What Is the Value of Snow?

Capturing the blustery winter mood in pastel is as delicate and delightful as snowflakes themselves! Follow along with pastelist Liz Haywood-Sullivan in her instructional video, Landscape Painting in Pastel: Winter Mood, as she completes a winter landscape painting with light layers of pastel on a black paper surface.

“Do you have a favorite season? Mine is winter. Don’t you love the colors of shadow in the snow? However, winter has another side equally as evocative… Snow and storms and blizzards… and that’s what I’m going to be focusing on.” ~Liz Haywood-Sullivan

Paint a winter landscape from this photo

Photo reference of winter landscape.

Set the Composition with a Line Drawing

After reviewing her list of pastel materials and showing you how surface color affects every color you choose to put on top of it, Liz reviews the composition for this winter landscape painting. Then she “draws” the guidelines of the composition onto her black Canson Mi Teintes pastel paper.

Paint a winter landscape starting with a line drawing

Starting with a line drawing using a midtone gray pastel to set your composition on the surface.

Establishing Initial Values

Watch as Liz builds values from the background to the foreground with delicate shifts in value. Start in the sky and mountain area with gray hard pastels, and gradually build up the values to lighter, and whiter whites. Work with negative painting to fill in the spaces between trees.

Paint a winter landscape with delicate shifts in values.

Pay attention to the directional strokes of your pastels. Using vertical strokes for the sky, the side of the pastel for the mountains, and flat, horizontal strokes for the snowy fields.

Develop the Values

Watch as every additional, and delicate layer of pastel adds depth and dimension to the composition.

Paint snow in a winter landscape

Use cool, subtle blue pastels in the shadows to heighten the stormy effect of this landscape painting.

 

Add the Final Touches

To finish off the painting, Liz adds grasses, snowy buildup in the fields, and blowing snowflakes that give the feeling of walking right into this winter wonderland.

Paint this winter landscape painting in pastel

Delicate directional strokes with the tip of a hard pastel give the feeling of blowing snowflakes, putting you right into the scene.

After watching the preview of Landscape Painting in Pastel: Winter Mood, visit ArtistsNetwork.tv to stream the full painting demonstration and paint along with Liz!

 

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