View Full Version : Eggs & Colander--white without white

Deborah Secor
04-18-2005, 05:20 PM
I don't know why this popped out of me, except that I had to do a demonstration of how to paint white without using white. There is NO white in it. None. Not even a lick anywhere. The program here will make me look like a liar, but it's true. :rolleyes: I used a LOT of colors instead and relied entirely on values to make it work. I hate geometry!! I know there are going to be some tweaks needed, and maybe one day I'll do that...


It's 13x11" on Wallis, and I used a photo from the RIL but didn't note who took it. I'll make sure to thank them when I find out, though. I may enter this in a competition, once the tweaks are done.

Any comments or crits welcome, as ever. I'm always willing to be a student!



04-18-2005, 05:28 PM
Deborah, I really like this. And I totally believe there is no white here. Actually, I don't think I've ever used a true white in pastel......something I need to remember when working in oil!

I love the dark background. Can you tell me what you used for that?

Deborah Secor
04-18-2005, 05:34 PM
The dark is mostly a deep Ludwig blue that is dense and sort of green-blue. But I have layers of some Townsend darks in there, too. The paper was toned a sort of medium color to start.

Thanks--glad you like it. I've been doing some rather atypical style work lately!


04-18-2005, 06:07 PM
Wonderful Dee...... I dont know if it was pre your time, but there was a huge project about painting whites without white - huge success I believe.

This is great Dee ....... love the colander and the light shining through the holes.... gorgeous colours throughout on it, especially in the shadows..... love the cloth...... and sorry, I feel as if Im picking on you tonight lol, but Im not :) ... but Im not so keen on all the lines on the eggs .... and feel too, that the back egg on its right side, needs a little bit more depth..... looking a bit squished and flat..... you will be relieved to know, Im off to bed now :evil: :D

04-18-2005, 07:09 PM
I absolutely LOVE this. With a bit of a colander in a recent still life - it's like a companion!

Love the study on no whites. Hard to believe but true!! The colander is exceptional.


Paula Ford
04-18-2005, 09:17 PM
Fabulous Deborah!! Definately enter it cause it's a REAL WINNER :clap: :clap: :clap:


04-18-2005, 09:35 PM
The collander is very beautiful...all the colors in that one section of the painting are very inviting.

04-18-2005, 10:19 PM
I have a question now that you mentioned you used an RIL picture and are considering entering it in a competition.

If I did a picture from a photo in Stock.xchg that has no copyright restrictions - personal use or commercial - can that be entered in a competition? Is that considered published? Or in the 'rules" does published mean don't take a copyrighted, printed picture and do a painting - like don't copy a magazine cover or an ad photo or another painting.... am I clear here? I even took a screen shot of the web page so I had a record of the nor restrictions notice.

Is that any different than an RIL photo? Thanks.


Deborah Secor
04-18-2005, 11:54 PM
Dawn!! <giggle> You are just full of advice tonight...but I see what you mean. There is an issue with that back egg. As for the strokes, I've already done more finger blending than makes me comfortable, but I don't care fore the scratchy look either. I need to tweak a few other things too, such as the edge of the cloth in the lower left corner where it looks stiff as a board as it goes up over the hump.

Thanks, Cindy and Paula! Glad you like it. :D

That's a tough question, Johnnie. I don't know... I know that this competition is for publication (in a cookbook!), so before entering it I'm making sure that the artist who shared the photo will allow me to use it. I'd suggest researching or asking your question of the folks over in the Legal Corner. Generally I think it makes more sense to use your own photos so that there is NO problem such as this. I don't think of a show, exhibit or sale, as being published. I think published means it's in a magazine, book, calendar, print or card, that sort of thing. Prize money is different.


04-19-2005, 01:50 AM
this is great, Deborah, no c&c needed, just applause. :clap:

Good idea for an article...white without white....hmmm...thanks, I needed some inspiration! Just means I have to produce 3 or 4 on the same theme.....perhaps not so many thanks after all....


04-19-2005, 09:09 AM
Deborah, I'd saved this reference image, as well...loved the shadowy intimacy of it and you've done a great job with it!

04-19-2005, 01:04 PM
So rich colors!
I do love it :)

04-19-2005, 01:22 PM
This is really good Deb.
As for the RIL, I always thought that's what it's for. We can use the images & not worry about whether it's all right to sell it or enter a competition.

Kitty Wallis
04-19-2005, 01:51 PM
Hi Deborah,
I like your concept and your composition. I have one suggestion. It's hard to explain.

The strokes on the eggs go around the eggs as if the eggs were on a spindle and the pastel was held against them. The strokes seem to all go horizontal to the axis. Making sense so far? The egg on the left is the exception.

