The Quiet of Winter, charcoal drawing

I haven’t drawn a winter landscape in charcoal yet, so when I saw a scene that reminded me of farms during the winter months that I grew up around I decided to give it a try.

The Quiet of Winter, a charcoal drawing (9×12) was done on Strathmore Bristol Smooth paper.  Smooth surface paper has less texture and was chosen for the scene so the snowy landscape would appear as a sweeping, softer atmosphere.  I have little experience drawing buildings and this one gave me more challenges than all the elements combined in this entire scene, lol (just keeping it honest).  And that’s why I’ll keep right on trying, because one of these days structures in my work will show better, but for now ~

It was interesting working out snow with charcoal, but it seems a little too cold for me and I much prefer drawing landscapes in other seasons that show some life.  Thanks for checking in ~ click onto the image for a larger view.



About Mary

Oil Pastelist
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88 Responses to The Quiet of Winter, charcoal drawing

  1. Kudos to you Mary, for working buildings. I ignore them every chance I get;)

    • Mary says:

      You are so kind Elena – buildings are not my thing, all those lines and perspective. The one in my drawing, well I think it was drawn four or five times and finally I had to say enough. Although I’d love one day to put an effort into trying to draw a European village, perhaps I’d make a more convincing structure. Thank you for stopping by!!

  2. Marick says:

    Lonely. I really like the foreground in this piece!

    • Mary says:

      Thank you Pauline. I was attracted by the look of abandonment with the broken fence and it ended up giving the scene a feeling of cold isolation.

  3. Paul Beech says:

    Hi Mary,

    Funnily enough, we had a light fall of snow in North Wales last night, whilst I was out with Maureen at Tennessee Williams’ ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’. Love your charcoal snowscape – it gives me that authentic shivery brrrrrrr feeling!

    Fond regards,


    • Mary says:

      Oh Paul I bet you two had the best time – a classic play! Thanks very much for your thoughts on the drawing, glad you enjoyed the “cold!”

  4. jvandervlugt says:

    I’ve always wondered about drawing snow. Your snow looks fluffy and deep. Brrrr. I really like the battered fence. 😊

    • Mary says:

      Thanks Joanna – it was interesting. I really wanted to add a touch of gray-red to the barn, but decided to leave it alone, maybe I’m getting itchy for working with some color again.

  5. It looks like the land must having in my Grandpa’s day. When getting snowed in could mean weeks without power. It looks like games of checkers beside the fire, three pair of socks and outhouses!

    • Mary says:

      Love it Brenda – you always bring on the creativity in your words. You know we are going to need a little hot chocolate too!! Thanks so much, winter’s coming to an end – I hope it will be a graceful ending and not a harsh bang as it closes the door!

  6. jeffhaynes says:

    Charcoal works remain a favorite for me. There’s something uniquely expressive about it, I think. I like the darker lines and detail in the foreground adding to the sense of overall depth.

    • Mary says:

      Hi Jeff, thank you very much – I couldn’t agree more about charcoal. When I paint or work in graphite it tends to be more tight, but with charcoal there is a certain permission to be more loose and it worked out well in this scene. I enjoyed reading your reaction to the scene thanks again ~

  7. Jet Eliot says:

    Your capture of the peace is fantastic here, Mary. I espec. like the fence and bare shrubs in the foreground.

    • Mary says:

      Thanks Jet, it was a great scene to work out in charcoal – which was a perfect medium for the dull and flat foreground trees and shrubs.

  8. ladyfi says:

    It looks peaceful and quiet to me and just lovely!

  9. dorannrule says:

    Brrrrr! I think it is amazing how you can make a frozen white snowy scene out of black charcoal and make me feel cold in the process. 🙂

    • Mary says:

      Love your feedback and description Dorann – always fun to read. Hope the chill wasn’t too bad!! Thank you, I had a good laugh!!

  10. Lovely, Mary. It feels so quiet.

  11. This does look like a cold day, with a lot of deep snow…but it’s also quiet and restful.

    That farmhouse beckons to me. It would be so much fun to traipse through all that untouched snow to peek inside!

    • Mary says:

      Hi Silver, thanks very much – I like your description of the drawing. Sometimes winter scenes like this can be deafeningly quiet in the dead of winter. Yes, wouldn’t it be fun to see what’s inside the barn!! Thanks again ~

  12. elisa ruland says:

    Beautiful, Mary. Winter is indeed quiet, especially these days. Hope you are well!

  13. Who else but Mary would decide to draw the whitest stuff with the blackest tool? 🙂

    • Mary says:

      Ha, just had to give it a try Cynthia to see if it would be a convincingly cold scene. Yep I think it’s one I’d rather look at than be in the middle of. Hopefully it won’t be too long before you begin to see the signs of Spring. Have a beautiful week ~

  14. exiledprospero says:

    Very lonely, very wintry.

  15. A charmingly soft, silent and simple scene which reminds me of my childhood at my granny. Love the fact that is so uncomplicated, understated, even though is a winter landscape it gives me warm feelings, it might sound crazy but that’s how I feel 🙂
    It’s very appropriate send of for the last day of February, love it!
    Have a most wonderful week Mary!

