Sketching Winter: a new online course

I’ve been painting the little patch of woods near my house for years. It’s not much to look at in summer — just some trees and rocks sandwiched between a schoolyard and a park, and bordered by suburban houses. But in winter I take my dog Alice for a walk through there every morning and afternoon, and I’m often greeted by fascinating shadow patterns on the snow and the rocks, especially after a fresh snowfall. I often take a reference photo and paint it when I get back home.

Students have been asking me to do a snow demo for a long time, so my first online class for 2021 is called “Sketching Winter: Capturing the Colours of Snow“. In this class, I take you for a walk through my woods in winter, and then back to the studio to paint.

You won’t need a full palette of colours to paint this scene — especially as it can appear nearly monochrome. That’s why I use a limited palette for my winter landscapes. I’ll show you which colours I use, and share my favourite mix for painting shadows on snow.

At first, this might seem like a complex scene because the woods are a bit overgrown. But I always find ways to simplify what I see, and break up the scene into manageable parts that you can paint in several steps.

Even if you live in a warm climate, you might still enjoy the challenge and fun of painting a wintery scene. For a preview of “Sketching Winter” have a look at the trailer.

14 Comments on “Sketching Winter: a new online course”

  1. Yvonne Carpenter says:

    Already signed up the day you uploaded it, lol! It is pouring down snow today here in Manitou Springs, Colorado, so what a perfect day to dive into the class! Thank you!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Denise says:

    Can’t wait to get started! This is one of my favorite scenes of yours!


  3. Marilyn Hansen says:

    I hate snow! But as long as I can paint it, that would be great. Looking forward to taking your course. (I’m more of the Summer Blooms gal, and will most likely take that one too!)
    Stay warm!!


  4. Betsy says:

    Oh! You look so happy in your snowy woods! What a fun-sounding new class.


  5. Lesley Ash says:

    Here in eastern England this winter has been mostly mud-coloured but we get a beautiful light on bright days. Slightly different palette to Canada.


    • Hi Lesley,
      We had a long period of mud colour too, but finally we have a bit of whiteness. Not a whole lot but enough to film a bit of the course intro on location, which also makes it nice.
      Hope you get a bit of snow too.


  6. I just finished the course and just loved it! THANK YOU Shari!
    Sharing your colors and technique for shadows on snow helped me so much — I did all three challenge photos and can’t wait to paint snow in Colorado plein aire!


  7. Josie Braden. says:

    Hi Sheri Happy to see your ,snow sketch,,,,,,I have been your fan for a really long time ……I have a zillion little May I ask, j sketch paintings except mine are21/2 by or 3 and a bit .”………it’s amazing the depth and amount of . information available On such a tinypallet. Our”our snowfall or lack of it has everyone wondering “when? May I ask what size you sketch on? Cheers and happy painting Josie. Ottawa, Canada

    Sent from my iPad



    • HI Josie, Thanks so much for writing. Are you asking about size for this sketch for the course or in general?
      Normally I sketch in a book that is 8″ x 8″ or 8″ x 11″. I used to work smaller but not so much anymore.


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