Painting a snow scene is a good way to practice your painting skills and more importantly it is great fun. When you add a couple of cute deer you have some great ingredients for a pleasurable painting experience. All animals have their own particular peculiarities and with a little deer one is the size of the ears – they are large.
When you draw your deer make sure the ears are nice and big, they are made for purpose. Always use the head of an animal as a measure for the body, legs and tail and you should then have an animal that is recognisable.
Paint the deer first: use a palette of light orange and add to the orange different quantities of burnt sienna, you will make some great colours for the coat of a deer. I painted the deer wet on wet, so the first layer of paint was painted on to wet paper and as I worked, as the paper was no longer wet but damp I added stronger mixes of the colours I had prepared. Paint in the eyes and nose with a very dark chromatic black and also the ears.
I then used a chromatic black to paint in the tree trunks. I used a rigger brush (upward brushstroke) to paint in the twigs and branches, the ideal brush for this purpose.
To paint the snow: snow has lots of colours reflected on it from its surroundings and the light source. I used pinks and greys for this purpose. I worked wet on wet as I did not want any hard edges, you want to keep this soft and remember all your washes for this part of the painting should be around 90% water and 10% paint, really nice and transparent.
I then painted in the berries on the branches, I assumed they were berries but they could be leaves that are just clinging on for dear life (excuse the pun). Remember: a small portion of red in a painting will draw the viewers eye in and engage them with the subject matter.
I then used some zinc white gouache to paint in the snow that is stuck fast to the tree trunks.