Painting a Snow Scene in Watercolour

Painting a Snow Scene in Watercolour

Hello, I’m Grahame Booth and
welcome to my studio. Today I’m going to paint
a snow scene I painted a snow scene for a local art
club and posted the results on facebook. There was l a lot of interest and so
i thought I would use the same subject to show you how I approach snow as
a subject. The original subject was
a normal landscape. We don’t get much snow in Northern Ireland. But I’ll just replace the grass with snow! I begin by mixing a grey using cobalt
blue, burnt sienna and viridian. Well maybe too much viridian I’ll try some more cobalt, burnt sienna and
alizarin crimson. It is important to apply the paint freely I like to vary the colour
as I paint the wash so that I get variations in the wash I continue down the paper with cobalt blue. Remember that snow is not white paper. It just needs to be lighter than anything
adjacent to it I add a little cadmium red to the sky to
increase the warmth I continue on down with cobalt and add a little more cadmium. To get more warmth into the snow
i add some raw sienna I repeat the sky wash as it has dried too
light against the snow I change to a small synthetic brush
and mix a dark from cobalt, burnt sienna and cadmium red, using
less water than before I will apply the paint with the side of the
brush to get a dragged drybrush effect I paint the dark ridge of trees at the top
of the distant hill. This helps to achieve a strong contrast
against the snow I use the same mix for the hedges between
the fields. Using the side of the brush gives a more
varied stroke I use a similar mix for the line of trees
and shrubs at the end of the field I ignore the foreground trees. Don’t
paint around them. Remember to vary the colour to achieve
variety. Use a grey and modify this
using reds, yellows or blues I use a swordliner with strong pigment to
create branches and twigs. Back to the synthetic size 10 brush and we go for some warmer tones I use this to create the dry grass at the
bottom of the foreground trees I follow this with a darker mix over only
part of the first wash. This is my medium tone and I follow
this with a dark tone of Ultramarine and burnt sienna I add some dark strokes to create variety
with the light and medium tones. A few warmer touches complete this section. Strokes of Cobalt are used to create the
undulations in the snow. The edges must be softened to create
soft edged shadows. To soften the edge. Rinse and squeeze the brush. The slight dampness is enough to
soften the edge without risking runbacks. The soft edges give a more natural
look to the snow. The top of the closer snow
banks are painted with water then cobalt is allowed to blend with
the water to create the soft edge. This is simply a variation on the first
method giving a graduated tonal change. This is repeated for the other snow banks. A similar traetment is given to the field. A strong mix of ultramarine and burnt
sienna creates the main trees. No variation is made at this time. The trees are simply painted with the
solid dark [music] When I decide I have enough branches I rinse and squeeze the brush and lift out light on
the side of the trees. Because the dark wash is still damp, The paint will lift off easily and with a soft edge to suggest the
cylinder shape of the tree. The same method allows me to make a branch
appear to cross over another I can also add stronger dark for variety. Using the synthetic brush with some
burnt sienna I make some fence posts and then lift off light as with the trees [music] The swordliner is used for the wire
between the posts. With a size six sable brush I indicate the
reflections in the water. The water must be darker
than than the snow. Or it will not be obvious as water I begin by painting the reflections of the
posts and trees [music] While the reflections are drying I will add some warm colour to the
light side of the trees. Remember that winter light is warm
because the sun is low. Again using the side of the brush
I create the dried grass in the foreground. Once again I use three tones –
light, medium and dark. Cobalt and cadmium red reflect the
sky colour. Shadows now with Ultramarine,
Cobalt and Brown Madder I use the shadow shapes to indicate
the curve of the snow bank. The shadows then reappear on the other
side of the water. All shadows must be completed without
overpainting. There are no shadows on shadows. Raw sienna again to warm up the snow
in the foreground. There is no white paper here at all. The snow reads as snow because it is
light not because it is white. Finally, a little figure in the distance. Begin with the body. Then add the head. A slight mistake in
body size will not be noticeable but starting with a head that is too big or
small – will cause a much greater size effect
on the body. The head is roughly one eighth or ninth
the body size. The shadow of the figure describes
the undulating snow. Because I used pure cadmium for the figure
I repeated this in other places. A little shadow on the
coat completes the figure I hope you enjoyed the demonstration. Please vist my website. There are more demonstrations a gallery and other items
of interest I’ll see you again soon [music]

99 thoughts on “Painting a Snow Scene in Watercolour

  1. To Graham Booth.
    Could you tell me which brush you are using to paint the lovely finer branches on your trees in the snows nene.
    I like the way you paint and use you brushes to make the shapes.
    Best wishes Beryl Rose
    [email protected]

  2. Just a note, your microphone from :10 to :44 has a very high pitched whine to it. The rest of the video seems fine. Perhaps the mic you used for the room shot, or just the boost on gain you had to do to pick up your voice from being so far away from it is causing the whine. It could also be something electronic in the room (Air conditioning, etc) that caused the whine.

    Informative video otherwise, just that high pitch noise was grating for 30 seconds of the first minute of your video, might make others turn away prematurely.

  3. Thanks so much for this lovely tutorial Grahame.  I really got a lot of information from your commentary as you painted.

