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Sunday, December 17, 2017

A Quick Tip for Painting Falling Snow

'Let it Snow'        9x12       pastel       ©Karen Margulis
available $125
Want to paint snow with pastels?  Forget about trying to paint every snowflake. I have a quick and easy way to create a snowy landscape.  All you need is a very light value pastel and something with a sharp edge. I like to use a palette knife.  A piece of glassine or tracing paper is helpful but you could do without it in a pinch. Read on for details. 
before adding snow

Here is another painting demo with details on adding the falling snow.

I am using a light gray piece of Canson Touch paper that I also coated with some clear gesso for a bit more texture. I used only my softer pastels, Terry Ludwigs and Diane Townsend lights. I blocked in the darkest shapes with some blues and purples.

I block in the sky with pale pink and pale yellow bringing it down into the trees.

I finished the snow covered foreground and mid ground using blues for the shadows on the snow and pale yellows and pinks for the snow color. I don't use pure white at all.

I refine the trees by using the sky color to create some airy and lacy branches. I also lightly draw in some branches with the sharp edge of my pastel. I refine the trunks and aadd some bits of color to the trees. Now I am ready for the falling snow.

I lay the painting flat. Using my flat palette knife and a pale pale pastel (not white) I shave the pastel over the painting where I want some snow to fall. I dig into the pastel stick to create some larger snowflakes. Once I am satisfied with the amount and placement of the snow I put down the piece of glassine paper and press down with my palm all over the paper to push the pastel dust into the paper. I also use the palette knife to push the bits of pastel into the paper. I also use the palette knife to draw in some branches like scratch art.

Voila...now you have falling snow!  Easy and a lot of fun!

On Patreon today: I posted a video sharing two ways to add falling snow to a pastel winter landscape. www.patreon.com/karenmargulis

1 comment:

robertsloan2art said...

That is so tremendously effective! I love it. I've seen you do this for years and it's gorgeous. And yeah, works best in faint colors rather than white. Snow is prismatic. It could even be multiple pale colors as light catches snowflakes at different angles.