Wednesday, December 2

Time for a December Painting

Acrylic on Canvas Panel
20 x 16 in/ 50.8 x 40.6 cm
Copyright Byrne Smith 2015
Yes, I know it's almost summer in Sydney and Buenos Aires. But that means in Honolulu and Houston it's almost winter. And that means it's time for a December painting.

I don't think it's ever snowed in Honolulu, and Houston doesn't get snow very often, once a decade, maybe. That doesn't mean I shouldn't be painting a wintry scene though. We do have pine trees as well as palm trees, and I like to paint snow every once in a while just to keep in practice.

Painting snow is similar to painting rain; that is, you're painting the illusion of the precipitation, not every raindrop or snowflake. The precipitation reduces the visibility so chroma is also reduced, and edges of objects are not sharp. The way the snow looks in your painting depends, of course, on the amount of snow you are depicting; obviously a blizzard will have to be painted with more "snow" than just a few flurries. If you're painting snow the day after a blizzard in bright sunlight, you will have brighter colors and very distinct shadows.

In today's image, I painted the illusion of snowflakes by flicking the white paint from the end of a bristle brush with my thumb. Make the drops different sizes with larger ones appearing to be closer to the viewer and to the ground. The randomness of where the "flakes" land adds to the illusion. Just don't over-do it with too many of them.  

If you haven't painted snow in a while, try it. 'Tis the season.

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