Frozen lake

I was driving around in Ste. Anne de Bellevue, looking for a good view to sketch with a little bit of distance in it, and remembered this spot where I can see frozen lake, barns and the highway in the distance. As the days warm up this week, I’ve noticed that the winter colours have softened. It’s funny how colours end up on the page when you are painting. I had no colour scheme in mind, and I didn’t set out to paint in pastels but that is just what the day is like and somehow that softness made its way to my paper. Painted on Arches Rough paper, 14″ x 10″.


28 Comments on “Frozen lake”

  1. cavepainter says:

    The way the paint breaks on the rough paper is nice. 🙂


  2. Jean says:

    Wonderful soft colours! That must be Lake of Two Mountains in the distance, a widening of the Ottawa River? Or is it Lake St Louis? (Widening of St Lawrence River)? I used to visit Ste Anne de Bellevue often!


  3. ChesapkLady says:

    As always, Shari, you make the mundane look special, and you make it look EASY!!! A few brisk brushstrokes here. . . and there. . . WOW!


    • You are too kind. This was kind of an easy scene to paint… not much of anything that takes longer to draw like cars, people, perspective. I knew I only had a short time so I picked a relatively easy scene.


  4. Lovely subtle colors, quiet scene, I can only hear the birds chirping.


  5. I like the feel of the soft, muted colors which still give the feeling of winter!!! Nicely done!


  6. stephanie descoteaux says:

    You captured the beginnings of spring in a winter scene with the pastels perfectly. I thought it was something that could be felt but not captured or adequately expressed in watercolour. Impressive.


  7. tcwriter says:

    I’m wondering how you choose a smooth/cold press/rough paper for a piece? Just gut instinct? Have you ever painted something and thought “Wish I’d done that on a different paper”? Any rules of thumb?


    • That’s a great question. I sometimes go out with a bag of different types of sketchbooks and pads of paper. Since I am sketching in my car most days during the winter, the extra weight doesn’t matter. I never know what I will choose to sketch. A lot depends on where I can find to park. If the scene is mostly landscape, I can go with a rougher paper, knowing that precise edges don’t matter. If I am drawing architectural details, in fact if there is any pen work at all, I will work on smoother paper or in a sketchbook. In my bag on most days you’ll find a pad of Arches CP, Arches Rough, a Handbook watercolour journal and a block of Fluid paper. That gives me a lot of choice depending on the scene I find. And in answer to the last question, yes, I occasionally wish I had worked on better paper, but I never say this paper was too good. I almost never regret working on 100% cotton watercolour paper but I do often regret only having a cheap sketchbook with me. Good paper is more important than good paint or brushes, in my opinion.


  8. Bernadette says:

    Thanks for your lengthy explanation of your paper choices. I am certainly not at the stage where you are in painting but also realize that paper can make all the difference. Should those of us much less skilled, still use the best paper whenever painting? Or should we keep practicing to work up to the use of 100% cotton watercolor paper with every attempt in painting?
    The colors of the sky are magnificent as are the subtle shadows below. Thanks for all your examples of excellence in painting.


  9. barb says:

    You almost make e believe that winter is so gentle with such angelic colours. So so pretty


  10. gailvlarson says:

    Shari, I love your art. I have an email folder, a pinterest board and a great admiration for Shari Blaukopf. Some day I would love to take a class from you. For now I am your student from afar. I did do one of your classes from online..Thanks for all the inspiration. Your consistency and hard work inspire as well.


  11. carolyn cochran says:

    Aleli has written that you can come work with our gang over the 4th of July! Marvelous news, Shari. But darn it, Bob and I have a big family reunion in the desert of Central Nevada over that weekend and I’ll have to miss the workshop! I’ll beg my friends to take notes, but it won’t be the same.


    • Carolyn, I’m so sorry to hear this! I wish you could be there. I know it’s still many months away but I guess my dates won’t be good for everyone. I also have family visits, a wedding to attend, etc, so I am trying to work my visit around all of this too.


  12. Rita Palazzo says:

    I really like you spontaneous colors you choose, I guess that that is instinct and it cannot be taught


  13. Kirk Whiteside says:

    How much time do you spend on a scene like this?


  14. Birte says:

    Just love your choice of colours, a beautiful soft palette for a cold winter day. Thanks for your info on your choice of papers. The paper really makes the painting rather than the brands of paints.


  15. rosjenke says:

    I’m enticed over to your blog by the taster on IG😀 because I love to read your comments. Your palette here is perfect, not to mention the painting 😁


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