Wabbit…er…uh…I mean, deer tracks

Very rarely do I start with the idea for a painting and then gather reference and carry it through to completion. Usually I just see something on a “scouting outing,” think to myself, hmm, that would look cool as a painting, and go from there.

But I finished a little painting tonight that falls into the first category. I knew I wanted to do some deer tracks in snow. Some sort of interesting linear path type compositional deal. It wasn’t crystal clear but the seed was there. One day last month, after a fresh snowfall, I looked out in the yard and saw some fresh tracks. Ah ha! there’s my painting I thought! But at the moment the light wasn’t very interesting. Luckily it was a Friday which meant I didn’t have to work in the morning, and if it was clear, the raking light of the rising sun would produce some drama. Sure enough, next morning as the sun peeked over my septic mound, I was out in the snow in my PJ’s and unlaced boots with camera in hand trying to get just the right shot. Well I got some images I was happy with and decided to give it a go.

If you really look at snow, it’s anything but white. There’s pinks and blues and greens and grays, all depending on the light of course, and it’s surprising how dark the values in the shadows can be. Anyway, I like this one. It’s about light as much as subject, and has some abstract visual interest. That’s a good combination usually.


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