Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Anything But White

"Ivory Velvet" 8x8 oil on linen panel
Whether the flower or the color is the focus I do not know. I do know the flower is painted large to convey my experience with the flower - and what is my experience if it is not the color? 
Georgia O'Keeffe

I so enjoyed painted a rose study last week that I just had to paint another. This time I thought I’d tackle a very high key white or ivory rose—which you quickly discover of course is anything but white. In fact, Renoir is quoted as saying “white does not exist in nature.”

Lots of choices for the painter at the Little Flower Market in Denver
I didn’t have a whiteish rose handy so I picked up a few from  The Little Flower Market (which I think used to be an old gas station)  near my studio. I took a ton of reference photos with my new studio camera which I love already—a Canon Powershot SX 260 with 20x optical zoom.

"Red Waves" 
Here's one of my first rose photos taken with it. I can’t wait to try it out at the upcoming rose show at the Denver Botanic Garden. I’ll never be a professional shutterbug but the more I paint, the more I appreciate having lots of reference shots on hand.

I think you have to be careful not to overuse white to automatically lighten your colors, but at that same time it’s an essential component of my palette. For more info about whites, here’s an excellent article by Gamblin: Getting the White Right. Thanks for stopping--have a wonderful summer week!

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