Sunday, October 11, 2009

What color is white, part 2 (with cows)

I promised cows, so here she is. What a lovely lady. She is really a great example to illustrate the point of our second question. That question is:

2. Is the value darker or lighter than what it is adjacent to?

It's all relative. It matters little what the local or native color of an object is. Much more important is how is the light or shadow affecting that color?

And here's where our bovine friend comes in.
Look at the black portion of her coat where it is in the sunlight. Now look at the white portion of her coat in shadow. Let's say, under her belly behind her front leg. Can you see that the white in shadow is actually darker than the black in sunlight? Who'd a thunk it?
If we get caught up in what the native color of something is, we'd never think to paint the shadow white that dark, or the sunlit black that high in value! That's why we need to carefully observe and check our values against one another.

A white church silhouetted against a morning sky could easily be quite a bit darker than the sky.
If you find yourself having to paint outlines around a white building to get it to "show up" against the sky, then it is probably a matter of incorrect values.
Here's the Cutler Bldg. steeple here in town as an example.

We've already seen in yesterday's post that the shadow portion of a white teapot can be very dark.

Here's another picture of cows just because I like 'em.
Tomorrow, maybe we'll have baby ducks or kittens or something.


Judy P. said...

Good grief, I just have to tell you that your past few blogs have touched exactly on headaches I've been having in my current paintings; it's like you're looking over my shoulder!
Thanks for the enlightening advice,

Deb said...

Didn't you see me looking through your window?