Step by step oil painting demonstration
Painting a river and snow covered landscape in Oil.
A step-by-step demonstration.
Below is a demonstration of a snow covered landscape with river.

Please do not copy or reproduce (repost, put in blog etc) this demonstration for 'any' reason.
Copyright: Alistair Butt and third parties have reproduction rights.
Northamptonshire - Copyright - Alistair Butt plus other companies - reproduced here with written consent
Stage One:
The quick pencil sketch done on location. This shows light direction, has some colour notes and some alternative ideas for the shape of the painting.

These usually end up in the bin as I'll never paint the same painting again plus tey get covered in paint etc while in the studio.

Stage Two:
Having drawn up the image, again using a dark oil mix of Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Umber and turps so it would dry quickly, I applied a underlying wash using colours relating to each area.

This is an alternative to the usual all over colour wash usually applied as a base for oil paintings.

This underlying wash although thin, helps with the next stages and in places can be the final colour.
Stage Three:
Working on the far bank of the river, the background line of trees was painted first, starting with the dark colours before moving onto the mid toned colours on some of the evergreen trees. That area was left alone for a while I painted the snow covered bank, leaving position lines from the under painting for the main branches of the bushes alongside the river. Dark areas of the bushes, branches etc were established next.

Moving back to the background trees all the snow needed to be painted, rigger brushes came in handy here for all the small snow covered branches - some in sunlight while others in shadow. Next was the medium or slightly lighter tones colours of the branches and trucks of the trees, again using a number of rigger brushes.

To finish of this stage was to add more underlying colour into the water of the stream, using colours from the far bank of trees but slightly darkened.
Stage Four:
Painting the stream came next. Some of the base colours had already being placed so really it's adding the fine details. I prefer to paint, apart from any under painting, the water wet into wet as this gives a more fluid feel.

For brushes it's either or both of Rosemary & Co Series 303 'One Stroke' Golden Synthetic (in the smaller sizes) or Series 279 Masters Choice Long Flats. Both have a longer head length which for me helps with the fluid movement. Mostly it was picking up the colours from the background trees/snow back and placing them in the correct position using horizontal and vertical brush stroke.

Moving back to the trees the final element to paint was the snow on each branch, again using a rigger, bits of snow in shadow first then the snow in sunlight.
Stage Five:
To finish the painting the foreground bank vegetation alongside the water was painted followed by the shadows and then the sunlit snow.

This was painted thicker and blended in most places with the snow shadow colour to give a soft effect. Although still wet I risked adding the dried twigs and grasses in the foregound.

Alistair Butt and third parties have reproduction rights.
Further Oil painting step-by-step demonstrations
Copyright 2012 - Alistair Butt - click for oil demonstration
Copyright 2012 - Alistair Butt - click for oil demonstration
Copyright 2012 - Alistair Butt - click for oil demonstration