Icy Trees

We’re in the middle of our annual January thaw here in Nova Scotia. It was plus 12 yesterday and plus 14 today. And, there’s almost no snow left. It seemed like a good time to paint an icy winter scene.

When I took the reference photo, several people suggested turning it into a watercolour. I thought it would look great but had no idea how to approach it. There was a lot of sea mist which had frozen on the trees and very little colour. A year later and a little wiser, it was time to try it.

My palette was indigo with a touch of ultramarine for the open water and a cerulean blue wash for the sky.

Variations in the landscape were achieved with a mixture of dry brushing, wet-on-wet, scratching, lifting off, and controlled blooms. I managed to reserve a lot of the snowy spots without resorting to masking fluid.

Using mostly one colour helped the focus stay on technique rather than colour mixing. Overall, it turned out better than I expected.

Looking forward to the torrential rains in the forecast for tomorrow. Not really, but maybe I’ll try raindrops next.

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