How to Paint a Snow Scene Using the Android Painting App, ArtFlow

by EllieTaylorArtist

In this lesson, I will show you how to paint a snow scene using the android painting app, ArtFlow. As usual, I will also be emphasizing traditional painting techniques as well.

Snow is always a popular subject for many landscape painters. For the layman, it seems like snow should be easy to paint. I'm sure many people think that you just paint everything white and that's it. Well, that might work if you are not interested in getting much depth in your painting. However, if you want a realistic look to your snow, then it's a bit more complicated. In this lesson, I will show you how to get better depth and color variety by adding layers of snow.

Snow Lesson

ArtFlow Interface
ArtFlow Interface
Ellie Taylor Artist

ArtFlow Interface

ArtFlow is a painting app for android tablets and has some very nice features.  It has two pop-out side menus that disappear when you start painting.  The menu on the left side contains your layers and different layer functions such as merge,  duplicate, rotate, etc.  The right side menu contains over 50 brushes, an adjustable smudge tool, eraser, paint bucket, color picker, line style (freehand, straight line, mirrored etc.), and gallery.  The brushes are pen, pencils, paintbrushes, paint rollers, airbrushes, crayon and several more.

ArtFlow

ArtFlow - Sketch, Paint, Draw

The app is free with limited features. If you want to access all the features, there is an in app purchase option. I purchased all the features.

ArtFlow Studio  / Only $0.00

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Snow Lesson: Step 1

Canvas Size
Canvas Size
Ellie Taylor Artist

Setting the Canvas Size.

When you go to the gallery, there is a menu option where you can set your canvas size.  I picked the largest size which is 2560 x 2560 pixels.  There are several other sizes you can choose.  The final resolution came out to 96 dpi.

Snow Lesson: Step 2

Picking a Brush
Picking a Brush
Ellie Taylor Artist
Sky Color
Sky Color
Ellie Taylor Artist

Picking the Brush

In this step, I picked a reference of a winter scene from my photos.  I used my Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet.  One of the very nice features of this tablet is the ability to open up certain apps in windows.  One of the apps is the gallery.  I opened my photo reference in the gallery window where I can see it while I'm painting.  I picked one of the paintbrush options and adjusted the settings.  Then I picked a light blue color for the first sky layer.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (32GB, Deep Grey)

In my opinion, the best computer tablet for digital painting and drawing.

$549.99  $349.99

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Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition (32GB, Black)

This is the new model. It is supposed to have better battery life, a high res display, and be faster.

$599.99  $519.99

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Snow Lesson: Step 3

Painting the Sky.
Painting the Sky.
Ellie Taylor Artist
Adding the Clouds
Adding the Clouds
Ellie Taylor Artist
Adding the Clouds
Adding the Clouds
Ellie Taylor Artist

Painting the Sky and Clouds.

In this step I finished painting the blue sky layer.  I added a new layer for the clouds and picked a salmon color for them.  I used the airbrush to paint the clouds.  Then I added light yellow highlights on the edge of the clouds and blended them with the smudge brush.

Snow Lesson: Step 4

Adding More Color to the Sky
Adding More Color to the Sky
Ellie Taylor Artist
Adding More Color to the Sky
Adding More Color to the Sky
 

Adding More Color to the Sky

In this step, I switched to a grainier airbrush and added purple and yellow to the clouds.  I also smudged the clouds to blend the color.

Snow Lesson: Step 5

Picking the Brush for the Hills
Picking the Brush for the Hills
Ellie Taylor Artist
Painting the Distant Hills
Painting the Distant Hills
Ellie Taylor Artist

Painting the Distant Hills

In this step, I picked a paintbrush option with a brushlike texture. I chose a violet color to show distance in the hills.  Then I painted the hills on a separate layer.  It helps to put individual elements in separate layers because you might want to go back and adjust something later.

Snow Lesson: Step 6

Adding Highlights on the Hills
Adding Highlights on the Hills
Ellie Taylor Artist

Adding Highlights to the Hills

For the highlights on the hills, I picked the airbrush.  I picked an orange tinted white for the color of the highlights.  Then I used the smudge tool to blend them.  In traditional painting using a pure white can make a painting look chalky, so I always add a color to tint it.  For example, add a little orange to your white paint to make your snow look like sunlight is reflecting on it.  In digital painting, pick a color that is off-white.

 

Snow Lesson: Step 7

Underpainting the Snow
Underpainting the Snow
Ellie Taylor Artist
Adding the Top Layer of Snow
Adding the Top Layer of Snow
Ellie Taylor Artist

Painting the Snow.

