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.