My winter walk at Angell Woods always includes a detour off the path to have a look at the river in winter. On a sunny day the tree shadows make interesting patterns on the snow, but this week it was overcast. I took a photo anyway, thinking I would probably discard it, but I took another look at it today and thought it might be interesting to paint the range of greys and subtle hues of a winter landscape on a cloudy day. There’s still quite a bit of contrast in the scene, but the challenge was to make the greys interesting.

I have a tube of Davy’s Grey so that was my starter pigment. If you’ve never tried it, it’s quite a weak grey, which makes it perfect for this type of scene. I warmed it by adding some Lemon Yellow, and for the darks I used a mix of Ultramarine and Burnt Sienna. Painted on a quarter sheet of Arches Rough, 140 lb.

39 Comments on “Overcast”

  1. Laura Kate says:

    Very successful work. I think I have been walking in places that look very much like your painting.


  2. Bernadette says:

    Beautifully executed! The colors are perfect, the washes so fresh and wet looking in the stream. It is beautiful!


  3. Sue Fenyvesi says:

    Coming from Ontario, I really appreciate these winter scenes, you make me want to try something similar from photos of my in-laws Sugar bush in Gananoque.


  4. Christy says:

    This is beautiful!!! I hope you filmed it. It would make a wonderful lesson. Thank you for always being so gracious with your information. Your classes are the best. I especially love the gouache!!! Happy New Year.


  5. Denise says:

    I could look at this all day. Love the reflections in the water!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. If anyone could create beauty from the drab overcast days we’ve been having, then I should have known it would be you. This is lovely Shari. So keenly observed and communicated with sensitivity.


  7. gaelle1947 says:

    Such delicious colors!!!! Would there be some of that Buff Titanium you mentioned a few posts back?


  8. debraji says:

    This is such a contrast to the blue-shadowed snow scenes of earlier paintings–yet it is utterly beautiful. The river has such lovely depth to it. I’m always amazed at how real the reflections look.


  9. Judy Sopher says:

    Another beautiful painting with an abstract aspect. How long did it take to paint this? Looks so complicated. I love it.


  10. Bettina Winkler says:

    What a lovely painting, which looks so easily done. Another fantastic winter scene by Shari. Chapeau!


  11. Carol Cooney says:

    Shari, How long did it take you to create this amazing drawing? I’ve tried painting snow before and struggled with shadows. Your painting is amazing. I have been following your work for years.


  12. Northern Traveller says:

    Brrrrrr…..!!!!!! That stream will be FROZEN by tomorrow night!
    Beautiful grey rendering Shari :).


  13. Barry Van Dusen says:

    Another beauty with a lovely, subtle mood, Shari! The snow shadows on a sunny day are so colorful, bold, and fun to paint, but your painting shows that the more subtle tones and colors on a gray day can be just as beautiful (maybe more so!). -Barry


  14. I have a steam that runs right next to our house and I never paint it…though I think of you frequently when I walk along it and feel certain that you would paint it all the time if you lived here. Your painting confirms my suspicion and nudges me to have a go at all the complexity of painting water/trees/snow/shadows.


  15. The contrast between the cools in the water vs the warms in the woods is so effective, it’s palpable.


  16. Uma Maheswar Nakka says:

    Good Evening dear friend Shari,

    Very beautiful and colorful.



  17. gramaspaint says:

    Hi Shari I love this painting. I’m trying to keep up sketching with a local group but the weather and colds are getting in the way. I don’t seem to be able to “like” your painting from the letter as I think I need to have a WP account ? Anyway … I love this painting. So much for overcast when you have the freedom of a painter 🙂 Karen



  18. Tessa M says:

    This is beautiful, Shari. I always notice something in your paintings that I can use to improve my own; here it’s the interesting composition. Thank you!


  19. Wow!!! I just love the reflections and your handling of the snow. Great feel to this due to your color choice. Bravo!!


  20. Mary Eastwood says:

    Shari … this is so beautiful. I agree with one of the previous comments in that it is so different than your other paintings of snow that I have seen where you use blue in the shadows- equally as beautiful! I just signed up for your demonstration. I don’t have Davey’s gray. Would you. be able to recommend a mixture that would be similar with Paynes Gray?


    • Hi Mary.
      Thanks so much for signing up for the class.
      The reason I like Davy’s gray is that it’s semi-opaque, which is different from the transparent grey I usually make from Ultramarine and Burnt Sienna. Do you have any Titanium White watercolour? If so, you could try making the transparent grey I suggest and adding a touch of white to it. That should replicate it well. Just make sure the white doesn’t get into the mix when you want to make the really dark areas of the painting.
      Would that work for you?


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