Step by step oil painting - oil painting of small stream with snow covered banks

Stage One:
Basic under painting with thin washes having been applied over the drawing which had dried over night - the drawing (the dark lines) was a thinned (with turps) mix of Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Sienna.

Stage Two:
Go over the whole painting now trying to establish more weight to each area - usually at this stage I'm looked at the darker tone or the colour of the darker tone of each element and placing that. While it cannot always be the rule the lighter elements will be painted over this darker base. Note that, even at this stage, some of the base lines still show through which helps with the placing of things. The alternative which I sometimes use is no line put work out the placement as I going along - in the end the choice is down to each artist and how they want/like to work.

Stage Three:
This stage I started to establish the far distant background trees before moving forward to the trees than line the bank of the stream. For the distant trees it was a case of painting the lighter snow cover branches over the under painting done in stage two.

For the foreground trees, first it was paint in the dark areas followed by the branches that were catching the sunlight - these were painted wet over wet. Additional dark elements were also added to the foreground banks.

Stage Four:
This stage was all about painting snow. A range of both warm (sunlit) to cool (shadow) colours were mixed and then in some cases it was paint the snow on each branch, some having both sunlit and shadows sections or the bigger areas of snow which had limps and bumps plus cast shadows.

When all the snow was painted, the darker dried grasses and other vegetation was painted plus if need some of the tree branches.

Detail from "Covered with soft snow", Nottinghamshire.
Oil. Alistair Butt © 2013 -
#AB 021350

Stage Five:
The final part to be painted was the stream. In this case a rather simple one compared to some. It was all done wet into wet, again working dark to light but most of it had been established already so it was really more mid to the lights that were being reflected on the water surface that need to be painted. The last bits to be added were the snow covered twigs etc that stick out over the stream from the right hand bank.