Painting The Winter Landscape In Watercolor
Sundays, December 13, 2020 – January 3, 2021 – 1 to 3 pm Eastern Time
The winter landscape is beautiful, dramatic and surprisingly colorful. We cover it all in this class!
January 3, 2021 – Winter Water
Winter streams are a challenge because they include variation in just about every way. As with many subjects, the key is in simplification and focusing on key elements and “symbols” that represent water flowing through a winter landscape.
It is important to show the difference between ice and moving water. The key visual difference is that water will be reflective, clearly “flat”, meaning horizontal, and dark in color and value. On the other hand, ice has, at most, a somewhat reflective sheen, lighter in color and value, and may not be completely flat. Getting these few things right in a painting is usually enough to create the representation of ‘winter water’.
Select a scene that has a stream flowing through a winter landscape. It can be a photo reference of your own or the photo below.
If you are using this photo, the layout is simple and easy to draw.
Email your pre-class work to me by Thursday evening and it will be included in the weekly critique that will be recorded on Friday. The recorded critique should be available Friday evening.
We’ll work together on a project based on the painting below. As you can see, the stream has still water that is quite reflective, along with areas of ice on top. We’ll work hard to represent this scene while simplifying some of the more complex elements.
This scene is a bit complex. A simplified drawing layout can be found the class info download.
December 27, 2020 – Drama In Light
The key to drama in any scene is in the contrasts. The winter landscape offers a lot of drama. The sun is low in the sky so there are long shadows nearly all day long. On sunny days, the rich, and fairly dark color in the shadows creates a strong contrast with the brightly lit snow. As you know from last weeks work, there is also drama in color contrasts between warm light and cool shade and shadow. We’ll work on both this week.
Try to re-create the drama of light in a winter scene. Work from a photo reference: one of your own, one you find online, or use the one below. Whatever you use as a reference, make sure it has strong value contrast between light and shadow areas – if need be, use a value scale to make sure there are at least two steps of value between the lit snow and the shadows.
If you are using this photo, the layout is simple and easy to draw. A simplified line layout is in the Week 3 Class Info Sheet.
Email your pre-class work to me by Thursday evening and it will be included in the weekly critique that will be recorded on Saturday morning. A link to the recording will be sent to you late on Friday.
We’ll work together on a project based on the painting below. It is often a challenge to get the value, color and chroma contrast we need in our winter landscape scenes. This project will help with all.
Again, the scene is simple and easy to draw by hand. To help, if needed, is a simplified line layout in the Week 3 Class Info Sheet.
December 20, 2020 – Winter Skies
This week we’ll focus on the winter sky. Winter skies are surprisingly colorful – they can be the source of the most color in a winter landscape painting. The sky in your landscape paintings – any season – should be light and airy. The wet-in-wet techniques is perfect for getting the transparency needed to show both.
Use the wet-in-wet technique to create a light, airy and colorful winter sky at sunrise or sunset. Find a photo of a winter scene with a color sky. It can be a photo of your own, one you find online or use the one in the Week 2 Class Info Download.
The transitions between colors in the sky are soft. The wet-in-wet technique is perfect for soft transitions.
Some of the warmer sky colors are reflecting in the snow. It will be tempting to include that color in the painting. Feel free to do so, but it is a good idea to minimize the amount of warmth in what is supposed to be snow in shadow.
Email your pre-class work to me by Thursday evening and it will be included in the weekly critique that will be recorded. A link to the recording will be sent to you late on Friday.
We’ll work together on a project based on the photo in the class info sheet. Photos are good for reference but can be unforgiving masters that push us to copy exactly and include every detail. In class we’ll talk about using photos as a jumping-off-point and how to free yourself from the impulse to duplicate.
Also, this photo has tire tracks and foot prints in the snow. I’ll do a quick demo on capturing these two elements that are so common in winter snow scenes.
Again, the scene is pretty simple and easy to draw. There is a simplified pencil layout on the last page.
December 13 , 2020 – Snow
Snow is soft and cool. Pretty simple! We’ll work on getting the right look this week.
Painting Techniques For The Winter Landscape
There are two important watercolor painting techniques you should be really good at no matter the subject.
January 3, 2021 – A Winter Theme
Questions About the Class?
About The Instructor
Tony Conner is an accomplished watercolorist and and experienced instructor. His energetic approach to teaching and enthusiasm for the watercolor medium are combined to create classes that are both fun and informative. He excels at providing information and insights to individual students – meeting them where they are and helping them get to where they want to go.
- Signature Member - New England Watercolor Society
- Signature Member - Vermont Watercolor Societies
- Artist Member - Salmagundi Club
- Artist Member - North Shore Arts Association
Tony works from his studio in Bennington, Vermont.