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.
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.
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.
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.
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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