Winter Quiet – oil pastel

I’ve waited over a year to paint this scene – the early evening colors of winter at the farm in its natural surrounding really attracted me.  This painting may well be a contender for our Christmas card.

Winter Quiet, an oil pastel (8×10) is painted on a gesso-prepared hard board, using Holbeins and Mungyo-Gallery brand oil pastels – both soft in application, but not so that they fill up the surface tooth too quickly.  The painting started with an acrylic underpainting (ultramarine, payne’s gray and white) to establish values.   My fingers, clay shapers and a painters knife were used to spread and blend the oil pastels.  A lot of negative painting and scraping took place to develop the cloud structures.

Hope our friends in Buffalo, NY can withstand the next round of snow about to hit them – 8′ of snow is nearly impossible to shovel.  Snow can be really beautiful, but too much of a good thing, well  .   .   .

Winter QuietThe reference image was taken by my friend Elena’s (an incredible artist at PMP) Mother.  The photograph was taken one evening in Germany when she was out exploring the countryside, she happened to come upon grazing sheep.


About Mary

Oil Pastelist
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51 Responses to Winter Quiet – oil pastel

  1. Way too beautiful!! Your artwork makes my soul flutter.

  2. Jess says:

    Lovely landscape Mary!

  3. farbvielfalt says:

    It looks really cold, great!

  4. Francesca says:

    So beautiful! The sky in particular … it gives you the idea of … a floating winter.

    • Mary says:

      Thank you Francesca – winter skies are so different, sometimes fluffy with pinkish/gray tones cast about in the clouds, but usually as you say “floating” feel. Enjoyed your comment!

  5. poppytump says:

    The little cottage seems to be surrounded by a glow of warmth Mary … is it from within .. or is it about to descend … a hushed atmosphere … anticipation … can you tell I love this scene you’ve painted 🙂

    • Mary says:

      Hi Poppy, yes and I’m thrilled you enjoy the warmth of this winter scene. I was going to put a bit more ochre w/n in the sky and around the shed for added warmth to the scene, but at the end it didn’t seem to fit. So glad you still feel the atmosphere intended.

  6. lesliepaints says:

    This painting has that feeling of winter silence to it. Yes! Great for a christmas card!

  7. Painting for Joy says:

    I agree with all the comments here, and with Eva…the sky was the first thing I noticed too. Beautiful piece Mary! It’s a lovely winter scene and would be a perfect Christmas Card, speaking to the season completely. I especially like the way your shadows and elements point to the focal point of your piece..the sweet little cabin. Well done!! xo

    • Mary says:

      Thanks Rhonda – the sky was a whole lot of fun painting (can’t tell you how many layers were painted on, scraped off and layered back again, plus at the end I did a little negative sky painting to help the clouds pop some). There are colors in the sky I just love. Thanks again!!

  8. Susan Feniak says:

    Its lovely Mary. I can see why it is the front runner for your Christmas card. Such a peaceful scene.

  9. I’d love to be inside the little house. I love the warm and cool-contrast at its best.

    • Mary says:

      Hi Elena, thank you so much – I’m glad the painting was inviting. Appreciate that you saw the atmosphere contrast in the scene, you have an amazing artistic eye.

  10. niasunset says:

    I loved it , so beautiful dear Mary, Thanks and Love, nia

  11. It is beautiful and somehow incredibly peaceful.

  12. Trini says:

    Oh, it is so so utterly gorgeous!!! 🙂 🙂 I ❤ it!

  13. Don says:

    Beautifully cool with such mystery. Love the blue.

  14. A.PROMPTreply says:

    Love this!

  15. aFrankAngle says:

    I can see this on a Christmas card. Love the way the fence and grasses are partially exposed.

  16. Beautiful, Mary. I love how the cool colors give a realistic winter feel while still haveing a very surreal look. 🙂

    • Mary says:

      Hi Elizabeth, thank you for your beautiful comment – it is so true, the blue look is surreal which is why I think it appeals so much to me. Thanks again!

  17. Such a serene scene, Mary! 🙂

  18. Very nostalgic and romantic, Mary, like a moody-blue longing to return to a simpler time and place…a very Mary christmas!

    • Mary says:

      Ha Cynthia, didn’t pass by me – thank you so much and glad you enjoyed this “blue” scene. I love your description, which is what prompted me to paint the scene. A very Mary Christmas back to you!

  19. Outstanding Mary, I mean that cloud structure is just absolute perfection! This is one of your most beautiful winter scenes yet, I can just imagine what’s coming up! I would definitively like to receive a Christmas card just like this one in my mail box! Have a wonderful weekend Mary!

    • Mary says:

      Thank you Eva – I love that you noticed the sky. It took about 3 hours layering, blending, scraping and layering some more – went on for a while until all of a sudden you just know to stop. Thank you so much it was a great scene to work on – blue winter scenes really appeal to me. Only two more winter scenes to go before the end of next week – both challenging and for me then, exciting to paint. Hope you have a great weekend too ~

  20. Leya says:

    This is most certainly what I would want on my Christmas Card – and the light, happy clouds tell of the cold air.

  21. Ogee says:

    So beautiful, Mary. It has my vote!

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