Wednesday, December 16, 2015

A snowy road

I wanted a snowy local scene for my Christmas card this year, and I've had this photo for years but not been sure how to deal with all the detail in it. Containing it to a 5"x7" offered the obvious solution—eliminate all the detail. I spent a couple hours studying all my Emily Carr pictures—books, calendars, web sources—for a warm up. I don't think I found a single snow painting, but I have lots of Group of Seven snowy scenes for reference.

It took me a couple sessions to work up a prototype that was simple enough and had a nice balance of colors. I've always loved the swoopy form of the road in this photo, so that had to be the focus. I also had to invent the colors if I wanted anything besides gray and brownish gray.

Snowy Road
I worked up my favorite fir tree colors, added some deep blue and ochre to suggest afternoon shadows and highlights, substituted a blue-violet gray for the muddy parts, and accompanied that with pale yellow for some "pop" in the foreground.

No snow here yet, but that's fine, I can wait. It's really good to have the rain.

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