Monday, February 21, 2011

Class 6— Feb. 24 – Snow: White Without White

One thing I've always enjoyed is the challenge of using the correct value while shifting colors. That's easy enough to do in something like the sky, layering various colors of the light value of the sky together, or the trees, as we played with last week, adding oranges and purples to sun and shadow areas whether or not you use green. But how does that apply to white? White is, after all, a VALUE, not a color. Technically it's made up of all colors:

White light is all of the colors of light combined within the visible light spectrum. When white light is separated through a prism, we see the visible light spectrum. The various wavelengths of visible light separate into colors. In turn, when these wavelengths are combined proportionately, we see white light
However, in painting we use pigments, not light. (Okay, don't get technical on me...light through pigments, yada yada... You know what I mean!) The idea that white is a value or tone in painting, combined with the knowledge that white light contains all colors, frees us to have some fun and experiment. So this is my answer to the question, How can you paint colorful whites? Don’t use any white! 

This week we'll paint from this photo only WITHOUT USING ANY WHITE. You're welcome to manipulate it whatever way you choose to, by cropping, recoloring, saturating or otherwise tweaking it. Bring a print with you to class ready to use for the painting we'll do on Thursday--not before.

Bring a piece of virgin white paper, any size or format, and a clean palette. You might want to be sure to have a nice range of lighter colors on hand. We’ll discuss how colorful snow or any white subject really can be. 

Bring your paintings of the trees from last week to show, as well. 

See you on Thursday!