I want to see strokes that follow the shapes in many directions so the curves are felt like you feel the curve of the egg when you hold it. I believe this change will solve your disatisfied feelings about the eggs.

04-19-2005, 03:37 PM
I like this a lot, Deborah. The colors are great! I agree that the left egg is a bit off and Kitty is probably right...but it works as it is, really.


04-19-2005, 08:33 PM
I keep coming back just to drool.


04-20-2005, 06:27 AM

Wow! This is gorgeous!! Why use white when there are so many gorgeous off whites available? I love the painting.
People have alreayd commented endlessly on the eggs and so my comment is probably useless, but it seems to me like the front egg is top-heavy? It's leaning towards us, somehow. Ignore me if you think I am talking rubbish.

Wonderful colours and set up.

Deborah Secor
04-20-2005, 11:04 AM
Mmmm, I think you may be onto something here, Sofie. There's a shape issue that's very subtle. I think Kitty may have the solution, in that if I curve the shapes around that egg, instead of kitty-corner across it, it may sit down better in place, but it also needs some adjustment along the bottom right side and top, where I seem to have flattened it out. As I worked on the background I forgot about the egg's shape a bit and had (still have) to go back in.

This is what's so helpful about showing here. I have time to see it more clearly thanks to all of you!

Jackie, I wrote an article called White Done Right, in the August 2004 issue of the PJ--the issue just before the one I wrote about you. Have at it...there's a lot to talk about, even if you do have to paint samples. :wink2: I used a white cat and a carton of eggs (not nearly as nice as this one, I might add! Speaking of which, this is available to use... <hint, hint> LOL)


04-21-2005, 03:28 AM
Jackie, I wrote an article called White Done Right, in the August 2004 issue of the PJ--the issue just before the one I wrote about you. Have at it...there's a lot to talk about, even if you do have to paint samples. :wink2: I used a white cat and a carton of eggs (not nearly as nice as this one, I might add! Speaking of which, this is available to use... <hint, hint> LOL)


YES PLEASE...nothing like having a bit of help along the way.................you have my email addy I believe. We will have to work out some kinda trade! I am getting quite into the idea...think I will try a little painting of a white cup with a white flower in it........yummy.

Have you seen the pic of white eggs in my book Pastels Workshop? Done by Sally Strand? The direction of strokes on her eggs is not obvious, the pastel looks more as though it was pressed onto the paper somehow, and I think Kitty may have a point. If you haven't seen this pic, do let me know and I will send it to you.


04-21-2005, 03:55 AM
it's lovely and the issue with the eggs has been discussed - I too was thinking of Sally Strand (love her work).

04-21-2005, 02:56 PM
I love this, dee_artist! No white? Wow! :) I'm going to have to try that exercise.

A few posts replies back, I noticed that someone wondered if the Reference photos could be used in competitions...I went to the Reference FAQ section and this is what it stated.

Are we allowed to sell a painting, drawing, or some other work of art that was derived from one or more reference images found here?
Provided the image came from our reference image library, yes. All images uploaded to the reference image library are fair game to be used BY OTHER COMMUNITY MEMBERS. However, the community member who uploaded the image still owns the physical image in its photographic form.

Kind regards,

Deborah Secor
04-21-2005, 07:42 PM
Thanks for that information, Dianna. :D We try to let the member who posted the image know, and thank them publicly when we can. It's always fun to know that your photo was an inspiration to someone. Personally, as a writer for a national magazine I always try to get permission in writing when I can, just so there are no misunderstandings about seeing something you kinda thought of as 'yours' show up in a magazine--plus it's nice to let them know it's coming so they can look for it.

And on that note, I want to thank kdkbrown--Donna Rae--for using her shot. I noticed that several people have copied it and commented on it. No surprise!! Thanks for letting me enter this one in the competition--that is, assuming I get it finished and shot in time!!

Oh, and I should mention that I was in part inspired by Sally Strand's paintings. I have a long way to go...but it's fun trying!

Okay, I keep looking at the egg on the left and now it's looking like a golfball to me... should I just dimple it and let it go at that? :D heeheeheehee...


04-25-2005, 03:07 AM
Deborah, this is truly lovely. It has mood. The eggs have personality, albeit one is a little warped, but I like it.
With regards to using photos from the RIL or from other sources that permit their use know that selling and competing are two different animals. Some shows are quite specific about references. My art assoc. for instance specifically states no images from the web, no photos taken by others without written permission to use. The idea is that the entire artistic design be the artist's. Since a reference photo from the RIL may be used by several artists a case could be made that my use of it, for example, is not truly original. To avoid this, when I use a ref from a public source I make sure that I rearrange elements, so it becomes my personal interpretation and cannot be identified with the original photo--if I'm entering into a show for competition. If I show for sale that's another matter entirely.