NYC snow!

NYC snowstorm, 2011 by frankeber
Snow storm, New York, 2011 ::: 18″ tall x 12″ wide : 45cm tall x 32cm wide
Posted in the New York, USA gallery
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Inspired by the recent snowstorms back east and especially in New York, I decided to paint a snow scene. The immediate attraction for this scene was the atmospheric quality in this cityscape.

This painting is done with a very limited palette but a wide tonal range! Colors I used were mostly cool greys, i.e. cobalt and ultrablue, greyed off by mixing in a bit of raw sienna (like in the sky) or burnt umber. For some reason I had a hard time making this scene work and it wasn’t until I put this fairly big shadow in the foreground that would pull the painting together. It was one of those times were I felt like I am struggling until I did something purely on instinct that ‘saved’ me. I thought I had it nailed with the two people trudging through the snow and the yellow cab pointed toward them, but without the foreground shadow there would not be a painting! The buildings would be too dominant and overpower the real story, which is the couple making their way across the street in freezing temperatures. Almost like a mountaineering moment except within an urban landscape!
NYC snowstorm detail, 2011 by frankeber
Most of the back and middle ground is done wet-in-wet whereas the people and the snow in the foreground was mostly dry-brushed.

I kept the buildings left and right very vague, there is no need to ‘spell everything out’. In my opinion, it is much better if your eyes sort of fill in the rest. The challenging part in this piece was to get the different tonal values between background and foreground right without going too dark or too light.

6 thoughts on “NYC snow!

  1. Carol King

    Hey, I didn’t know you did a painting of me and my husband crossing the street during last weeks snowstorm! 🙂

    I absolutely love this! I like that you kept your palette limited. The buildings, snow and shadows all the same color with the splash of yellow for the cab or red for the jacket and the lights. I think you really caught the feel of NYC and New Yorkers in the snow.


  2. lesliepaints

    Wow, Frank! For something you weren’t too happy with, you sure pulled it off. Very atmospheric and I absolutely love the muted blue light you captured in this. I remember you saying you don’t like working in studio. It is not reflected in this painting at all. Love it!

    1. frankeber Post author

      Thanks, Leslie. It’s true I did say that, but I am really trying hard to be a better studio painter these days! For some reason it is harder for me to produce anything of value in the studio. But I am working on it, I don’t wanna be a pure plein-aire painter. It’s just not possible to paint outside all the time. Thanks for the visit, as always!

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