Brrr, It's Cold Outside!

This is the first winter I've not been doing scenic work, which means I've been attempting to paint outside in colder weather than ever before. As I type we are having some unseasonably warm weather, but that hasn't always been the case this month. With temperatures hovering around freezing, you never know when you start a sketch if it will drop below! As a result, I just experienced a first: Paint turning to ice crystals as I painted! The first time it happened was with the Bethesda Terrace sketch at Central Park, below. The dappled effect of the ceiling was unintentional (although I liked the effect: happy accident?), but was caused by the paint turning to ice! It was just tiny ice crystals, so I wondered if I had gotten anything in my moonglow pan in my palette. Now that I have had a second experience I can say for sure: ICE.

The second time it happened, I was attempting a nocturne at Lincoln Center. It started off just fine, but the temperature dropped and I was actually having washes of color become ice sheets in the mixing are of my palette. Some accidental texture in this one too! I had wanted to do the whole thing in paint, but I swapped to my pen when I realized that was just not going to happen.

I've heard of artists using vodka to keep their water from freezing, by mixing some in, so if I go out again with the weather near-freezing I might give it a shot! Will keep you posted if I do!