Wednesday, December 03, 2014

White Chameleon

 White and Silver   - SOLD
5" x 7"  oil on panel

White is such an interesting colour to paint.  The purity of it when examined is not pure at all.  There is no single blanket of white.  It is a Joseph's coat of many colours that reflect the environment around it so that the use of a pure white such as titanium white in paint is left as an accent rather than a predominant hue.

This still life of a ceramic and silver ornament is made up of many colour:  orange, yellow, violet, blue, grey.  But the ornaments still read as white to the viewer.  Try putting a white object on a plain white surface and see it pick up colours from its surroundings.  Put a sheet of coloured paper under the white object or sit it next to something colourful and watch it change again, like a chameleon. 

White can become warm or cool depending on its surroundings such as in this painting “The Two Sisters” by Joaquin Sorolla.  The sunshine gives a warm yellow cast to the dress which we instantly know is white, yet the blue of the sea provides cool whites depicting reflections and wave caps.


6 comments:

Jennifer Rose Phillip said...

i love painting/colouring white need to do it more actually :) can be so much fun experimenting with the colours around a white object

debwardart said...

I'm enjoying these little knife paintings. I took one w/s on that technique with acrylic, and really should give it a try again.

RH Carpenter said...

You have such a keen eye and it shows in all your work, especially when you tackle something like white and shiny silver! Sorolla was a master at whites, wasn't he? I think white in the sunlight and shadow was what fascinated him most of his life.

Jeanette Jobson said...

It is a great exercise that I use in painting workshops to open people's eyes and really observe.

They're fun and a break for me from my larger series that I'm working on. Yes, you should try it again Deb!

I can't resist shiny Rhonda. I think that's the appeal of water and reflections for me. Sorolla is one of my favourites. He was a genius with light and shade and making whites really stand out.

Sue Pownall said...

What a good point you've made about white and I love the contrast in your two example paintings.

Jeanette Jobson said...

White is fascinating to paint Sue and a challenge as well.