The Beauty and Wonder of Snow Paintings
Embrace the beauty of winter with these six gorgeous snow paintings. This group of wintry landscapes shows how unique and interesting a snow-filled scene can be. Many were painted by famous painters you will recognize, plus a few of our staff favorites thrown in.
When you are ready to put your own spin on snow paintings, be sure to consider Steven Quiller’s Acrylic Landscapes Painting Workshop. Quiller, a top artist and instructor, goes over how to make the most of “winter white” with acrylics, plus how to incorporate painting from life into your process.
Winter Sunset by Birge Harrison
In his 1909 book, Landscape Painting, Birge Harrison describes color as “dancing” in nature. The artist was especially fascinated with the subtle colors that suffuse a winter landscape. His snow paintings, of which there are many, highlight this love of opalescent color.
In this painting, Harrison painted the pinks and purples of a winter sunset reflected in the broken ice of an expansive body of water. According to the Smithsonian American Art Museum, “the dark boats trapped by the frozen water and the pale colors evoke an environment that is both harsh and beautiful.”
The Magpie by Claude Monet
There’s something almost heartrending about this painting by Claude Monet. Winter leave many of us feeling small and frail, just like the little magpie sitting on that crooked gate. But the beauty and texture of Monet’s landscape remind us to find the glory and wonder of this time of the year.
The Fox Hunt by Winslow Homer
Did you know that this winter landscape is the largest painting that Winslow Homer ever completed? It is also thought by many critics to be the artist’s masterpiece and most successful work.
Caught mid-leap in the foreground, and almost abstracted in quite a striking way, is a nimble fox treading through deep snow. Shadowy crows loom in the top right area of the painting, “hunting” the fox.
Winter Landscape by Vassily Kandinsky
A confetti of color dot both land and sky in the snow paintings of Wassily Kandinsky. There is something joyous and sweet about the work, and the golden glow of the building at the end of the lilac-hued path seems a welcome destination despite the beauty of the landscape.
Breton Village in the Snow by Paul Gauguin
The simplified shapes of the architecture in this snowy cityscape soften the composition. The warm strokes of color in the foreground snow and in the sky further that feeling. There are no signs of life and yet overall this painting feels inviting and calm.
January by Grant Wood
It’s no surprise that Grant Wood’s snow paintings feature the Iowa cornfields he knew so well. But these mounds, casting dark shadows, seem inhospitable and almost threatening.
The signs of life in the form of the animal prints in the snow don’t do much to lessen the foreboding atmosphere though there is a severe beauty in the limited color palette used for the painting. The repetition of the corn stacks as they disappear off into the distance is almost hypnotizing.