Painting winter trees, mist, frost, stream in landscape - Amber Valley, Derbyshire

"Rising Mist", Amber Valley, Derbyshire.
Oil. Alistair Butt © 2007.

A short walk on a very cold frosty day allowed me to come across this view of the river as it winds it way down the Amber Valley in Derbyshire. A wonderful combination of the low winter sun and mist transformed this view in something a little bit different. What really attracted me was the way the light passes through the mist as it enveloped the trees along the river banks and then ended in a pool of sunlight on the water surface.

Not the quickest of oil paintings to produce, not in painting time, but just waiting for sections to be dry enough to then over paint. After a quick under painting to establish the main areas, the background for this painting, in this case the far bank of trees on the right, were painted first before progressing left to complete the bank of trees above the skyline.

The sky from white to pale yellow, which doesn't show to well on the above picture, was then painted around all the branches and twigs. Moving down the areas of mist was then painted along with some details for the left hand bank.

To allow some time for the above to dry, the foreground had some additional mid tone painting done, the water with mist and reflections were completed before adding some mid tone work to the right hand bank.

The background was just dry enough for the three main foreground trees to be painted and these were a joy to paint, the left hand one of the three has some mist being caught by sunlight on either side of it.

Having completed all the darker foreground trees, along with their branches, the foreground could be completed. This entailed painting (adding detail) the left foreground bank vegetation which was covered by frost, repeated in areas on the right hand bank, followed by more branches and vegetation on this bank where sections were catching some light.