Monday, February 22, 2010

Paint the snow

It's been a while since I updated last time. We've had a couple back to back snow storms in this area which dumped record-breaking amount of snow. Last Saturday I ventured out to Frederick County with my enthusiastic teacher, Lee Boynton, and one other brave soul, Elena, to paint the historic Loy's Station covered bridge and its surrounding areas.

I was apprehensive of painting the snow in this weather at first--it'll be a long day; it's cold; I'm not a very physically strong person; etc. But I found out that if I prepare well and know to take a short break when I feel fatigue, I can do it! Good preparation makes a full day's painting in the snow less daunting. That means have all my gears in order, dress warm, and take a hot drink, food and enough snacks. We also had a lunch break in a cozy restaurant that's actually called "Cozy"! I was prepared to eat lunch in the car but the change of plan made the day easier (bathroom break, anyone?).

Here are what I got:

Loy's Station covered bridge, 11 x 14
Painted this one in the morning.

Utica Park, 11 x 14
Painted this one in the afternoon. We had a little sun which helped.

What I learned from Lee that day: be direct and go right to the point. I usually start my painting with a rough drawing and refine it as I go. But he told me to put down an accurate drawing from the beginning and eliminate the vagueness. It saves time and shows that you know where you're heading. It doesn't mean you can't make minor changes later, but if the light changes drastically, that's another painting. For this painting, you have to make it clear from the get-go what you want. This is useful especially in plein air painting because we don't have a lot of time. So I tried this approach and liked it.


  1. I especially like the temperature shifts in the foreground of your afternoon painting. they're both nice!