coated with gesso and pumice mix. It is white. I did a quick drawing with a pink Nupastel. My reference photo inspired me but I made changes to create a better composition.

I blocked in the painting with big simple shapes of neutral pastels. I selected muted colors from my 'neutral drawer'. These are all grayed down muted colors such as blue-grays and muted purples. You can see the texture of the pumice in this photo.

Here is a shot of my Neutral Drawer. I keep these colors together so I remember to use them. Next to other more saturated colors these pastel get overlooked. Some may even think of them as ugly or dirty. I love their soft subtleness.

I decide to rub in this first layer of pastel to fill in the rough texture of the support and to create an out of focus underpainitng.

For this painting I choose to work on my center of interest first. The children going up the sled hill are my center of interest. Anytime you add a figure to a painting the eye looks at the figure first. I want to make sure they are well placed and developed before I spend too much time on the less important parts of the painting.

Next I develop the trees and suggest window in the distant buildings. I am still using my neutrals. I did use some saturated colors on my figures. I also add some blue and lavender shadows in my snow.

 I work on the snow some more. I use a dull rose for the distant snow and some brighter whites in the foreground snow. I also make some footprints in the snow. I also add a few lamp posts and light the lights....since I was going to make it snow.

I add the snow using pastel dust. I decide to add some smaller figures in the distance since my two stars seemed a bit lonely!  I also changed the color of the turquoise sled to yellow to echo the lights in the distance. Now I am finished!

1 comment:

robertsloan2art said...

Great tutorial. I love how your muted mid value colors look together, capturing a mucky winter day so well. Figures do always become a focal area. The background buildings are great too. This reminds me of Chicago. Very glad Arkansas winters don't get that extreme!