Dress Warmly. Before you start creating your wintry masterpiece, make sure youíve put on a few layers of clothing! Stay warm and dry with a good winter coat, snow pants and a hat. Your hands are going to be doing a lot of the work out there so waterproof rubber gloves should be worn. Keep a backup pair of gloves handy. Avoid ski gloves: they can leak colour onto your sculpture and can easily get soaked and freeze. And since youíll be working on your creation from top to bottom, wearing knee pads is a good idea to keep you comfortable while you build and carve your sculpture.
Protect yourself from the sun. Donít put sunscreen away just yet. Even though itís cold outside, itís impossible to totally avoid the sunís ultraviolet rays. The snow reflects up to 80 per cent of the sunís rays, which could cause sunburns.
Choose a safe location. Snow sculpting involves a lot of climbing around and handling tools such as shovels. Do not start building close to the street or in the way of a sidewalk or driveway.
Have a plan. Do some sketches or drawings before you start. No matter how elaborate or simple the plan is Ė it will help you stay on track.
Move or ďstir upĒ the snow. This can be done with a snow blower or by simply shovelling the snow into a mound. The movement heats up the snow and removes excess ice chunks. This will make your main artistic ingredient much more malleable.
Create a strong foundation. Your hands are your best tools for this part. Pack each layer of snow down hard before adding more. A strong base will keep your design from collapsing!
Use slushy snow as ďglueĒ for your sculpture. To build up parts of your sculpture, add small amounts of cold water to cold, hard snow until it easily clumps together in your hands. Wet slush can also attach additions to your sculpture. Instead of dumping water right onto the snow, try putting some warm water into a spray bottle and spritzing the snow.
Carve your sculpture from top to bottom. Once the main shape of the sculpture is completed, itís time to start carving! By carving from top to bottom, the more fragile parts are taken care of as your progress to the foundation of the sculpture. Some neat tools that can create interesting designs include: garbage can lids, milk cartons, and any other container or mould that can be used to shape the snow.
Add colour to your creation. If you want to add colour to your snow sculpture, just mix food colouring with water and pour it on. It takes a lot of water to add a good coat of colour, so be generous. Food colouring might stain your mittens, but itís better for the environment than paint. Another environmentally friendly option is to use coloured floodlights instead of chemicals to colour your sculpture. But remember that adding colour to the white snow will make it melt faster Ė and darker colours will absorb more light and convert it into heat.
Use your imagination and have fun! Take advantage of this great outdoor activity. Try out a few different sculpture ideas and see what they turn into. Snow sculpting is a great social event. A group can create a sculpture together and, since itís an outdoor activity, an audience can watch as you work. The lifetime of snow art is short, only lasting a few hours or days. So enjoy it while you can.