Sunday, February 03, 2008

"Hammond Ranch Oak In The Snow"



(Bid On This Painting)
This will take you over to eBay

It’s still snowing.

What a treat. The snow is still coming down and I’m amazed at how this ranch changes from moment to moment. Along with the beautiful scenery, there is a sense of calm when the snow falls. It is an experience that can truly change your life. This painting is a view from The Grand View Ranch. There are hundreds of views like this that surround us every day. The only trouble I have is choosing which one to paint!

This Blog is a conversation between us. The reason that I started one is I believe that artists need a place to be inspired and have questions about art answered.

This week I received some questions about painting snow. Painting snow is an exercise in painting light to dark values. To see values, students must practice squinting until it becomes second nature. Never doubt what you see when you squint at the subject. Choose to be bold rather than timid with values. Don’t hold back at the first stage of lying in your painting. Place in the values first before shapes. Work in simple value planes with no more than 4 to 5 value chunks. Dark values are important in a painting (even more than highlights) because they provide contrast and depth.

Highlights are rarely as bright as you think they are. It is better to leave them out than to over do them. If you are going to paint the highlight, only paint the highlight where you want the viewer to focus. Look for one highlight to dominate all others. If you paint highlights, especially on snow, don’t just use white alone. Look at what color the white really is remembering that in life, white has tints of red, yellow and blue combinations. Squint at the highlight, compare it to the main value, and then, check it against what is really white like your palette. Painting things too light or too dark happens when you don’t accept what you see when you squint. However, don’t squint at your painting as you are applying paint. Look normally when you are painting, and only squint at the subject.

I hope to offer more painting tips as this conversation continues.
If you have questions that you would like me to answer, please don’t hesitate to email me anytime.
I welcome your feedback. Stefan_Baumann@yahoo.com

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