Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Flower-a-Day: White Rugosa Rose

White Rugosa Rose, 6x8, oil/wood
$100, unframed
The funny thing about painting white objects, be they flowers, clouds, cloth, or buildings is that you rarely use white paint straight from the tube. You'd think a white something or other would be the easiest thing to paint, a no brainer, just use white paint. However, just the opposite is true. White objects call for very close and analytical observation and a ruthless pushing aside of what you think you know. The only pure white in this flower is one little blob on the edge of the upper right hand petal. That's it. Everything else is white mixed with another color and the illusion of a bright white flower is created by contrast and juxtaposition of color, temperature and value. Oh, and those grays you see are not made with white + black but rather white plus different pairs of colors, ultramarine blue and transparent red oxide being a favorite combination. It's always amazing to me, when painting en plein air, how many different and subtle varitions of colors the human eye can detect. What a beautiful world we live in!

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