So, what’s the big deal about painting snow?

Finished at last

It took immensely longer than necessary to finish this painting because…snow. I did three different versions of the snow and the light falling on it before I finally hit on this one. I had scoured the internet looking for photos of light at night that would work with this particular house and was having zero success. So why didn’t I just go back to the cottage after the foot and a half of snow had fallen this month and take some more photos? 1) It was closed up for winter, and 2) even if it hadn’t been, I had no desire to stand around in near zero degree weather waiting for just the right moment. I already had good photos of the house with snow on the ground, I just didn’t have any kind of dramatic lighting.

This painting was cobbled together from a full daylight photo, night photos with lights on  taken in summer from a boat on the lake, and dusk photos taken also with the lights on. While these photos worked for the lit windows (I had to cut them from one photo and paste them into another in Photoshop) there was no dramatic reflective or emanating light because what was coming from the windows just wasn’t intense enough. It was up to me to make something up.

At my wit’s end, I mentioned my predicament to a friend. She is a realtor, and just by chance she thought she had the perfect photo of a lit up house and snow right on her phone. It turned out she was right. It had just the right light-to-dark perspective and sequence, although not the color. I didn’t care about the color, I already knew what I was going to use. Just needed a road map to lay it down properly.

So, the last of the four cottage paintings is complete, my client is ecstatic, and I am too.

About Alli Farkas

Equine and landscape artist specializing in rural Americana
This entry was posted in art, landscape, light, oil paintings, painting techniques and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to So, what’s the big deal about painting snow?

  1. Clover says:

    Yay! It is beautiful, Alli! Hooray for handy realtor friends!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Alli Farkas says:

      Yep! Who would have bet on the likelihood of that?! I was just casually chatting about life in general at the time—looking for a solution was not on the radar and it just dropped in my lap.


  2. anne leueen says:

    Nice! Thanks for letting us in on the process as well. Very interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Emma Cownie says:

    Well done! The yellow of the light from the house is a wonderful contrast to the blue shadows.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Alli Farkas says:

      I had a really hard time deciding just how much yellow light I was going to allow into this picture! One of my issues was how much it would flow over the white snow and I had to finally decide “not so much” because it just wasn’t looking right. So I think I got the balance right, but I needed that photograph to do it!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. kam carroll says:

    Each painting is so wonderful, but I must say– I love this last winter scene so much. You are truly amazing. this one is my husbands favorite ! thank you again , again and again. We love them all.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wonderful end results with the snow. Welcoming – who wouldn’t want to go in!?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hansi says:

    Nice work. Glad to see ya still painting.

    Liked by 1 person

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