Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Many Colors of Snow, Part 4

Winter Light Fading, pastel, 8x10
I had thought this series on snow that I've been doing with my pastel classes would be a three-part series. However, everyone seemed to be enjoying painting snow (including me!) and I had this reference photo that I thought would make an excellent exercise in value and color temperature. Almost all of the snow shown is in shadow, forcing you to ignore the logic which tells us that snow is white and typically appears as a light value.

In today's class we discussed how we needed to somehow show lots of warm colors in the distance, because that's where the direct sunlight was hitting, and cool colors in the foreground, since that area was entirely in shadow...which is the reverse of how we typically handle the placement of warms and cools.

Fortunately there are other artistic "tricks" we can use to depict depth in a painting, besides relying only on warms and cools. With today's painting, I used careful placement of hard/soft edges and increased the vibrancy of the foreground blues. I also used a mix of warms and cools in the distance and the foreground.

The narrow sliver of sunlit snow in the distance (the lightest value in the painting) gave us a great benchmark to contrast the value of the snow in shadow to the snow in sunlight.

Below are a few demo shots of how I got this one going...