  4. Beautiful! Amazing depth achieved with only a few colors. Well done instructional video. More please! Subscribing.

  5. Good but I wouid prefer the expression of "Thicker and not "richer" This is where people become lost and confused, e.g White wash, undercoat Gloss. This is more understandable Anyway O.K

  6. Good thing you have that high pitched feedback in the first 42 seconds. Lets people really concentrate on what you're saying.

    I do really like the end result.

  7. thanks for the tutorial but could
    you zoom out so we can see the whole scene when you paint I think it will make it more easier to understand

  8. Thank you so much for this demonstration, I've never colored snow before. I knew that snow isn't just white but didn't quite know how to color it. This helped me a lot thanks.

  9. Delightful and inspiring work but how on earth does one follow the colour mixing …a name here, another there, a quick swish round , add a bit more, add some warmth here which means adding this colour or is it that…and should it be watered down. End up in a daze. Yes I know the only way out is practice, …trial and error… perhaps one day it may dawn….what colour will that be I wonder….depends how warm one wants it ..and then how many different ways will there be of achieving it.  Thanks anyway!

  10. your camera was pointed to where you see the canvas like your looking down on it. it would help if I could see what you are doing straight on. loved the end result.

  11. I guess what I mean is from a front view that is capable of seeing the full canvas as if it were in front of the viewer. we see it from the top looking down on it and its hard to see what you are putting on the canvas and make sense of it. look at. Bob ross and Donna Dewberry. they go from an angle or straight up close view. I love what you are doing its really beautiful art work.

  12. I think I know what it is it's the angle of the paper. I rewatched the last three I had seen and I noticed that your paper is on your architect table at an angle. I can follow it knowing I have to put my paper at the same angle when I paint with you. it confused me because my brain was not registering the table as being tilted up. I enjoy watching you because your good at teaching watercolour paintings. thank you for having this program

  13. Again I loved this detailed and informative video tutorial. I felt the showing of the mixing of the colours in the palette really gave a good insight into colour mixing, and it was interesting to see what I felt was a similar tonal range developing across the work as a whole, giving a lovely balance to the final work. it was also interesting to read another comment about painting snow in different colours and this gave a vibrancy to the piece. Thank you for sharing.

  14. من عشاق نقاشی ابرنگ هستم نقاشی آبرنگ مثل قایقی میمونه که اب ازادانه اون رو حرکت میده

  15. As always, I enjoy your work and your clear instruction of what you are doing and why.  I look forward to learning from you in your workshops this year.

  16. Many thanks for your very interesting demonstration .i appreciate a lot to be able to notice the colors ,you were using . Marvellous painting

  17. warm colour to the bright ? Mistake. The basic principle painting: warm shadows and cold light. Oil painting: warm, glaze shadows, cold impasto light.

  18. Great and amazing project!! Thanks a lot for your step by step. Kind regards. PD: I just have subscribed to your channel. Have a nice week.

  19. Very instructive Grahame,love your colours,will try something like this for my Christmas cards,first of all I thought the figure was to be a Robin!! Thank you for the tuition.

  20. great information given while you painted! I loved seeing how you mix also! really helped me understand how you mix and how you reuse and add to your colors!
    Thank you

  21. Πολύ όμορφη η δουλειά σου και η γκάμα των χρωμάτων σου

  22. Love your music,Bach is one of my favorites. You are a very good teacher. I will try to paint with water color.

  23. Thx for doing all of your videos. I appreciate the hard work and free sharing of tips and info! Can you give the name/brand of the palette? Very cool model! Thx.

  24. This video was so wonderful! Thank you for such a thorough explanation along with your beautiful visuals!

  25. marvelous!……you paint with such confidence and spontaneity… lovely!…and the commentary helps so much…thank you..

  26. Mr. Booth, not only are your paintings absolutely amazing, you're videography is second to none.
    What kind of paper do you use?

  27. WOW! Graham, I love yourwatercolor instruction and painting style. The detail you provide about your color mixing, brush work, and capturing the feeling of the scene is the best I have seen after viewing many demonstrations! Thank you!

  28. Kevin Barry Jan 19 2018
    Excellent demonstration. Each step in the process clearly explained as it is done. Shows the beauty that can be achieved by a small number of colours and their variation by both hue and value throughout the painting. I found the creation of the small pond – laying down the reflections first and when they were dry, glazing over them to suggest the surface of the water. Thank you Grahame!

  29. you need some snow? we are getting approx. 20 cm tomorrow into Saturday. LOL everytime I watch this I learn something more. thank you for this truly instructional video. love your technique you make the paint come alive.

  30. Captivating Grahame, thank you so much.  My husband and I watched in awe as this stunning watercolour came to life.

  31. Where can I get that palette, case and paint, that you are using in this video? Also, does it make a difference that your painting at an angle? Thank you for the demonstration on the snow. That helps me to figure out how to make it look like snow in water color. Easy to do in Acrylics, not so easy in water color.

  32. Absolutely breathtaking. Love your instruction and the way you mix your colors. You are truly a master. Thank you for sharing your talents with us..

  33. i noticed that you cross contaminate colors on the palette. how do you keep your colors from getting muddy on your palette after you finish a painting?

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