Wednesday, 14 October 2015


I think there is a common idea among artists that winter paintings don't sell. This subject came up in a conversation with a very prolific painter who makes an enviable income with his work. He categorically stated "winter paintings don't sell": He went on to list only two snowy paintings that had sold in the last year, one of a skier and one of snow laden pine trees. I remember that last year another artist I admire told me she had trouble selling her wintery works. On the other hand another artist friend has one winter view of a snow laden tree that she's painted and sold several versions of. This particular painting speaks to people and I love it too. On examination it also embodies the tips I mention below that I discovered by studying my sold winter scenes.

LAST RUN 5" x 7"

We live in an area famous for it's powder skiing and also famous for beautiful winter scenery, so it is very tempting to paint some of those beautiful pristine views covered in snow. With winter coming, I decided to check my snowy sales.

I discovered that I had made sales and there was a common thread to the paintings. I look at hundreds of paintings every day on the internet and at exhibitions and the common theme I see in most winter paintings are cool colours, especially ultramarine blue, purple and titanium white. Another trait I see is lack of energy or dynamism. In the sold paintings here they have a quite different feel. WINTER BARN is at least 50% warm colours. LAST RUN is deep dynamic texture enhanced with gold and ocher light. MOUNT ALBERT EDWARD is again close to 50% warm blue and green with a very dramatic composition. MOUNT WASHINGTON is almost all warm tones, again with a dramatic style.

So perhaps the secret is not to be too literal with the cool shadows and skies and to emphasize energy with dramatic accents and compositions. I think this is good practice for any painting but it is particularly important if you want to paint a winter scene. Check below for more wintery paintings that are available.

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