Still Snowing – Oil Sketch

Still snowing - oil sketch - 27 Feb 2010 - Eileen Morey, artistAs I’m writing this, this part of NH is under a blanket of pristine, white snow.   It’s “winter wonderland” time again!

Initially, I looked at the mostly white landscape and thought, “Okay, not painting this morning.”

However, the longer I looked at it, the more I saw the subtle colors in the sky, the snow, and the hillside.  So, I set up my easel and began painting.

Photographing the oil sketch — shown on the right — was a bigger challenge.  The flat, grey-ish light mutes the colors in the photo, but when I increase saturation with Photoshop, the colors aren’t right, either.

All I can say is: This painting is much softer & prettier than the picture.

Detail - 'Still Snowing' oil sketchAt left, you can see a detail from the canvas.  This was another 9″ x 12″ canvas board, underpainted with cadmium red.

My colors were:

– Greys, mixed with French ultramarine blue and cadmium yellow

– Greens, mixed with pthalo blue, lemon yellow and lots of cadmium yellow

– Titanium white

– Pinks, mixed with white plus alizarin crimson

– Lavender, mixed with French ultramarine blue plus alizarin crimson and white

As you can see, with oil paints it’s not necessary to buy very many colors.  You can still create the colors you need, by mixing.

(Even with Brera “Maimeri” acrylics — my favorites — I need to buy more colors than when I work with oils.  Acrylics don’t mix as well as oil paints do; there are issues about how opaque the acrylic color is, and so on.)

This painting took me nearly half an hour, partly because I reached a point where it looked good… and I kept fussing with it.

I tried to get it back to where it was, and ended up wiping a bunch of color off the canvas, to start over on about 1/4 of the painting.

Anyway, the photo below shows yesterday’s painting and today’s on my easel, so you can see the color differences.  Yesterday, the snow was nearly gone from the hillside and the sun was out.  Today, the light is very flat and grey, and everything’s under snow.

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