To give the snow some form and depth, I underpainted it with a light purple and blue.  This creates shadows in the snow and gives the illusion of shapes under the snow.  Then I chose a very light orange white to highlight the snow.  Often you can make a subject appear very white just by adding it next to a darker color.  When I paint snow on a regular canvas, I use a rounded stroke to show little snow mounds.  I used the same motion with the digital S Pen and it worked the same.  When you paint snow highlights, remember to leave pockets of darker color.  This gives depth to the snow. 

Snow Lesson: Step 8

Adding Distant Trees
Adding Distant Trees
Ellie Taylor Artist

Adding Distant Trees.

In this step, I added distant trees.  Since it is winter, these trees have bare branches, so I used the pencil option to draw them against the hills.  Also, I chose a light purple to show aerial perspective and make it seem like there is snow on the trees. 

Snow Lesson: Step 9

Painting a Snow Covered Bush
Painting Branches for a Bush
Painting Branches for a Bush
Ellie Taylor Artist
Underpainting the Snow Covered Bush
Underpainting the Snow Covered Bush
Ellie Taylor Artist
Highlighting the Bush.
Highlighting the Bush.
Ellie Taylor Artist
Final Snow Highlights on the Bush
Final Snow Highlights on the Bush
Ellie Taylor Artist

Painting the Snow Covered Bush.

For this step, I added a snow covered bush to the painting.   I drew in the branches with the pencil option.   Then I added the underpainting for the snow on the branches.  Sometimes in the winter the snow can be very powdery and I wanted to get this look on the bush.  I  picked a brush with a rough texture and added the highlights on the snow.  Again, I used an orangish white for the snow.   I added some more branches to the bush for the final touches.

Snow Lesson: Step 10

Adding the Fence
Adding the Fence
Ellie Taylor Artist

The Fence

To add more interest, I added a fence to the painting.  I used a dark grey color and selected the pencil option.  You can vary the thickness and darkness of the pencil in this program, so I picked a very thin line and used it to draw in the wire on the fence.  Then I switched colors to an off-white and put the final snow highlights on the fence and the snow on the ground.  I blended the snow on the ground with the smudge tool.

Snow Lesson: Step 11

Painting the Large Snow Covered Tree
Adding the Large Tree
Adding the Large Tree
Ellie Taylor Artist
Painting the Tree
Painting the Tree
Ellie Taylor Artist
Underpainting the Snow
Underpainting the Snow
Ellie Taylor Artist
Highlighting the Snow
Highlighting the Snow
Ellie Taylor Artist

Painting the Large Snow Covered Tree.

Here in the last steps, I added the final large element to the painting, a cedar tree.  First using the pencil option, I painted in the tree trunk and branches with a dark greyish brown.  Then I switched to the paint roller option and selected a grainy brush that mimicked the texture of the cedar tree leaves.  The leaves on these cedar trees stay on all year around like pine trees.  I picked a dark green color for the leaves.  Finally I added the snow, first underpainting it with a violet color and then adding the highlights.  Even when you are painting snow on objects, don't forget to let some of the darker color show through.  I added snow on the tree trunk, fence posts, and the bottom of the bush as well to show how snow drifts up on objects.  This added a realistic touch to the painting.

Snow Lesson: Step 12

Adding Final Details
Adding Final Details
Ellie Taylor Artist

Final Details

For the final details, I added more twigs sticking up out of the cedar tree.  I also added some dead grass and twigs poking out of the snow.  To give the painting more depth, I added a couple of fence posts behind the bush. 

As you can see there is more to painting a snow scene than you might originally have thought.  Snow scenes are fun to do and that is where I like my snow, in the paintings and not on the ground! 

Books on How To Paint Snow.

Paint Along with Jerry Yarnell Volume Four - Painting Techniques

While this book is for acrylic painting, the basic principles for painting snow are the same in any medium.

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Creating Light (Paint Along With Jerry Yarnell, Vol. 9)

This book has some good lessons about painting highlights on the snow.

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Painting Better Landscapes: Specific Ways to Improve Your Oils

This innovative book includes advice on solving problems, conveying mood, focusing attention, arranging subjects, and making corrections.

$24.95  $5.00

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Artists to Study

Winter Wonderlands: 150+ Classic Winter Scene Reproductions

These little art collection books for your Kindle make it very easy and affordable to study the old masters.

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Kindle App

Kindle for Android

This is the free Kindle app for android. There is also a Kindle app in the itunes store for ipads.

Amazon.com  / Only $0.00

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Another Example of a Snow Painting.

My Fine Art America Gallery
Hole in the Wall
Hole in the Wall
Updated: 02/06/2015, EllieTaylorArtist
 
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