The holiday season always puts me in a giving mood. For the past few years I have been going live around the holiday season to paint a winter scene on canvas and then, on Christmas Eve, hosting a big drawing with my husband Matt to give that painting away! It’s such a fun way to celebrate the season with my community in a way that really gives back. Keep reading to learn how to create your winter painting on canvas or scroll to the bottom for video tutorials from my YouTube channel!
Tips for Creating a Winter Painting on Canvas
Want to skip right to the winter painting videos? Visit my YouTube channel!
I painted this winter scene on a huge 30×40 canvas but this will work on just about any size. Make sure you have a big paintbrush, a variety of paint colors, and a continuous spray bottle handy.
Here’s what I used:
- DIY Paints — You don’t have to use DIY Paints but it sure helps! If you want to copy the painting exactly, then make sure you have white, blue, pink, yellow, dark green, red, and black.
- Paint Pixie Brushes — I love The VIP for laying down backgrounds and I used the Lil D for painting the trees you see in this tutorial.
- Watergirl continuous spray bottle — The key to blending!
- If you’re using a smaller canvas you might want to try my Magic Pack of brushes!
Winter Painting on Canvas FAQs
How do I paint snow?
One of the winter painting related questions I get a lot is “Okay but… Snow is white. How do I paint WHITE?!” Now, I’m answering this question as someone who LOVES color so if you’re someone who wants a totally neutral winter painting then this will not be the tutorial for you. But here’s the great news: you don’t have to paint in white! White makes a great highlight but the truth is that true white is actually very rare in nature! Most things we see, even a snow-covered field, are impacted by light, shadow, and reflection.
How do you get that big, beautiful, blended sky?
There are three tricks for getting a perfectly blended ombre sky: DIY Paint, a big paint brush, a water bottle. I’ll be the first to tell you that I’m totally a paint snob. I have tried just about everything but DIY Paint is the only paint that makes blending super easy. I take a big paintbrush and load it with the two or three colors that I want to blend. Then I use big, sweeping strokes to blend the colors on the canvas. Use a light touch with the paint! You can always build up the layers. I like to then spray with my Watergirl continuous spray bottle to encourage the pigments to play nicely together on the canvas.
What are your tips for the trees in a winter painting?
The easiest way to paint snowy evergreen trees is with a fan brush! Start with a small amount of dark green paint on the tips of your brush and make thin, light vertical strokes for the trunk of the tree, making it wider at the base and narrow at the tip. To make the branches, gently wiggle the brush from side to side, getting wider as you move down the trunk. Try to stay light; you can always add more layers of branches but you can’t take any away! Once the green layers are done, you can add white highlights over the top to imitate snow. Remember to leave some green towards the center of the tree, at the base of the branches, where it would be difficult for snow to reach.
Winter Painting on Canvas — Video Tutorials
With all those tips in mind, here are a few of my favorite videos for painting a winter scene on canvas!
Four-Part Winter Painting Playlist
Visit the playlist or start with the first video below!