How to Paint Snow Scenes on Canvas

Written by ramona volker
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How to Paint Snow Scenes on Canvas
Falling snow adds depth and texture to winter wonderland painted scenes. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Painting snow on canvas can seem a daunting task that only accomplished painters are able to pull off. However, after learning a few simple snow painting tricks of the trade, even a beginning painter can create realistic snowy winter scenes leaving viewers with a craving for a warm fireplace and a cup of hot cocoa. Expand your painting repertoire to all four seasons and learn the secrets behind creating realistic snowy winter scenes with depth and texture in a few simple steps.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Canvas
  • Paints, acrylic, oil or watercolour
  • Paint thinner (if using oil paints)
  • Toothbrush

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  1. 1

    Paint the desired landscape or image you wish to add falling snow to on your canvas. Let the painting dry and lie it down flat on your work surface.

  2. 2

    Thin down white paint with water or paint thinner if using oil paints. The paint should be quite runny resembling the consistency of milk. Dip your toothbrush into the white paint.

  3. 3

    Hold the toothbrush filled with paint approximately 2 feet above your painting. Flick your thumb across the toothbrush causing the white paint to splatter small snowflakes of white onto your painting.

  4. 4

    Dip the toothbrush back in the white paint reloading it for the second round of snowfall. Hold the toothbrush closer to your painting, approximately 1 foot above, and flick your thumb across the toothbrush creating larger snowflakes of white to splatter onto your painting. The different-sized snowflakes will create an illusion of depth with the smaller snowflakes seeming to recede into the background of your image.

  5. 5

    Continue adding snowflakes to your painting until you are satisfied with the amount and density of the flakes.

Tips and warnings

  • Snow rarely falls straight up and down; for a more realistic look, try slightly smudging the snowflakes in one direction with a paintbrush after they have been splattered creating the illusion of snow falling at an angle.

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