I had a great time painting snow in The Seirras last week. I love the shadows, and white in light and shadow are so fun to paint.  Have you ever seen a John Singer Sargent painting with white bed sheets?  The colors he finds there are amazing.

This scene is behind the Miller’s place on Alta Lake.  The caretaker has been clearing brush from around the house, and I found these two piles of clippings interesting.  There was a patch of snow left there in the sun, and lots of snow in the shadow of the trees in the distance.

Fresh Cuttings & Snow – Oil on Linen – 9×12


This one was fun.  I  went for a drive and took lots of reference photos, and saw this interesting composition on the Truckee River.  I put the camera away, and painted.  In fact, I think this spot was close to the location I painted “Snow Creek”, another piece that helped me develop my abstraction skills.  I was really interested in how tree shadows from both sides the river met and intermingled.
I wonder if this scene makes sense?  Does it “read”?

7 thoughts on “Painting Snow

  1. Hello Mr. Terpening,

    I read the article about you in American Artist today, and am determined to follow your advice and thought that this would be the best place to start.

    On another note, your artwork is so peaceful. The purpose and intent of the lights and dark of every stroke is continually fun to study.

    Thanks a bunch for being an inspiration.

    Grace Kettell

  2. I recently discovered your blog and am enjoying your work a great deal. The piece titled, “Where Shadows Meet” is particularly strong! I love the high contrasts and the rich colors. Of course, I see that you also have a good, confident composition as well.

    Congratulations on the article in American Artist too.

    Looking forward to visiting again!

  3. Good tip, David. Funny thing, when I just checked my Google reader, his post was at the top. Too bad his site doesn’t accept comments. Kinda weird. I like his snow scenes. Thanks for pointing them out to me.

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