Christmas School Bus

The Simple Life Christmas is the title and it’s 16 X 20 oil on canvas.

For me the painting speaks to a simple life where the cares of this world disappear, a place set on the sides of a ski slope somewhere. It’s a place where you can spend the whole day skiing or boarding or just playing in the snow and then retreat to a cozy little cottage on wheels. In the evening perhaps roast a few hot dogs, grill some steaks or fry up some freshly caught fish over a warm open fire with your favorite beverage. Perhaps a glass of cider or a cold winter lager or maybe a hot chocolate is your choice. Spend the evening with some of your favorite people in this world. Maybe it’s your husband or wife, boyfriend or girlfriend, or family and friends.

Personally my wife and I are in love with the idea of converting an old school bus into a cozy home and parking it on a pine tree filled piece of land in the forest.

As I painted this I thought of it as sitting somewhere halfway down a mountain next to a ski resort and with a short hike up a little hill you would be able to ski right down to the lifts and spend the whole day carving turns.

It’s set at the end of the day, the sun is just setting and I think maybe whoever is there just finished the day on the mountain, got a fire started and are inside getting ready for a fun filled evening by the warm fire.

As I painted this piece I took a few (not very high quality) photos of the progress. It started as a scribble sketch on a piece of paper. Next I started a little under-painting and then sketched out a really basic idea onto the canvas

and began to fill in basic shapes and colors.

bus painting process 2.jpg

I kept the color selection quite limited. This painting was done using cadmium yellow, yellow light, grumbacher red, phthalo blue and titanium white.

Here I stated to block in the lay of the land and where the trees would live and I also started the process of painting the Christmas tree and defining where the creek would flow.

bus painting process 3.jpg

At this point I was working out how the snow on the bus would lay, I started the process of defining the Christmas tree and then decided that there really should be a little fire burning out front and then perhaps some trees and branches would be added to add texture to the land.

bus painting process 4.jpg

I continued to work out the snow on the bus you see now it goes all the way down to the window, that worked much better. I started adding color to the sky and began to work out the detail on the ski mountain in the background.


And here is the finished painting, the final step was to be sure the snow fell upon every element evenly and that the lighting was balanced. I added a few more places to sit by the fire and little sign pointing up to ski mountain above.
Xmas Cabin screen.jpg

No matter which holiday you celebrate this season I hope it’s filled with joy and love and shared with friends and family.

Thank you for taking the time and Happy Holidays to you and your loved ones!

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