Inspire, Tuition

How to Paint a Winter Walk in Acrylic – Charles Evans

26th February 2024 Estimated reading time: 6 mins
From Paint & Create, the magazine of the SAA

Even though it’s March, there is still a chance of snow. Or so I am hoping, because I love the stuff. This is a scene showing a local track where I walk my dogs, Frank and Bert.

Materials used

  • Surface:
  • Canvas – 16 x 12-inch
  • Colours:
  • Daler-Rowney System 3:
    Cobalt Blue, Titanium White,
    Burnt Sienna, Raw Umber, Raw
    Sienna, Naples Yellow, Hooker’s
    Green and Payne’s Grey
  • Brushes:
  • Daler-Rowney Aquafine
    brushes: –
    Sizes: 1½ inch flat, ¾ inch flat,
    No 8. round and No. 4 rigger


Step 1:

Using a 1½ inch flat brush and a mixture of Cobalt Blue with the tiniest touch of Paynes Grey mixed in, put down big, broad strokes of colour for the sky. Add a little Titanium White to the sky as you come further down the canvas. Wash the brush out well and add some broad strokes of Titanium White across the central parts of the sky. Give this about 10 minutes to dry before doing an outline drawing. The important point to notice is that the path gets a lot narrower as it gets further away.




Step 2:

Using the ¾-inch brush, just slightly dampened, add a mixture of Hookers Green and a lot of Raw Sienna with the split brush for the Scots pine in the centre. This is followed by Naples
Yellow applied with the split brush onto the right-hand side of some of the clumps of foliage. Finally, with the rigger brush and a mixture of Raw Umber and a touch of Paynes Grey, paint a few straight lines to represent tree trunks. With the ¾-inch brush, split, stipple on Raw Sienna followed by Burnt Sienna and Raw Umber to the base of the trees and a little in the distance to represent a little scrubland and distant woodland. Add a little Titanium White here and there for the start of some snow. Move to the big heavy clump on the left-hand side and, again, use the ¾-inch flat brush, split, with Raw Umber followed by a mix of Raw Umber with a touch of Paynes Grey. Finally, add a few touches of Naples Yellow, mainly to the right-hand side of the clump. All this is done while it is still wet and mushy and merging together.


Step 3:

Use the rigger brush to create some tree trunks and twigs within this woodland using a mix of Raw Umber and Paynes Grey. Pull upwards to create the tree trunks. Then a few strokes of just Paynes Grey on some of the tree trunks add darkness and depth.








Step 4:

Time to make it snow a bit! With the rigger brush, add some strokes of white to the tree trunks and then change to the ¾-inch flat brush. Liberally add snow to the base of this woodland, going up to where the path would be. Strange to say, but in a snow scene, you don’t want too much plain white. So, now with a mix of Cobalt Blue and Titanium White, put a few strokes within the snow to give it a bit more depth and shape. With the same mix and the ¾-inch split brush, add a few touches of snow to the tops of these trees, just by stippling on.






Step 5:

Still with the ¾-inch flat brush, use the same process and the same colours as the clump on the left to paint the clump on the right. However, this time add a little Burnt Sienna to brighten it up a little. Change to the No. 8 round brush and, with a mix of Raw Umber and Paynes Grey, paint the main tree trunks and boughs of the trees, changing to the rigger brush as you come to the narrower twigs at the top of the tree.






Step 6:

With the No. 8 round brush, add a few touches of Raw Sienna, followed by Burnt Sienna to the bigger parts of the tree trunks. Change to the ¾-inch flat brush, again split, and stipple on some Titanium White and then Titanium White mixed with Cobalt Blue to the top parts of these trees and the main clump of bushy bits behind the main trees. Finally, still with the ¾-inch
brush and a mix of Titanium White with more Cobalt Blue, add more snow to the base of this lot.





Step 7:

Now to add the path. For this, use a mix of Raw Umber and Raw Sienna and, with the ¾-inch brush, fill in the whole path. Add Titanium White, followed by a mix of Titanium White and Cobalt Blue down the centre of the path. Add the puddle with the No. 8 round brush. Using a mix of Cobalt Blue and Titanium White and then Cobalt Blue and Paynes Grey, fill the whole puddle in before adding some reflections of tree trunks using Raw Umber and Paynes Grey mixed. Add some snow to the trees to the right, with Titanium White followed by Titanium White mixed with Cobalt Blue to the left of the tree trunks to create shadow on the tree trunks. Finally, using the ¾-inch flat brush, stipple some Paynes Grey onto the snow that was previously put into the tops of these trees. Add a little Titanium White to the base of these trees to bring the snow further forward.




Step 8:

The main part of this image is the addition of the figures. These are all done using Paynes Grey and the rigger brush. For a bit of shadow, use a mix of Paynes Grey and Cobalt Blue. Drag some shadow from the figures, and the tree trunks across the path, going to the left.







Step 9:

Using the ¾-inch flat brush, bring all the snow forward using Titanium White and then a mixture of Titanium White and Cobalt Blue. It’s important to keep in mind the shape of the land you want to create. Use a few diagonal strokes of the mix coming downwards to create a bank.








Step 10:

Now for a few bits of grass sticking out from the snow. For these, use a strong mix of Hookers Green and Burnt Sienna. Put the sharp edge of the ¾-inch flat brush onto the canvas and flick upwards. Don’t go mad with the amount of grass you put on, or you’ll end up with a grassy bank rather than a snow scene. Finally, using the rigger brush and just Paynes Grey, add a few footprints in the snow and some sharp edges, here and there, to the sides of the puddle.








To see more of Charlie’s work, visit:

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