At this stage of the painting I begin to establish the dark and light (shadows and sunlight) areas of the trees. These trees are heavily laden with snow and the time of day is late afternoon, the source of light is from the right and the angle of the sun is low. This lighting condition gives a strong pattern of light and shadow, with a rosy glow, and has all of the elements that will make the scene colorful and interesting. I haven’t under-painted the figures or the ice in the foreground yet because I want to establish the colors of the surrounding scenery, then choose clothing colors that will be compatible with the environment, yet add interest. What I do know at this point is that the figures will cast long shadows and be lit on their right sides.
Gail Niebrugge, Landscape painting