The scene was rather complicated and in some ways very difficult both to see and to replicate. While it is not finished, this is what I managed to complete in about two and a half hours.
Other than the sky, the entire background was painted with DecoArt's Black Green. I figured it was better to start with the dark and work my way to the light. The sky, still not completely resolved was a very boring completely cloudless blue. I have played with several colors and am still not satisfied. This was done with a brush. Then tackling the mountains, again with a brush, I just didn't seem to get the texture, the dimension that I wanted.
Grabbing one of the two palette knives I keep in my brush case, I mixed up green, blue and grey to get the mountain colors. They were far away but had glints of green, blue shadows and other rather indistinct colors. Then, when I started with the hillside greens, and yes, they ARE that brilliant even in late July, a brush just wasn't cutting it. So, laying out some olive green (bad name, its much brighter than any olive I have ever seen) I wiped the palette knife from left to right. (I am left handed). I was surprised by the sweep and when you moved away to see it, the incredible texture you got. The houses were blocked in so I didn't care if the palette knife got careless. And now, after painting, them, I think they could use a little palette knife ruffing up as well.
Back and forth I went. Adding a little Avocado here, Black Green there and finally, getting all of the shadows, began to work on the snow. As real as it looks, it took less than 5 minutes to do. Continuing a little palette knife work on the stream at the lower left, I moved on. There is nothing more than needs to be added. The snow, or what I saw of it is perfect. ALL done with a palette knife.
The irony here is that the palette knife allowed me a freedom I have never known with a brush. And yet, despite that freedom, I also realized that it created a near realism image that I never sought but that makes the painting more real than anything else I could have ever done. The slope of the hills, the distant mountains, the meadow, the shocking green, this is all what I saw, what the photo shows. I know that while the image might fail, the painting has a good chance of living just as it is for centuries.
After I finished with the houses, and putting in the rough roadbed in the lower right, I realized that I had made a mistake with the houses. It wasn't that they weren't right, it was they seemed to be from a different painting. They were too smooth, too finished. When taken from a distance, those problems are resolved in a harmonious whole, however, I worry about the closeup view.
There are some details I would like to add, maybe some messy electrical lines I might ignore, but all in all, this painting is finished. No one viewing it would ever have a problem understanding what it is. And maybe, just maybe, I should leave well enough alone.