Sunday, December 19, 2010

Winter Without White

I decided to get into the spirit of the holiday by painting a snow scene. I must admit first of all, that I've painted something very similar to this several years back, but I'm very fond of the reference and the other piece has always been a favorite of mine. So, this was just for my own satisfaction. I thoroughly enjoyed painting this scene again. It felt like coming home, so perfect for this time of year.

I painted this on Art Spectrum/Colorfix paper. The paper color was Elephant. I stuck with the reference pretty much, but wanted to keep the key of the piece pretty dark, even though it's a snow scene. By doing this, I knew I could accomplish the sparkling light spilling between the trees and keep the sense of mystery and wonder that attracted me to it in the first place. I like how the suggestion of a structure is hidden underneath the red branches. That's cool. The reference photo has more flat lighting, which I don't think is as dramatic, so I wanted to play up the drama a bit.

It was interesting just how dark I had to keep the foreground value in order to achieve this affect. I was surprised myself. Here are swatches of the foreground value and the lightest light, (the pinkish swatch), that I used in the middle ground and a swatch of white which I never used, just for comparison. The sky was a tan and a light yellow, so no white was used at all.

I hope you enjoy the piece and it helps gets you in the holiday spirit!!


SamArtDog said...

Marla, thanks for posting this beautiful painting and trying to explain the not-so-obvious.

Every first-grader knows that trees are green, the sky is blue and snow is white. That's why they're in first grade. Little kids know stuff we don't remember, but we know stuff they haven't learned yet.

I've always thought that twelve is the perfect age; young enough to remember the magic and old enough to understand it.

loriann said...

Absolutely beautiful feeling of warm light in this winter scene.

Jala Pfaff said...

Very beautiful, and interesting commentary.