Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Challenge 29 - White Lilies


“The air was full of sun and birds,
The fresh air sparkled clearly...” (R. L. Stevenson)

We welcomed spring with such an abundance of enthusiasm and joyfulness!  In the last few weeks,  we  have created and viewed so   many exquisite paintings  in the “Spring Is Coming” challenge which captivated our hearts, making  us feel that, truly -

“…the grass sings in the meadows,
And the flowers smile in the shadows…” (R. L. Stevenson).

I am so grateful for your participation and how we support each other in our art journey through constructive feedback and comments. Once again, a big Thank You to all participants and everyone who shared their comments!

About the composition

I will be honest. This is a very complex composition. With a few small additions to balance out a single point of interest - flowers - this could be a complete still life painting set up in itself. However, in this challenge I wanted to specially focus on one specific aspect of painting.

In this challenge, you are welcome to simplify the composition so you feel comfortable with it. I know that the complex texture of pure silk can be irresistible to an artist. Similarly, the reflections of the vase opening another door inside the painting - laying out the whole room set up including curtains and windows - is so intriguing.  However, our main focus for this challenge is “How To Paint White Objects”.

We may have white fabric, white porcelain plate, white rose, white snow or other white objects. How do we paint them and still communicate the form, the space and the texture? The answer is surprisingly simple - we paint them the same way we paint any other subject or surface. We identify highlights, half tones, shadow accents, shadows, reflected light and cast shadows and paint them.

But, then why is painting white considered difficult by some artists? If we paint a subject with any other color, the range of colors - which we would choose to describe the subject -   is very broad, easily noticeable and easily modifiable to our advantage. We have plenty of tools to choose from.

However, painting white forces us to see color in a careful, “peculiar” way - in such a way that we have perhaps never looked at the color before. When we look at our white subject, our first impression would probably be that there is no color at all, just white and gray. But we must look again! Do pay close attention to each petal and try to see shades of pink, red, and yellow reflected from the silk fabric, shades of green reflected from the leaves, shades of dark background affecting the second lily flower which is further away.

There is a splash of colors all around these white petals!  However, their hue is so soft and light. Their presence is so gentle and nonintrusive. These colors do challenge our eyesight. Try to find them and communicate the form, the space and the texture so highly prized in fine art paintings.

Please send a photo of your painting latest by Sunday, June 17. The next painting reference will be posted on June 18.


Nora MacPhail said...

Gorgeous! Gorgeous! Gorgeous! Very excited about this one!

Nan Johnson said...

This is gorgeous - can't wait to paint it!

Helen H Trachy said...

Hi Lela. I love your post, can t wait to start! :)

Jenni said...

Great challenge and helpful hints. I've just bought some oils. Never used oils before. I wonder if I dare try them!!!

Paint and Draw Together said...

Thank you Nora, Nan, Helen and jenni! I am so happy that you like it.

Pragya Bhatnagar said...

This is really interesting, wud love to paint it:)

Paint and Draw Together said...

Thanks Pragya!

Barbra Joan said...

Beautiful... will give it a try.
Barbra Joan

Paint and Draw Together said...

Thanks Barbra. I look forward to your painting!

Elderberry-Rob said...

Thankyou for accepting my effort. There are so many talented people here with different interpretations and styles.

Unknown said...

Everyone did a great job! This looked like a very challenging piece. I'm hoping to get back on board for the next challenge.