The Beauty of Winter in Art: 9 Inspirational Winter Painting Ideas

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pieter bruegel the elder

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During the winter season, landscape painting is not commonly pursued by artists. It can be challenging to paint with cold hands, as many would attest. However, it’s important to note that the season offers a myriad of stunning subject matter and winter painting ideas!

Also the colors in winter season climates, tend to be more understated and enveloped in a monochromatic haze–so, it is a wonderful practice in working with these sorts of muted colors in your painting.

here is a winter street scene to inspire new winter painting ideas
Here’s a winter painting idea for you via a painting by Alfred Sisley. The Rue Eugène Moussoir at Moret.

In this article, we’ll explore several beautiful winter landscape paintings to help inspire winter painting ideas of your own. By observing masterful works by: Edwin Dickinson, Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Claude Monet, and E.M Saniga. You’ll gain an incredible amount of inspiration and insight that you can apply to your own work!

Edwin Dickinson’s Winter Landscapes

Edwin Dickinson (1891-1978) was an American painter known for his figurative and landscape works. His work is often characterized by it’s impressionistic and expressionistic qualities.

Edwin Dickinson, White Winter, 1915, Oil on canvas, 24 x 20 inches, Private collection, New York

Dickinson painted many winter landscapes throughout his career, drawing inspiration from his travels to New England and Quebec. His winter landscapes are notable for their loose brushstrokes, subtle palette, and atmospheric effects.

One-Sitting Winter Painting Ideas

The artist Jack Tworkov once declared “Edwin Dickinson was the greatest painter America has produced – in any century.” Many of his paintings were done in one sitting, like the ones displayed here.

Edwin Dickinson, Parker’s Cliffs

Atmospheric Winter (Painting Ideas)

In this painting, notice how the environment has a hazy sense that produces a feeling of chill in the air. Although you can’t visually witness distinct snowflakes gracefully descending, you have the ability to envision the possibility of a snowfall occurring.This is a good reminder, as you think of winter painting ideas, that less defining details can be extremely effective.

less defined winter landscapes provide great winter painting ideas
Edwin Dickinson, Sheldrake Winter. As you look for winter painting ideas. Remember, that you can capture your subject (and viewer) effectively, by having less defined details in your winter landscape painting.

As we have witnessed in Dickinson’s winter landscape paintings. We can see a delicate balance between the stillness of winter and the movement of nature. His trees and branches bend under the weight of snow, yet there is a sense of grace and resilience in their posture.

Dickinson also portrays the varying moods of winter, from the crisp and bright days to the moody and foggy ones. His winter landscapes depict a world that is both serene and alive.

Winter Landscapes by Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1525-1569) was a Flemish painter known for his landscapes, genre scenes, and biblical subjects. He is best known for his landscapes and peasant scenes. However, he also painted wonderful winter landscape scenes like the ones directly below.

Bruegel the Elder winter painting panoramic scene that provides great winter painting ideas and insights
Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Winter Landscape with Skaters and Bird Trap.

Bruegel is one of the most significant artist of Dutch and Flemish renaissance painting. His winter landscapes are characterized by their attention to detail, vibrant colors, and panoramic views.

As demonstrated by the winter paintings on display here. Bruegel, captures the textures and patterns of snow and ice with remarkable precision. His figures are often depicted in small groups, engaged in various winter activities, which create a sense of community and warmth amidst the cold and dark season.

winter landscapes
Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Hunters In The Snow

When looking for your next landscape/winter painting idea. You could try capturing a larger panoramic scene with vignettes of different happenings like Bruegel the Elder.

Claude Monet’s Winter Landscape Painting in Normandy

Now if you’re looking for ideas for winter paintings, or paintings ideas and insights in general. Monet has inspired countless of artists for a reason!

Claude Monet (1840-1926) was a French painter and founder of the Impressionist movement, known for his series of outdoor studies of light and color. Although Monet painted only a few winter landscapes in his career, including his famous snowscape painting from 1875, which depicts a snowy landscape in Normandy.

winter painting ideas abound in this painting of a house in winter and snow by Monet
Claude Monet, The Magpie. In this piece is perhaps atypical to what you usually think of when you think of Claude Monet. He painted it during the winter of 1868 -1869 in Normandy.

E.M Saniga’s Winter Landscapes

E.M Saniga is a contemporary American painter who presents a naturalistic yet mysterious vision of reality. Chiefly, his winter landscapes invite the viewer to look closely and appreciate the small details of winter. Now, a great reminder to us when looking for winter painting ideas–that we shouldn’t overlook the more intimate subject moments around us.

winter landscape paintings
E.M. Saniga, A Sycamore and a Little Cedar

Saniga’s winter landscape paintings evoke a sense of wonder and awe, as if the landscape is a magical and mysterious place.

Winter landscape paintings
E.M. Saniga, Blood Trail

Winter landscape painting is a genre that offers a wide range of creative possibilities. From capturing the stark realities of winter life to evoking the ethereal and otherworldly atmosphere of winter.

As you can see, the four artists discussed in this blog post, Edwin Dickinson, Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Claude Monet, and E.M Saniga. Each bring their distinctive styles and perspectives to winter landscapes. Through their works, we can appreciate the beauty and power of winter landscapes and how they inspire us as artists and viewers.

As we approach the winter season, observe and appreciate the winter landscape around you. You can also seek out winter scenes to paint if they are not readily available to you.

By observing masterful artists’ winter scenes, as well as your own surrounding. It will help you gain the confidence to be able to attempt painting a winter landscape of your own!

Save these Winter Painting Ideas to your favorite Pinterest board!


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    14 thoughts on “The Beauty of Winter in Art: 9 Inspirational Winter Painting Ideas”

    1. inger karin sivertsen

      Tusen takk for vinter ideer. Holder på å forbedre mine vintermotiver etter at jeg har lest dine innlegg. Nå forstår jeg bedre hvorfor en vinter blir intim og malerisk. Det har jeg manglet og jeg ser allerede forbedring.
      23januar 2024.

    2. I do love the paintings. However, I am certainly not talented enough to paint in this style.
      My “paintings” right now are ring pours and similar style. I will admit to painting a winter
      village which I love and took FOREVER ! I only get a few hours a month to paint and I want
      instant gratification. Plus I have been told I am REALLY old – 76 ! 🙂

      1. You are most definitely not really old at 76! I have seen enormous growth and learning happen at any age – even people in their 90’s. It can be hard to only have a few hours a month to paint – so sometimes it can be an advantage to make the most of that time as one is forced to be very intentional.

    3. What a wonderful round up of seasonal artworks! I’m in a bit of a creative rut at the moment and always find exploring different paintings and diving into art history a HUGE help! Thanks for sharing this collection!

    4. Hello Elisabeth.
      Thank you for these wonderful ideas. It has been very cold lately here. I can’t paint in the cold weather; but I do believe my watercolour painting is improving thanks to all your excellent instructions and video tutorials, it has made a huge difference to the way I paint now. Not so heavy-handed with my paint mixing and look at thing more purposefully.

      My grateful thanks and best wishes for your Christmas and new year.

      1. Hi Mike, Am very happy to hear that your watercolor painting is improving – that is wonderful! You are very welcome for the lessons and tutorials. Hope you had a wonderful holiday season and a great start to the new year!

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