There’s no beating these winter blues! Carpenter Hill Road runs between US Rt 7 just south of the town of Bennington, up over a small mountain and then down into Pownal, Vermont. It is one of my favorite quick drives – I often head there when I go out to paint but not sure where else to go.
Along one section of the road, there are deep woods on both sides. The tall trees and their canopies produce very deep shade in the summer time. Even in winter, with the leaves off of the trees, the shadows on a sunny day are dark and deep. As I passed through this section yesterday and approached the end of the woods, deep blue shadows were cast across the road and the trunks of the trees very very dark – some of them almost black. Just enough filtered sunlight came through and dappled both the snow on the ground and the trunks of the trees. Too much to pass up!
The difficulty with a painting like this is that the value range is about as wide as it can be with stark whites and very dark, darks. One trick is to let one or the other dominate. In this painting, the darks that dominate while some of the area that was pure white snow in the actual scene, were toned down with blue shadows. To provide some relief from the heavy darks, the mid-value color – mostly the blue shadows in this painting – are allowed to be fairly high in intensity.