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I had a blast creating this scene from a photo reference I found in a book of landscape photo references for artists. I wish I had taken time to snap pictures of the step by step for this one for all of you. I was very intrigued with the bright springlike colors of the moss hanging on the foreground tree and was able to capture that look somewhat close to how it looked in the photo. I liked the stretch of the farm lane leading back to the dense woods in the background. The sight was so peaceful, I just had to try it. I worked in large washes as I layed in the value transitions from foreground to background. The only thing I drew was the foreground tree. All the fenceposts, background forest, and small foreground trees were drybrushed in. I frisketed the hanging portions of the moss and went to town on drybrushing the little trees with a rigger and the foreground tree with a small round. Then I removed the frisket and greened in the moss and scumbled blurs of greens and raw sienna in the tree trunk and larger support branches. I stroked some white goache along the foreground tree’s large branches and dotted it on the top bumps of moss. I drybrushed the old fence posts along the lane and splattered the whole thing with a number two round brush, loaded with white acrylic, and declared it a SNOW DAY (something my kids always looked forward to!).  Hope everyone is enjoying winter!


  1. This is stunning!

  2. Wow! The depth is so great! Definitely do progress pics next time. I love the little path and the moss looks great!

    • Thank you for that about depth, Cindy. There were so many things overlapping, I had to pay attention to pull that off. I have sort of been slacking on progress pics, so thank you for saying you like them. Wish I’d done it with this one.

  3. So beautiful Leslie!

  4. Beautiful artwork 🙂

  5. This is gorgeous, Leslie! That moss simply glows!!!!

  6. How I miss scenes like this. A perfectly beautiful painting, Leslie.

    It’s been a while since I’ve visited and I wanted to wish you a wonderful 2013 with every blessings. I hope your holidays were pleasant and filled with love and light.

    Warmest regards,

    • I have been so poor at getting around to everyone, Jamie. I took a trip your way and see you have changed your blog and no comments. You are such an exceptional writer. Thank you for reminding me today and for your visit. Happy New Year!

      • Thank you, Leslie!

        I decided to close comments but leave “likes open.” It’s enough. I just am low on energy for curating comments, though I value them more than I can say. I also felt it to me a matter of integrity, needing to stay focused on the work itself. So far people seem to understand, though many are disappointed. I can respond in this way and keep relationships going. Look forward to more of your soothing art in 2013.

  7. I love the green moss against the snow. The delicacy of branches is also intriguing. I love snow days too!

    • Ha! Snow days were so REAL when we were young. I remember listening to the radio to see if we were able to stay home. This year, on one of our local stations, the network has created a commercial filled with kids watching the TV at their different homes and then it flashes around to all of them jumping up and down in their respective homes, clad in PJs, because a snow day has just been posted. It is an add for the station and their school cancellation report. Thank you, Nancy. 🙂

  8. Oh Leslie! This is just gorgeous! I have always loved the color and texture of moss and you’ve nailed it perfectly here. I wish my whole yard was covered with a blanket of this stuff. I love the dark along the bottom edge too; a beautiful and yet natural frame for the whole.

    • Maybe I’d like a mossy lawn. Does one have to mow it? 🙂 Thank you for noticing that dark area along the bottom. I think it was a bit of a muddy area under that huge tree. Maybe the pastured livestock gathered under this tree during hot summer days. Thank you, Sherry.

  9. I am loving winter. Nice to see the green moss in your lovely painting. My moss is on the Northside of the trees. It’s not quite as spectacular as your hanging moss but still a little green to link to the warmer months.

    • Thank you for that about my painted moss, Gretchen. I am not minding winter too much, myself, so far. I’ve been able to keep up with the shoveling. It gets rough when the snow piles up mid-shin, for me. I didn’t think of snow when I chose a home with a slanted driveway. 🙂

  10. I agree, the depth is amazing and wonderful detail!

  11. Intriguing and beautiful!

  12. This is beautiful. thanks for explaining the techniques and colours you used-it’s handy for someone like me who plans to learn the secrets of good watercolour use!

    • I think you do amazing work, Nicola. …but thank you for that. I must get back to posting the step by step every once in awhile.

  13. excellent painting

    • Hi jvishal,

      Thank you. Are you just getting your blog set up?

      • yes I’m just starting with the blog

  14. Leslie, I’ve missed so much in the last two months! Your work continues to inspire me and I love looking at the work created by your students. The green moss pops in this painting. Complex but nicely unified. Well done.

    • Thank you, so much for the comment directed toward the student work.
      The photo reference for this one really drew me in, Linda. I was intrigued by how I might pull off rendering that moss. It actually still had the colors of spring to it. Thank you.

  15. Oh Leslie, what a wonderful painting. I stood in awe for a slightly similar tree lately, the branches overgrown with plants.

    • You know what, Hannekekoop? I think I could believe fairies and gnomes, like you render, could be found in a scene like this. Just thought of that with your visit and comment on this one. Thank you.

  16. Lovely scene peeking through the trees, Leslie. I like the speckles of snow softening the painting. I think I am tired of winter already. That blizzard and then 4″ more a couple of days later have just about done me in. At least the latest round has been all rain refilling the pond after the summer drought.

    • I was captured by the same vision as you about peeking through the tree branches, Ruth. I know what you mean about winter. …but I think I have spent more time outdoors this fall and winter than I did in that awful heat last summer. It was so dry and hot. I believe you had it rougher during that last snowstorm than we did up north.

  17. This is stunning. I love the bright green moss, the dark trees in the background and the blue sky. I also love the depth in this painting. I could fall right into it. (And then make a snow angel!)

  18. I had to comment again to tell you how much I love this painting. The composition is perfect. That moss intrigues me and all the colors of the trees are fantastic.

  19. nice work, maybe next time the steps..keep up the wonderful painting you do.

  20. I keep forgetting about frisket in your paintings, Leslie and then I read how you’ve done it and think “Oh yes!” I love this painting. Do you get any ideas of how you’re going to do it when you first see an image you want to paint, or does that happen along the way?

    • I always get ideas about how I want to do things. Most of the time, it doesn’t come out how I originally visualised it, though. I think that is one of the things that keeps inspiring me, though. Some times it comes out better and more interesting and that intrigues me. When it doesn’t turn out as well, it makes me want to try harder to get it the way I saw it. I go in search of a better way or try to improve my technique. Good Question, Val. Thank you.


  22. Love it! It makes me want to ride my horse down the roadway 🙂

    • You know what? That gets me thinking that this scene looks a lot like your driveway looks if the fence posts weren’t there and you place a house off to the right in front of those pine woods….. and a barn to the left. Yep. Looks like a great place to ride. Thank you, Corey! 🙂

  23. i think i said it while you were working on this one, but i’ll say it again, I love it

  24. I can’t like it more than two times.So I am writing it down instead.LIKE, LIKE,LIKE. It is glowing,Leslie!

  25. Love this Leslie

  26. The soft winter colors and the lines of the trees drew me in. I got to feel the snow, the season, and rest on that. …..Then I saw the lane. It took me somewhere else. I like paintings that do that!

    • That is exactly the way the photo reference hit me. Thank you, Kim!

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