Monday, January 18, 2010

A little more about snow painting

I have posted this shot to let you see that their is no paint on my back, none. Well, there isn't very much anyway. Below is something that might interest you, those of you who read this blog know that Aldro Hibbard is a hero of mine. Below is pictured his paint box, which I have. It doesn't look like much and is certainly heavily used. It has a leather strap handle and little hooks to hold it closed. Other than that it is not too much different than a box you might buy today. I have looked in it very closely to see if there is any magic left inside. There didn't seem to be.

I will return to the tree painting theme again soon, but I wanted to take a break and mix things up.

I also wanted to throw out a couple of suggestions on snow painting.
  • Snow isn't white, learn to work with mixtures of another color that just slightly tints your white. Lay those mixtures over one another to get opalescence.
  • Imagine a string of those interconnected paper dolls that are cut out with a scissors from black construction paper and laid on to a white ground. That's how things work in a snowscape. The sky and the snow are the white background and everything else is a dark silhouetted in front of it.
  • Generally you will want to keep your lights warm and your shadows cool. This is most true on a sunny day.
  • Look for the structure in the snow and try to explain it. It is not just all one value. You will need to seize on the changes of the planes in the snow and exaggerate them to get them to read.
  • Don't divide the amount of snow and the amount of darks in half, let one be the dominant. Since it is a snowscape, usually that should be the snow.
  • Sometimes it works well to have the sky darker than the snow.


Philip Koch said...

I love your enthusiasm for snow painting. Truly snow just might be the most beautiful on the earth.

willek said...

I love seeing Aldro's paint box. It looks like it certainly did not owe him a thing. Looks like those handles are cut right off an old cloth carpet bag and nailed right on to the paint box. In the old Yankee tradition: Waste not want not... Eat it up, wear it out, ..make it do. Terrific!

Bob Carter said...

OK, Stape. There's got to be a great story behind how you ended up with Hibbard's paintbox. Are you really sure there's no magic in there?

Michael Chesley Johnson, Artist / Writer said...

Not one, but *two* cans of Moxie on that paintbox! Must have been a long painting session.

Looks like a really nice painting.

Gregory Becker said...

I want to see the painting on that easel. Great advice.

billspaintingmn said...

There's plenty of magic from this perspective. That brush is a wand!
Cool paint box, marvel!
Those are helpful "hints" about
snow painting that I will employ.
Thanks Stape!

Manatee Writers said...

The perfect post for a morning with a foot of fresh snow! I like the bulleted list, I'm going to print it for reference.

Robert J. Simone said...

Love the Hibbard box. Nice artifact. I also like what willek said about it.

Reminds me of a table we own which came out of Inness Manor in Tarpon Springs, Fl. Though there is no proof or knowledge whether the paint on it came from the old man or's almost as cool as your box.

Mary Bullock said...

I like the analogy of the interconnected paper dolls - that really made something click in my brain. But then again maybe it was just the voices in my head making noises again.

Susan McCullough said...

Aldro Hibbard is a hero of mine as well. The man could paint snow like no other. Take good care of that box.

Unknown said...

Just as snow isn't "white" either is sea foam, which presents the problem of trying to get depth and life into a blanket of whitish looking stuff.

You mentioned layers, and seeking opalescence, but it's a struggle, at least for me, dealing with the opaque quality of white paint.

I've been trying to get there using Liquin and glazing.

Do you find a similarity between the problems of blankets of sea foam and blankets of snow?

Are the solutions similar?

Gary Keimig said...

interesting instructional blog. Thanks for posting. I too have had a blast with winter painting. Was with an artist friend of mine trying to work in watercolors. He had a devil of a time with them.

Deborah Paris said...

Love the paint box. There is definitely magic there.

Stapleton Kearns said...

I think that winter is by far the best time to paint outside.

Stapleton Kearns said...

I think the handles are original.They were put on with brass rivets and there is no evidence that any other handles were ever on there. Whether taken from a Gladstone or not......

Stapleton Kearns said...

There is a story, but I am not at liberty to discuss it.There was no magic left that I could see.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Two cans was about right for the session.

Stapleton Kearns said...

I don't know,maybe.

Stapleton Kearns said...

You are welcome, I hope to come up with a few more tonight,

Stapleton Kearns said...

Thanks , everybody seems to like bulleted lists, I will do more.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Someday I would like to see that table.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Thank you.Its is funny how an analogy can make things understandable sometimes.

Stapleton Kearns said...

He was the guy when the subject was snow. I think he is way underrated.

Stapleton Kearns said...

I think that painting foam on the ocean and painting snow are mostly the same . I do seascapes too, I don't claim to be expert at it though. Sometimes I win.

Stapleton Kearns said...

I have heard of people using alcohol and other means to work in water based media outside in the winter.

Stapleton Kearns said...

I shook it out over my head and I am no smarter therefore, no magic.

James Gunter said...

LOL! Is that how you do it? I should have tried that with my textbooks in school!

Thanks again for the information about snow painting and tree painting. These posts are really helpful.