Snowy & Colorful Landscape Painting
Around this time of year we are inundated with wintry scenes and beautiful snowy landscapes — on greeting cards, products, advertisements, calendars and more. But these winter landscapes aren’t necessarily all created equal.
The same goes for the fine art paintings of the same subject. One of the most important elements that separates works of quality from those that are less appealing often comes down to color schemes.
Nothing White About Winter
Landscape paintings of winter can get boring really fast. Why? Because artists sometimes make the big mistake of stopping at “white.” I put it in quotes because, as many of us know, it’s never really just white. Just like the darks in a painting, the lights or whites must be created through dynamic color mixing to grab a viewer’s attention.
A Winter Wunderkind
I remind myself that an artist should take every opportunity to mix colors and emphasize them. That’s especially true in a winter landscape where a blah whitewash effect is so easy to create. One artist that is worth considering when it comes to mixing colors for winter landscapes is the late nineteenth-century painter Lovell Birge Harrison. Just look at any one of his winter scenes.
You’ll immediately see incredible color usage. Shadows on snow are richly colored in blue and gray-violet, and the winter skies that can often seem one-dimensional are subtly prismatic. Harrison pulls in pinks and greens and yellows, but combines his colors so deftly that you really have to spend time looking closely to see all of the undertones. When he sets his colors to high he still makes them look as natural as, well, a glowing sunrise or muted sunset.
Colors of the Season
Mixing colors is all about pulling off our blinders. It is about looking closely at the subject before us. This is especially true when landscape painting in winter and any other season of the year. Right now with our Season of Savings Deal of 2 videos for $20 — including Landscape Painting in Pastel: Winter Mood — you’ll discover tons of landscape resources for color choices, mixing colors, and ways to improve your compositions in the landscape. Enjoy!