I love painting snow and winter and one of my favorite winter motifs is the city in winter. My son and family used to live in Chicago and I would alway make sure to make winter visits. Sometimes I was lucky and we had some snow. I cherish these reference photos as they now live here in Atlanta. (I will give up the snow pictures for that!) Today I painted from one of these photos and I had to make a decision.
What should I paint first? The buildings of the city and the trees or the snow?
The answer for me is to completely paint the buildings and trees and then cover them with snow. It looks and feels odd as the painting progresses but it is necessary so that the light values of the snow can be crisp and clean. I gradually build up the layers of pastel with wide marks to suggest the buildings and back and forth marks to paint the evergreen trees.
Then the fun begins and I can build up the snow on the grounding on the tree branches. The final touch is to add the falling snow which I do by shaving some white pastel and creating a dusting of snow over the painting. I press this dust in with my hand with the painting under glassine paper.
Here is the painting at an early stage. I have blocked in all the main shapes.
I have the complete demo of this painting over on my Patreon site. www.patreon.com/karenmargulis