Tag Archives: snow

Let’s Paint a Winter Storm at Night!

The Chicago area has been hit by two significant snow storms since winter started. I love snow. Not only is it soothing to watch as it descends, but it dresses the winter trees in their formal attire. How beautiful. Each and every one dazzles.

So, let’s paint a winter tree during an enchanted nighttime snow storm!

I do not have a reference photo but the technique will work with any deciduous winter tree.

Step1_Winterstorm

Step 1: Draw your tree on a 140lb coldpress watercolor paper with a pencil. My paper size is 6×9. The focal point is the tree itself so in the composition law of thirds, I wanted the tree to fill 2/3 of the paper.

Step2_Winterstorm

Step 2: Using masking fluid, paint where the snow would land on the branches. I covered the tops of almost every branch. Let completely dry. If you do not wait until it is completely dry, you will ruin your brush. You can make sure it is dry by lightly touching it after about 10 minutes.

Step3_Winterstorm

Step 3: We are going to paint the sky wet on wet. Using a 1″ flat brush with clean water, wet the paper in the area of the sky and the tree. Brush right over the dried masking fluid. Make sure you do not skip around and leave dry spots. When the shine on the paper disappears, paint ultramarine blue on top and bottom of sky and mauve in the middle. Let the colors blend and touch. You’re literally laying down a few brush strokes and stepping away. Do not over work this.
While the paper is still wet, sprinkle a little bit of sea salt on the paper and let completely dry. When dry tilt your paper and discard the salt.

Step4_Winterstorm

Step 4: Paint the tree starting at the bottom and work your way up. I used a medium round brush. If you look at the base of the tree I started with a mixture of sepia and ultramarine. As I work my way up, I added mauve to that sepia/ultramarine mixture, then viridian green, lastly at the top alizarin crimson.
Using a small round brush, paint in smaller branches repeating the colors we already used.

Step5_Winterstorm

Step 5: Rub the masking fluid off with your finger. Paint shadows under the tree using the same sky color on top.

Step6_Winterstorm

Step 6 Final: Using a small round brush paint a light mixture (meaning less pigment and more water) of prussian blue where the snow touches the branches, making a fine line. This is the shadow color of the snow on the tree.
When everything is dry, take a #3 black micron pen and draw tiny branches/twigs coming from the small branches. Outline the trunk and main branches of the tree to make it stand out.

I hope you enjoyed this free step-by-step demonstration of how to paint a nighttime winter snowstorm.

If you would like to purchase a greeting card ($4.95) or archival print click below. Thank you!
Art Prints

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Merry Christmas Pine – Free Artwork

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Winter Music

An overnight storm blankets the earth and covers each bough, each twig,
But midday sun breaks snow’s grip.
As dollops of ice and snow slide off,
Lower branches become chords to this tree harp.
Various high pitched chimes ring in the frosty air.
I let the crystal notes swirl.
I am pine’s biggest fan.

Christmas_Card

As a Christmas Gift to you, I am offering this artwork.
It has the words “Merry Christmas” and “John 3:16” so that we can keep our minds focused on the real meaning of the season: For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Your sins has been bought at a high price. May the free gift of Jesus’ sacrifice be your salvation and peace forever more.

Click here for a full resolution .PDF of Merry Christmas Pine

The link is a 5.5×7″  .PDF file that is around 12MB. You can print it on card stock to make cards.

If you would like a .JPG file (7MB) so that you can send it to Walgreen’s and have them make cards, click here for a full resolution .JPG of Merry Christmas Pine.

Another screen will open, right click on the picture and select: “Save Image As”, then save it in your computer.

Have a beautiful and safe Holiday Season, Friends!

Melting Snow at Crabapple Lake Watercolor

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Crabapple Lake
Morton Arboretum
Lisle, IL

The midday sun did its best to melt the snow,
But only the hilltops relented, exposing green of grass.

Did remaining snow call in clouds for help?

Thaw on pause…
For now.

The day before Thanksgiving my workplace closed early, giving me the opportunity to steal some sketch time. I’m taking it. It’s rare. Sitting in the car looking at this gorgeous view, I had to capture this very moment before it is lost forever.

With the radio off and the precious silence of nature, I have to fight down worry creeping in the back of my mind. My home is host to out of town relatives and tomorrow is a big day with big duties, entertaining, and commotion. I have to literally quiet my mind to be able to paint. It’s a tug of war honestly and I wonder if that is why many people feel so uncomfortable with silence….it forces you to deal with the problems in your head. Silence demands attention.

Worry demands attention too. But what is worry?

This morning on the way to work, I was listening to an interview with Steve DeWitt (Pastor of several churches in Indiana) on anxiety. He said that when his child was a baby, she had a specific pattern when she was upset. First, she would flail her arms, hit her leg, then let out a big cry. He would always tend to her needs whether it be change her diapers, feed her, or the like….then he said something really interesting… He had this tremendous urge to somehow let her know that all of her needs are already met. He had cases of diapers in the basement, food ready and waiting, warmth, clothing, available.

Then he posed this question: Are we like this with God? Do we flail our arms and work ourselves up?

God has supplied all of our needs already. He sent His Son to take our punishment and make a way for us. Once we repent and accept this, we become heirs of God. If you can take a step back for a second and contemplate what this means, it will fill your heart with abundant joy in the midst of struggle. You have eternity with God.

This world is hard. There is chaos, killing, and evil, as we’ve seen in the news recently. Free will is allowed so there are such things,  but look what Jesus said:

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Not only has He overcome the world, but He wants to meet your needs right now. As a child of God, you can go to Him for your needs and not worry.

“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”  Matt 6:26

What is worry? It’s a form of fear. Fear is:
False
Evidence
Appearing
Real
There are hundreds of verses in the bible lovingly telling us to “fear not”. So friends with that, hang in there, don’t give up. You are loved and will be taken care of. Fear not. Put your trust in Jesus, and you too can overcome. Reread this every time you need to remind yourself.

 

Frigid Sun Kissed Pines Watercolor Sketch

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16°F with a windchill of 2°F
Sunny
Windy

The sun paints pines with toasty colors,
But does nothing to the raw wind.
The steady wind numbs.
And pine needles shave the ice.

I love warm colors in the wintertime. You especially see it right before or during sunset… the sun casts yellow, orange, and pinks on white cold snow…or reds blazing on tree bark…yet it’s frigid out. The sun gives the illusion of warmth, but our skin knows better.

Snowy Winter Tree

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Snow covers and mutes evening.
Hush at dusk.
Just when colors awake.

Have you ever noticed that colors in the landscape come alive just before dark? Or how quiet it gets right after it snows? Oh the JOYS of winter! I never outgrew the magic of winter as a kid and I never want to either.

Last night I was delighted with all of the colors I could see in this winter tree, just outside my window. Popping out were vivid greens, warm reds, and touches of royal purple. Meditating on this gave me peace and filled me up. I had to preserve this moment forever with watercolors…and of course hot tea on the side.

If you would like an archival print or just a greeting card of this painting, you can click here:
Art Prints

I hope you can enjoy winter in your part of the world.