Please critique. I am not done with the tree. What brush would I use for twigs? Not sure about the color of the trees in the background. Thank you.

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Hi Pam,

A lovely winter scene. Nice job. I like the composition. It is well set up with the treeline above the center - so it doesn't split the painting in half. Also the group of trees and the grouping of the barn, trees and silo are placed on 1/3 lines - that old tic tac toe I talk about a lot. You have the stream leading us into the painting. The angles on the tree branches also leading us into the painting  and creating a path for the eye. Nice job!

If you used a reference photo, please feel free to post that as well.

I think the trees in the background are fine! You might want to think about your values a little here. The stream is as dark in the distance as it is in the foreground. Remember the way we show distance is by shifting the color and value as you move into the distance. So the water will gradually get lighter and more neutral in color as you move into the distance. It will get closer to the value of the snow and all the edges will be soft and blended in the distance. Same with that line where the trees in the background meet the snow. You will want to darken the snow there and blend that line out so it isn't so strong.

Now lets talk about light and shadow. You have a very strong shadow on the ground under the trees. Indicating a fairly strong light low and to the left. That being the case I would expect to see light and shadow sides of the barn, silo and trees in the mid ground as well.

Don't forget that a photo will turn your shadows into a dull dark color. Shadows in snow are especially colorful. The snow reflects the color of the sky and anything around it. You have some lovely shadow color in the snow itself, but then have switched to the dark brown color for the tree shadow.

As far as the branches, a long thin liner brush works well. Thin your paint with a little water so that it will flow nicely. Remember - as branches get thinner you will want to use a lighter color. And don't forget to go right off the canvas at the top, you don't want to stop at the edge.

Hope all that helps! Thanks for sharing Pam!

Thanks so much. I will be working on it again in April. I agree with everything. I will send you the changes once completed.
The reference photo is not very clear.


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