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Article: Painting Frost & Snow In Oil

Painting Frost & Snow In Oil

Painting Frost & Snow In Oil

I really like painting winter scenes, I find the contrast between the delicate twigs and the smooth pillow like snow on the ground striking. Leaves dusted with frost, glistening in the winter sunshine evokes such happy memories

I’m often asked about the brushes and techniques I use to paint frost and snow. Do you find painting these elements tricky?  

These winter scenes are not too difficult to master, whether you're an experienced artist or total beginner, there's lots to learn in my tutorial 'Winter's Light'  I will teach you the techniques I use, to create snow laden branches and twigs as well as smooth snow laying on the ground like powdered gems sparkling in the sun.

To paint the snow laying on the branches, gradually build up the layers. At first I use the Rigger brush and thin the paint to have the consistency of a wash. I then use slightly thicker paint to give an impasto effect. I use the Fan brush to add snow in the background trees, lightly load the brush remembering to keep the brush fairly dry, gently dab the paint on, creating small speckles.

Surface texture of laying snow is relatively smooth, in my Winters Light painting however the foreground has a little more texture, possibly footprints or mounds from long grass underneath.

To add texture, use a thin layer of paint over the block-in layer. Using a series 7 Flat brush enables you to create a smooth effect, you can then add more detail to the surface by changing colour tones and shades.  

 Watch my YouTube video here, How to paint a Winter Landscape.

I love frosty days, especially when they are fresh and bright.  My 'December Frost' painting is an interesting one! The colours are a bit challenging with more shades of blue then regular landscapes. Creating small brush strokes to achieve the level of details is important, with the right tools you too can achieve these effects!

To create an impasto effect for the frost on the foreground branches, use thicker paint and the Rigger brush.

Using the Fan brush, gently tap the paint on to create the frosty tree canopies. It’s important the brush remains fairly dry, remember not to load too much paint onto the brush.

You can learn the techniques I use in my 'December Frost' tutorial here

All the brushes I use in my lessons are included in my Professional brush set. Available to purchase here

Happy painting!

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