    • Mary says:

      Hi Eva, thank you so much for your thoughtful response to this drawing – love that it brought back happy childhood memories. I always enjoy reading your reaction to the drawings and your great description “uncomplicated, understated” is just perfect for the bleak landscape in this piece. I’ll take your warmth with this cold!! Have a wonderful Leap day!! and rest of the week my friend!

  16. Really lovely, especially the way you lose the crisp focus as we recede back into the landscape….you are really very good with charcoal 😊

  17. There’s beauty in this well-composed, bleak landscape
    Miss Mary

    real beauty

    Big hugs

    uncle john

    • Mary says:

      Thank you very much Uncle John – bleak is the perfect word to describe the forgotten fields during the harsh winter months. Have a wonderful week ahead ~

  18. Again you have captured the quietness of this scene….and a feeling of days gone by……beautifully rendered as ever. Have a lovely Monday and week ahead…janet:)

    • Mary says:

      Hi Janet, thank you very much. I loved your description, it is what I wanted to convey in this piece. Hope you have a beautiful week, happy Monday to you my friend!

      • Have you thoughts of an exhibition down the road? Have a lovely Tuesday….Janet:)

        • Mary says:

          Hi Janet, oh my your question is such a compliment and I’m truly flattered. I’d like too at some point, but I feel I have some additional learning and things to get accomplished with the level of my work before it could hold its own as an exhibit. But that and selling are both on my bucket list for my art. You really made my day with your question, thank you my friend.

          • It takes quite a while to organise a good exhibition, and so now is the time for you to begin to think about the logistics.. You are accruing a solid body of work….and so I am sure it wont be long. Have a beautiful weekend. janet. :)x

            • Mary says:

              Your confidence brings tears – thank you my friend. Thank you for your advice, I’ll be giving it a lot of thought as I plan my next steps.

  19. Beautiful, Mary. The trees alone make this a standout, in my mind. And with charcoal?! I wish you’d do youtube tutorials! ❤️

  20. Nice work Mary! I agree, I think its really hard to capture snow in charcoal. The features you have added though, the broken fence etc really add a nice touch to convey the feeling of the scene. ~Rita

    • Mary says:

      Thank you Rita – it was a scene that reminded me of the cold and harsh winters in NY where i grew up. Along Interstate 90 during winter the farmlands always took on the look of abandonment and desolate, except for a spotting of deer in the late afternoons. I enjoyed your feedback, thanks very much!

  21. Resa says:

    Lovely to look at! I grew up in this scenery in the prairie winter. One never forgets the cold & loneliness. I’m so grateful it was +50F here today. I walked for hours. Mary, I always so look forward to your next piece. Thank you!

    • Mary says:

      Thank you Resa! One never forgets growing up in those harsh winters, for me I’d rather be in the warmer climate. Your temps sound so nice – so glad you spent your day enjoying it.

  22. Susan Feniak says:

    I can see the beauty Mary, really I can. But we all know I am a sunshine and warmth kind of girl. 🙂

  23. Nominations open for Nepaliaustralian’s Blog Award 2015. Please nominate your favourite blog.

  24. A wonderful reminder of my youth, I grew up with snow and snow storms.

  25. Nicodemas says:

    Very beautiful Mary.

  26. mihrank says:

    such beautiful, the colors deeply powerful, it speaks a story by itself…

  27. Beautiful drawing, Mary. It looks so very cold though and reminds me of why I’m living here in Florida. 🙂

  28. gabriarte says:

    bellissimo una sensazione di pace e tranquillità bravissima

  29. Amy says:

    The drawing shows the smoothness of the snow. I like how the composition of trees, grass, fence, ….it enables us to feel the cold of the snow, also the beauty. ❤
    Thank you so much for sharing, Mary!

  30. Although I’m not a fan of the cold, Mary, your drawing fills me with warm memories of visiting my grandmother when I was child. I remember many barns settled on land that appeared abandoned. The detail in your drawing, especially the broken fence, it wonderful.

    • Mary says:

      Hi Jill, thank you!! Love to hear when a piece of my work brings back fond memories – makes my day. The barn was is so typical for the many abandoned farms that are scattered across the mid-West and East these days, very sad – imagine the history behind them. Glad you enjoyed the scene! Have a great week.

  31. Ah, it’s a beautiful soft and serene image, Mary. A scene we didn’t see this year and most likely will not either as it is spring already! We’ve had a rather warm February – or should I say …early April! Wishing you a beautiful week ahead. 🙂

    • Mary says:

      Hi Marina, thank you so much. You know we didn’t see any snow this year also – our daffodils were up and nearly gone, a fast Winter and now I’m seeing some perennials out front budding wow! I hope you have a wonderful week my friend, take care ~

  32. Chris White says:

    I adore this picture. Provided there was some heat I would love to go and write in there.. Lovely.

  33. John says:

    Nice, reminds me of bitter Michigan winters.. 👍🏻❤️

    • Mary says:

      Thanks so much John – I’m with you, the scene reminded me of Western PA and NY during the winter storms. Nice to see it, but not live in it!

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