|Number 78 of my 100 Starts project|
Over the weekend we got our first snowfall here in Raleigh, and this morning the sun was shining after two solid days of snow and rain. The light and shadows were so striking when I looked out my studio window that I wanted to paint a scene for today’s Start. I was able to paint from the comfort of my studio, but that certainly didn’t make it an easy endeavor! The morning light changed so quickly that by the time I got the basic shapes drawn on the panel the shadows had already moved. This was not the day to premix color value lines on my palette, lol.
The light on the snow had a warm glow to it from the sun, and what I liked most about this scene was that contrast between the glowing snow and the cool shadows full of light reflected from the blue sky. One of the most difficult things about making this study was that as I looked out the window, the light coming in basically put my easel in shadow. I wasn’t able to judge the colors going on the panel very well, and they’re almost all too dark. Another thing I’d improve about the colors would be to make the blue shadow shape at the top of the panel lighter to indicate that it’s further away than the shadow shape at the bottom.
The brown shape on the right has me thinking about composition…it’s a section of oak branches that still has its red-brown leaves and it sits on the picture plane in the extreme foreground. That sort of overlapping is interesting to me in photos, but with a painting it’s so confusing. It’s something I first encountered when I did a plein air painting but at that time I simply eliminated the foreground branches from my composition. That sense of depth will be an interesting thing to continue studying!
It’s not really possible for the viewer to tell what the subject is on this Start. But since I had the experience of looking at the scene and blocking it in, it formed a memory in my mind and I’m guessing I’ll always be able to look at it — even far into the future — and recall the experience of studying it.
Now that I’m in the home stretch I wanted to start posting these daily. The previous studies can be found here.