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For Scottish artist John Stoa, snow is never boring. Instead, he depicts beauty in every wintry landscape, using bright colors and cold shadows to create drama and excitement.

Tullybaccart Vista by John Stoa

A former landscape designer and horticulturist, Stoa’s knowledge of real-life landscaping composition, color, and contrast is clearly seen in his paintings.

One area of dark color usually anchors his landscapes, against which the vibrant blues and whites of snow are easily distinguished. His use of oranges and yellows is based on color theory, and he places complimentary colors next to each other for the greatest impact possible.

Directionality and line also figure strongly in his paintings, especially in this one, which shows a view from alongside the River Isla.

River Isla Coupar Angus by John Stoa

Both snow tracks and orange hedges lead viewers’ eyes throughout the painting. Using the natural curves of roads and fields, Stoa has created an energetic composition with plenty of space to roam. Framing the painting is a dark tree on the right side and bright foliage up close, giving a feeling of depth to the landscape as well.

SEE MORE: Original landscape paintings at NUMA Gallery

Using a cold blue for shadows keeps the visual temperature of the paintings low while making the oranges and yellows “pop” out of the scene. This gives the impression of clear, crisp air; just like a snowy landscape would have in real life.

Newtyle Railway Line by John Stoa

In this last painting, Stoa has used orange to divide the landscape into three sections, creating a very balanced yet asymmetrical composition. Simple shapes and a limited color palette make this winter scene especially peaceful.

If you’d like to see more of John Stoa’s art, you can visit his website at www.johnstoa.co.uk.

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This week I'm featuring a painter whose work exemplifies the perfect combination of geometric shapes and bold color. Don Dahlke's art is meant to evoke a certain feeling of warm summer days and ocean breezes, and it certainly does. . . read more

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