Back for the second part of the Winter Scene tutorial. We have established our horizon line, painted our sky and distant trees, and are working on our three pines in the foreground.
The color formula for the foreground trees is Hooker’s green, black and navy or Prussian blue. We want that dark background so the snow will show well when we add it. Don’t worry about that snow now. We will paint the trees first.
When drawing the pines, draw with the brush a straight thin line for the trunk. This will establish the height of the trees. Because these trees are closer, there will be more detail. The branches of these pines will go right down to the ground level. I begin at the top of the tree with a flat brush using horizontal strokes, some pointing slightly upward like pine branches. The branches get wider and longer as you get toward the bottom of the trunk. If you aren’t familiar with a pine’s shape, get a reference photo to look at. Remember, these branches will be covered with snow which makes them droop a little.
When you have these trees painted in, you can take a little of this tree color to work a small bit of brush right at the horizon line. Small bushes, and perhaps some short trees in the distance. No need to worry about detail. The background is very abstracted.
Determine the direction of the light source in your painting. If it is from the right and low, the shadows from the trees will fall to the left of the trees and will be long depending on the height of the light source. Mix Cerulean blue and white for the shadows, if it is too bright add a touch of the navy blue to tone it down a bit. Paint the shadowed side of your three foreground trees and shadow on the ground for these trees. You can also add a few shadows here and there on the snow to give the appearance of rocks and brush under the snow.
Add a little burnt umber to this light blue and add a couple of small rocks. Shadow them also, same color as the tree shadows. You can also throw a small amount of this shadow color on the horizon line to give the impression of deep shadows from trees.
Add a little raw sienna, burnt umber and white to add leafless weeds peeking up through the snow. Shadow these as well with Cerulean blue and white keeping the shadow the same thickness as the weeds and going down the hill.
With white and a tiny touch of raw sienna to warm it add the snow highlights to the lit side of the pines in the foreground. This will make your trees sparkle in contrast with the bluer snow on the shadowed side. Let a little of the dark Green of the branches show through here and there.
To add distant stars or even snowflakes falling, thin your white/raw sienna paint mix and tap the brush on another brush or your finger to splatter the paint. If it doesn’t work for you, try tapping these on with a very small round brush. (Don’t over-due, a small amount works better!)
Always sign your work. You need to take credit for your creation and this also protects your rights as the creator.
I hope you have enjoyed this small tutorial. If you try this piece, I would love to see what you have done so post for the group. I will include a photo of the final product so you can see what the finished piece looks like. Any questions or comments are welcomed.