The Sky in Winter

The Sky in Winter

Posted by DecoArt on Nov 10th 2016

Layer glazes of Traditions™ Artist Acrylics to create depth and vibrant color of the sky in winter.


    • water container
    • paper towels
    • tracing paper
    • 1" flat brush
    • #2 round brush
    • #6 flat brush
    • chalk pencil
    • #8 flat brush
    • #1 liner brush
    • stylus
    • canvas
    • grey transfer paper
    • 1" wash brush
    • #16 flat brush
    • 4" foam roller
    • waxed palette
    • hairdryer
    • 3/4" foliage brush
    • #8 flat bringle blender brush



    Read the entire instructions before beginning.

    You'll be working with layers of glazes (thinned paint) using water as the medium.

    Americana Acrylics and Traditions Artist Acrylics are compatible and help create depth in this design.

    1. Base the surface with Slate Grey. Let dry.
    2. Drizzle the canvas or panel surface with Ultramarine Blue and then with Titanium White.
    3. Instruction #2
    4. Using the 4" foam roller, roll the colors in all directions, blending the two colors. (A slightly mottled appearance is desirable.) Let dry.
    5. Instruction #3
    6. Mark off a horizon line with a chalk pencil not quite 1/3 of the way up from the bottom of the surface. (This is just for reference and will disappear as you work, but you know where it was.)
    7. Instruction #4
    8. Creating the layered background clouds: This layer is very soft and will stay in the background of the sky. Dampen the canvas with a little water. Using the 1” wash brush, slip-slap with Titanium White randomly in a diagonal direction, left to right, creating soft cloud shapes.
    9. Lightly "mop" the brush back and forth to soften brush-marks. (But do not over-mop.) Let dry. (You can use a hairdryer.) Re-inforce with Titanium White as necessary, drying between each layer of clouds. Slip-slap more soft cloud shapes with Slate Grey; mop lightly; and let dry.
    10. Make sure the clouds are dry and then slip-slap with a small amount of Tangerine thinned with water using the 1” wash brush to accent the cloud colors.
    11. Creating cloud shapes: For each layer you will dampen; apply paint; mop; and let dry. (Have fun with this.) Using the 3/4" foliage brush in a hammer-hold with your thumb on the ferrule, load the corner of the heel (short end) with Titanium White.
    12. Instruction #8
    13. Create cloud shapes by making small circular movements. Mop a little and then let dry. Repeat, if necessary.
    14. Repeat the process with both Zinc and Ultramarine Blue loaded together on the brush to create the dark cloud shapes. (Make sure the clouds are not the same size or shape.) Let dry.
    15. Instruction #10
    16. Using the damp 1” wash brush loaded with a little Ultramarine Blue, dampen and glaze in both top corners and across the horizon line coming up the surface about 1/3. (Be sure the paint fades away; some streaks are OK, but no lines.) Let dry.
    17. Dampen and glaze, this time with thinned Permanent Alizarin Crimson, behind the house area and in the middle right cloud area. Let dry.
    18. Glaze with very thin Tangerine over the right clouds and on the left side. Add colors in the sky as you desire using thinned paint and allowing to dry between layers.
    19. Making sure the surface is dry, mark the horizon line again (a little lower on the right side) and apply the pattern for the house. (Trees and grasses can be added without the pattern, but I’ve included them for you.)
    20. Base the house with Zinc and a little Titanium White using the #8 flat brush. The roof and chimney are Zinc. Add Titanium White streaks across the house by flicking with the #6 flat brush horizontally. The windows and doors are Zinc using the #6 flat brush.
    21. Outline the windows and the front edge of the roof with Permanent Alizarin Crimson and Zinc. Add a few faint streaks across windows using Titanium White on a flattened #2 round brush. Add snow on the roof with the #2 round brush, leaving a few uncovered patches. Let dry. Shade between the house sections with a side-loaded #8 flat brush and Zinc.
    22. Instruction #16
    23. The distant trees are painted with the #2 round brush, loaded with Zinc and a little Ultramarine Blue, flattened and pulled down. (You can clean off the ground line under the trees immediately with the damp chisel edge of the #8 flat brush.) Let dry.
    24. Apply snow to the distant hills using a side-loaded #16 flat brush on an angle and leading with the paint corner. Continue to add snow, working down the surface, in the same manner. Continue to load the brush with more Titanium White as you progress downward. Leave shadowed areas between drifts the background blue color.
    25. Instruction #18
    26. Create drifts by pushing the brush upward and then down on a slight angle. (Make sure you are working horizontally and not creating rainbow shapes. You don’t want shapes that carry your eye down and off the canvas.) Let dry. If you need more shadow, apply a little side-loaded Ultramarine Blue behind the drift with the #16 flat brush on an angle. (As in the previous step.)
    27. Instruction #19
    28. The trees are pulled with thinned Zinc and a tiny bit of Permanent Alizarin Crimson with the #1 liner brush. More distant trees are smaller and use thinner paint.
    29. Glaze snow with the 1” wash brush using thinned Permanent Alizarin Crimson in just a couple of areas. The house can be very slightly glazed in a place or two with thinned Burnt Sienna using the #2 round brush. Shade the lower left corner of the painting with a side-load of Ultramarine Blue using the 1” wash brush. Let dry overnight.
    30. Instruction #21
    31. The grasses are flicked upward using thinned Burnt Sienna on the #8 flat bringle blender or your favorite grass brush. Add grasses behind the drifts and clean off the drift edge with a dampened #8 flat brush. Re-inforce the drifts as needed. Let dry.
    32. Varnish with several coats of Traditions Satin Varnish, allowing to dry between coats.
    33. Instruction #23


    Winter Skies Pattern