The Weather Wimp Paints Snow

Snow on a Red Dirt Road, oil/canvas 9×7
Snow on a Red Dirt Road, oil on canvas, 9×7 inches

Twenty three degrees this morning, great light, no wind; can’t ask for more except an easel, warm coat and a funny hat. I set up at the end of the driveway and did a little painting of Ken and Wanda’s house with the snow melting off the roof, occasionally waving at churchgoers as they drove past craning their necks to see what fresh madness this might be.

I’ve been inspired lately, by Jim Coe’s beautiful plein air landscapes and his webpage all about the process of painting on location. Another artist just recommended to me is Tom Thomson, a Canadian plein air painter with a vivid color sense (I just ordered a book of his tree paintings) whose work you can see here. Another shot of inspiration came from an artist who recently commented on this blog- check out her lovely seascapes. Kevin MacPherson being my latest painting guru, I worked with his limited palette (Alizarin crimson, Ultramarine blue, Cadmium yellow pale, Titanium white and a wholly unused glob of Emerald green which was my substitute for his Winsor green which I don’t have and is probably a better color. It sat on my palette like a dead caterpillar). My rationale for switching to oil today was that I guessed acrylic would freeze in this weather. I liked the oil this time around: much less cussing than usual. Oh, and by the time I finished this piece, the snow had melted off the roof entirely. Timing is everything.

4 thoughts on “The Weather Wimp Paints Snow

  1. chris says:

    You are certainly no weather whimp ! The light would need to be exceptional to get me weilding my brushes plein air in 23 degrees. The result is lively and fresh ! Well done. With regard to limited palettes a friend bought me an introductory set of water soluable oil paints to try out and I rediscovered the joys of mixing red and green to achieve some interesting tertiaries. I thoroughly recommend Winsor and Newton’s Artisan range of water soluable oil paints. I’m not sure whether you can get these in the States. You may be amused to learn that I use Golden acrylics, which are readily available in England – hurrah for commerce !

  2. zeladoniac says:

    Shivering is one way to keep your brushwork lively:-) Golden acrylic is my favorite brand for most of my painting. I’ve never tried water soluable oil but I’ll keep my eyes open for it. At 23 degrees, though, even the regular oil paint was a little stiff. By the way, I still have gallons of the Golden left over from painting the Elasmosaur, enough to keep me in color for a few years yet.

  3. Janet says:

    Grumbacher offers a water soluble oil paint called Max but they’re kind of “grainy,” I don’t really care for them. I see, though, that Dick Blick offers the Winsor & Newton Artisan Water Mixable Oil paints. They’re worth a try!

  4. wrjones says:

    If you have a sporting goods store (or you can probably find on the net) there are small hand/feet warming bags available. They stay warm for a few hours. You can keep one in a pocket to warm your hands and on really cold days put one under your hat.

    Before you buy water miscible oils be aware that if it rains you are out of luck. I used to use these until painting in Colorado with a large group. I was the only one using them and it rained every day. All the others painted in the rain with no problems using regular oils. I could not paint at all as the paint would run until my canvas was clean.

    Like the painting. When are you going to paint some birds?

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