Monday, February 18, 2013

SOLD -White's Not White

"Bathing Beauty" 10x8" oil on gessobord

"The snow goose need not bathe to make itself white. Neither need you do anything but be yourself." — Lao Tzu
Seriously? Did people really ever get clean bathing like this?  

Painting anything white is a real challenge for me. For the robe in this painting, if you zoom in closely, you'll see I used a wide variety of thin pastel colors including green, violet, pink, blue and yellow first. The hardest part is holding off using any white paint until the very end. Once I have all the subtle values in place, the last thing I do is hit the tiny bits of highlights that appear here and there with thick pure white. Abrakadabra presto chango! Like magic the robe instantly reads white even though there is very little white present. It is so interesting how the eye reads all that color as white.

Although this robed subject is not a dirty snow goose, it does show how you can paint objects that look white by using very little white paint and have them still read as white.  
Thanks for peeking in today. 

© 2013 nancy parsons
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  1. Great job with the whole challenge!

  2. Did you give this challenge a go, Helen? I found it very challenging, but also very fun once I let go and started noticing and painting all the pastel colors in the white robe. Thanks for commenting!