Horses in the Snow — the finished painting

Horses in the Snow

For some reason, I couldn’t access my blog until now, so a gap of about 10 days. Something seems to have changed in the format and probably I missed the update. However having taken advice, I have tried something different, and bingo, it seems to work

As you can see, I have finished the painting. I quite like it. The pallette was limited which I like. I used transparent brown with violet blend for the dark horses and cobalt blue with vermillion, which made a sort of pinky brown for the pale ones. The same mix only verging towards grey, worked well for shadows on the snow

The snow on the horses’ backs wasn’t so easy. I used the same blue mix with white gouache stroked across the backs of the horses. I am looking at the original now, and I think it looks convincing. I shall be taking the painting down soon, as I shall soon need the easel for something else

An interesting development this week. It would appear that some exhibitions are starting up again, after some months of lockdown. I have been invited to take part in an exhibition over the Christmas period to be held at Denbies Art Gallery near Dorking. Denbies is a well known wine estate with probaly the largest vineyard in the UK. They also have their own art gallery there. I’ve not shown there before so am quite looking forward to it

I shall need to do some pieces specially for it, and will no doubt show them here as I do them

Cat in the Snow

The cat in the snow

This was pure self-indulgence for me. I needed a break from more involved paintings. No planning with this one needed. Just do it, and do it quickly.

The subject appealed to me, as it was so amusing. I don’t usually paint cats. This one was simple as only half a face and no legs to paint. Eyes I had to be careful with and look up how to do them. The white spot on the eye should be more pronounced, but not too bad.

I can’t offer this painting for sale as I copied a photograph, and can’t trace the photographer, so this one is for internal consumption only. Still, nothing wrong with that

Preparing the Winter Street Scene

Guildford High Street

This is the photograph that I am going to use as a reference for my winter street scene. I may have already mentioned that I have been asked to do this by a national charity, to be used as a Christmas card for fund-raising, so rather thrilled to be involved.

I have already used this photograph to produce a hot weather painting, similar to what is already depicted. That worked well and sold recently from my web site. You can see it if you want in my gallery. I now have to transform it completely, and all I can use is imagination, which for me, is never easy.

I have to add snow. Well, that is ok. I have done that many times, and that is fun, so I will enjoy doing that. I now have to imagine everyone in warm weather gear. The weather here is warming up slowly, and people are starting to walk around in light clothing. Already I cannot remember what people look like in heavy coats and hats, so I have been looking at web sites of winter overcoats for women and men, as well as hats and boots

I did some sketches straight off the screen. They are very rough so I will have to ask you not to be too judgmental as they are just to use as a guide when I put figures into the painting. I may even change some of the figures altogether, although I think the three in the front centre work quite well

I am attaching, I hope, my squiggles on winter overcoat designs and winter hat styles.

This is as far as I have got at the moment, so will come back when I have something more to say, which will hopefully  be a first draft tonal sketch of the whole scene

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Sketches of Winter Coats for Women and Hats for men and Women

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Snow Painting: the Working Sketch

Snow Painting Sketch

This is my sketch, done fairly quickly, which, I think will give me some sense of direction. I need to use the photograph less now and my sketch more

The snow will be denoted by the paper that I shall leave white. There will be some masking out to be done, and as I don’t have a photographic reference for the snow, I shall have to be thorough in planning where the snow would lie. One thing that masking fluid is good for, is making a blobby line which does give the appearance of snow

I must remember to put snow on both sides of the roof. This is easily forgotten. I have certainly forgotten to show this on the drawing. Some will gather in the trough of the broach spire. Window ledges, tops of grave stones, buttresses, snow will cling to horizontal surfaces of these. The ground level must look uneven as snow piles up the wall of the church

I usually like to paint snow-covered buildings as though some slight thaw has taken place, so that the ridge-tiles and part of the roof show through. This makes a bit more interest and relief from all that white.

The church stands on high ground. I have exaggerated the gradient in the drawing, slightly, to increase the interest. Shadows, when I put them in, will tell the eye where the ground lies, and pick out the ups and downs. Also I have put a couple of houses in the background, which are dropped down behind the slope.

I usually put in some frozen looking bushes and dead-looking grasses, strategically, so that hopefully they will indicate that the ground slopes down towards us

So, plenty to do. Best get on.