Master a Winter Landscape with this Oil Painting Lesson – Feel the Chill of the Season!

Hello, my dear followers! 

Well, the winter has come. And I would like to dedicate today`s painting to the beauty of the winter landscapes.

Today we will have:

  • an unusual composition,
  • an interesting combination of colors and winter landscape (red and blue),
  • not a stale plot,
  • and of course the effective oil painting techniques.

So we will paint the quite, calm and beautiful winter landscape. And maybe I would like to call «the first winter day» according to the date of its painting. 🙂

You should be ready to the fact that the technique and the composition will not be very simple.

You can find more information about this oil painting technique used in one of the previous art lessons «The spring thunderstorm» or «The peony master class».

Briefly about the features of the oil painting technique:
1. We do not use the paint thinner.
2. All the paints are mixed with the linseed oil.
3. We paint only with a palette knife. The palette knives of different shape and size can be used during the work.

So let`s start our winter landscape painting lesson.

You will need the following materials for this oil painting class:

  • the oil paints
  • Titanium White;
  • Phthalocyanine Blue;
  • Cobalt Violet Deep;
  • Cadmium Red
  • Mars Brown Deep
  • Cadmium Orange
  • Lake Pigment Red strong
  • Madder Lake Violet
  • a canvas (30х40 cm)
  • a palette knife (it is better to have several palette knives: one of them – with a pointed tip «small lozenge»)
  • the linseed oil
  • a cloth and the napkins for cleaning the palette knife.

Let`s start our landscape oil painting lesson.

1. It is a good idea to paint the canvas in some neutral color, for example as I have done: the canvas is preliminary (an hour before the work) primed with a rare mix of Naples Yellow and Mars Brown with the help of a big flat paint brush (you can also use the blue and the brown).

2. Draw a sketch. You can do it with the oil paint using a thin brush. Or if the canvas is dry, you can use a pencil. At the same time you should remember about the composition as always.

3. Apply the paints on the palette. You will need a lot of White which should be preliminary well mixed with the linseed oil. It is not necessary to mix the other paints with the linseed oil. Most of the paints will be mixed with the White which has been already mixed with the oil and it will help us achieve the desired consistency of the paints.

4. First, let`s paint the sky. It is quite pale on a cloudy day. Mix the White with a little Phthalocyanine Blue. Color the entire sky space on the canvas making the gentle brush strokes with the help of a palette knife. You do not need to achieve the ideal smooth color. Add more blue when you are painting closer to the skyline and make the color whiter, grayer and more transparent when you are painting higher. If a white smear has appeared on the bluish background – you have got the cloud.

5. Sketch out a small lake and the snow around it. Choose the mix of Mars Brown and Phthalocyanine Blue for the initial color of the lake. Apply the paint with the horizontal movements using a palette knife. Add more blue when you are close to the banks.

6. The snow lying on the banks should be painted with the White mixed with a bit of dark blue, brow, lake pigment red and madder lake violet. Naturally the snow is also painted with the horizontal brush strokes with a small tip near the water.

7. Let`s come over to the next stage of our landscape painting tutorial. Paint the house on the lakeshore. The basis for the roof of the house will be the mix of:
more Cadmium Red + Mars Brown + a bit of White.
The basic color for the house: Mars Brown + a little Cadmium Red and Cadmium Orange (the vertical brush strokes).

I have specially made the red-tiled roof in order to make the house look more interesting. 

Cover the whole plane of the roof with the smooth layer of the matching paints so that the palette knife strokes are almost invisible (smooth the paint). Then add some shades of colors on the roof: a little orange with red – on the top and the darker smears – underneath. Afterwards, «cut out» the semicircular outlines of the tiles with the tip of a palette knife.

You should also add some shades of colors to the house. Add the darker colors under the roof using more pure Mars Brown. Also highlight the corners of the wooden house with the paint making the short horizontal brush strokes.

Let`s come over to the next stage of our free oil painting lesson – drawing the windows. Carefully remove some of the paint in the places where the windows should be painted. Apply the mix of White and Mars Brown with the gentle movements. Then show the window frame with the brown paint using the rib of a palette knife.

Show the door with the brush stroke of the Mars Brown and the door hood with the help of the colors and the techniques used when painting the roof.

8. The reflection of the house in the water is one of the most beautiful moments in this work. Apply the gentle vertical brush strokes of the Cadmium Red, a little White and the Mars Brown on the dark surface of the water. Also mark the reflection of the window in the calm water.

Show the islands of the snow lying on the water with the horizontal brush strokes of the White mixed with the brown. Outline their slightly visible reflections under the islands of snow.

9. Let`s come over to the next stage of our free art lesson – painting the trees, grass and the bushes. You should paint these objects quite abstract. Use the different mixed and the different proportions of warm paints (brown, red and orange). The rib of a palette knife is extremely suitable for painting the thin stems. The neat brushstrokes are made due to the gentle touch of the rip of a palette knife. Form the shapes resembling the trees, shrubs and reeds with these brushstrokes.

10. Then let`s come over to the most interesting stage of our online painting course — painting the leaves of the bullis vine. It feels as if we are observing the picture through these leaves. Use the following paints for the leaves: Lake Pigment Red strong + Cadmium Red+ Cadmium Orange+ a bit of Mars Brown + a little White.

Cover the previously outlined shape of the leaves with different mixes of the abovementioned paints making quite dense layer.

You should slightly press the palette knife with the paint against the canvas and apply the paint slightly touching the canvas (as if you are spreading the butter on the bread), thus the paint will be applied with the pastous (thick) and even layer. :))

How to paint winter landscape with oil paint
How to paint winter landscape with oil paint

Then you should get the beautiful structure of the leaves. It is easy to create moving the rip of a sharp lozenge -shaped palette knife from the center to the edges of the leaf. Thus you slightly cut through the even layer of the paint and show the fibers on the leaves of the bullis vine.

And now we come over to the last stage of our art lesson. You should outline a few dry twigs and the berries of the bullis vine left for the winter. Outline the twigs with the rib of a palette knife dipped into the Mars Brown. Sketch out the berries with the Cobalt Violet using the rounded tip of a palette knife.

11. Draw the snow over the most of the objects. Do this with the white mixed with the blue with the help of a palette knife making very gentle movements.

The oil painting lesson video explains how to correct the mistakes, remove the excess of the paint and improve the shape of the objects. I hope you have liked this lesson and you also will paint your own winter landscape.
And the oil painting video tutorial completed with the text explanations will help you do this quickly and with the great pleasure!

I wish all of you good luck and new success in your creative work!
Share your impressions in the comments. Paint the pictures together with us.





2 responses to “Master a Winter Landscape with this Oil Painting Lesson – Feel the Chill of the Season!”

  1. Sophie Avatar

    What inspired you to paint this winter landscape?

    1. admin Avatar

      I was inspired by the beauty of winter landscapes. The chill of the season and the serene atmosphere captivated me, and I wanted to capture it on canvas.