Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Snowy Two-track

Snowy Two-track, gouache on Arches 300 lb. c/p,  2.5" x 3.5"
I liked the two curves in this one, the road and overhead branch. My theory is that when one has a strong visual pathway like this you must give the viewer a treat at the end of it, so I made sure the road points to the big tree, and the overhead branch and light in the distance culminate there. I think it works.

I also used Doug Dawson's approach to the color of snow, mixing more turquoise into the lighter foreground snow and keeping the distant trees in the upright plane more cobalt in color. It makes sense to me, since yellow appears nearer and purple recedes. I scumbled in a bit of whiter snow with a dry brush right in the front to create the snowy look there.

Favorite part: the look of dense twiggy trees on the left side that came about using a funny brush that's squished and crazy looking. It makes good random lines when turned different directions. The darker value served well and the multi-directional strokes read as snowy little branches.

I'm really enjoying the exploration of snow here in Western New York. I get to apply a lot of the theories I developed over the years when I painted with pastels. Here's a link to my chapter on snow, in my book, Landscape painting in Pastels. It's specific to pastels but contains a lot of thoughts on how to paint snow regardless of the medium you use.

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