Bus stop

It was really too cold to sit in the car to paint today, but the morning light was so good I did it anyway. I felt guilty for turning on the engine several times to warm up the inside of the car, but that was the only way I could paint.

So what is my technique for quick painting like this? (BTW, I wish I had taken process shots of this but it was just too cold to think about that.) The important thing I wanted to convey was the pattern of bright whites and shadows going across the houses and road. I started by painting the yellow building, then the sky, and then went directly into the shadow shapes (making sure the yellow was dry before adding the building shadow). Working with a big round brush, I painted quickly and directly. I didn’t want to use too much water because of the drying time involved, so my brush was wet enough but not drippy. When the big shadow shapes were done, I added the smaller darks and then the trees. The girl waiting for the bus was an afterthought, so I painted her shrouded figure in with no preliminary drawing. Last step (with a smaller brush) was the details on the road and buildings, and the electric wires. I was done in about an hour, but it took about two for my feet to thaw. Painted on Saunders Waterford Rough, 15″ x 11″.


35 Comments on “Bus stop”

  1. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:


  2. Sean Kupisz says:

    Gorgeous! My feet feel like they need to thaw out too! Amazing temperature with the colors! There needs to be a ‘Love’ button.


  3. Susan power says:

    How beautiful! I could weep at the coolness of it all.


  4. Kathy Noble says:

    Shari, this is another in a long line of absolutely magical depictions of snowy places. I am enjoying each one as they come! I would love to take a workshop with you..unfortunately, the one date I have been able to find, in mid March, I can’t do it. Any chance there will be more workshops added?


  5. Dexter says:

    Hi. Is this painting for sale?


  6. Janine says:

    And to think, it’s in the 70s (wierd, yes!) in the Bay Area today! It’s hard for me to imagine being somewhere so cold. (And the cold lasts for so long!) You’re an inspiration for getting out there to paint, not to mention the actual painting you did. But this brings me to a question – do you go out and find a spot where you can park (or sit in warmer weather) for a while and work undisturbed, then look around and figure out what to paint from what is available, or do you see something you want to paint, then have to hunt around for a place to set up? Kind of a chicken and egg scenario, or maybe it’s a little of both? I’ve been working on (a) leaving all the extraneous stuff at home so I can (b) get out and work in the real world more often. Sometimes I’ll see a good subject, but can’t find a good place to set up to paint it. I snap photos and work at home. Sometimes I find a perfect spot to set up, but the available subjects from that vantage point aren’t the always the most exciting, and I have to liberally modify them. Would love to hear your thoughts on that… maybe even as a blog post?


    • Janine, in answer to your question about finding a place to set up, it’s a bit of everything. It is especially hard in the winter because of parking. The snow is not always cleared so it can be difficult to park. But sometimes parking does dictate what I paint. If I see something nice to paint but can’t find a vantage point, I will occasionally take a quick photo and paint at home. More this winter because it has been so brutally cold. But sometimes I will just find a good parking spot and paint whatever I see, which can be, as you know, trash cans, utility poles or other boring stuff. I don’t really care as long as I get to draw. The sun has a lot to do with my choice of place too. I can’t paint when the sun is in my eyes so I try to turn the car around if I can. Hope that answers your question.


  7. Dianne says:

    An hour of painting-unbelievable!


  8. mayelalameda says:

    Shari, no one paints winter scenes like you do. You are a master of the shadows on the snow. Love, love your sketches.


  9. alicekolb2 says:

    Great painting, great post! Thank you for your continued sharing. I have learned so much.

    Best, Alice Kolb, Texas, USA



  10. Jo Ellen says:

    I have been seriously enjoying these posts. Thank you for sharing your wonderful talent! Love doing watercolor and you challenge me to try something g new with it….


  11. Bernadette says:

    Thanks for being so brave to set up and paint for an hour in the cold. We who follow you, appreciate the fact that you freeze your toes and fingers so we can benefit from your detailed lessons and snowy painted scenes. I love the limited pallet of blues and yellow, the girl waiting for a bus and the white light of sunlight across the street. It’s wonderfully done.


  12. Jean says:

    I also liked this painting very much. It really evokes the cold day and the snow. It is Winnipeg weather! But we have not had as much snow as you have, which may harm some plants and small animals.
    Thank you for sharing your work even at the expense of your toes needing to be thawed!


  13. I don’t know what else I can say that I haven’t already about your snow scenes.They are just wonderful. It seems when we have snow here (and we do), it is so cloudy that there are no beautiful shadows.

    What did you use for your darks here? How do you decide on rough paper vs. smooth? I don’t even like cold pressed anymore. But I should get used to paper that doesn’t wrinkle at all.


    • Thanks Judy. My darks are always a combination of the darkest blue and the darkest brownish colour that I have on the palette that day. This might be some Prussian Blue and Burnt Umber which make a good dark. I am liking Prussian Blue these days.


  14. TonyU says:

    So lovely I almost want to be there …. but only almost!


  15. Chris Rusk says:

    Your painting today is as bright as the day it conveys. You made mine when I opened it. Well done and thanks 🙂


  16. ChesapkLady says:

    You are a master of creating volume with light and shadow. . . I am constantly in awe of your talent and skill.
    I am also trying to imagine how you are able to work so large in the confines of your car.


  17. Alison says:

    Brrrrrrr. Magnificent light. Compelling depth. You really made that yellow pop. And thanks for the instructive post!


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