With my Snow Scenes in Pastel Pencils which are demonstrated on this site, you can see that I would simply apply white to the sand coloured ingres paper to create snow. But in watercolour, on white paper, how do I do it?
The first thing to think about is how much paper can I leave white because that is going to be the snow. It’s the same process with doing clouds, you have to leave the white of the paper. A while back I did a snow topped mountain in pastel pencils on this site and I left the pastel paper where the mountain and snow was as I didn’t want this interfering with the sky. I use the exact same process for watercolour, only the white is already there. Now this isn’t an easy way to work but it does become easier.
With intricate pictures where there are a lot of trees for example then I’ll draw the shape of the trees in. Trees in general are tricky because the are very random, and drawing them becomes ‘wooden’ (excuse the pun), stilted and unnatural. In a situation like that you have the outline of the snow on the trees basically and then you have to pick your way around putting the dark colour in.
On the ground, anything that is very detailed I would actually draw in with a pencil (a B or 2B pencil, which is erasable). Once you have got that in you can then erase it later on if it’s too obtrusive. I would also apply chinese white (from a tube) back on the picture where necessary.
Whether you’re interested in doing snow in watercolour or pastel pencil, we have a tutorial showing you in detail how to achieve the effect. Watch the snow scenes in pastel pencils by becoming a member.