This painting is all about color temperature and an exercize in painting white. Painting white flowers, or any kind of white object is a fascinating and sometimes frustrating subject to tackle. The hard part for me is seeing the right color.
To mimic the light hitting the flower I have to think about color temperature. The light source is cool, which means that everything in the light has to be cooler than what is in the shadow. Knowing this helps a great deal, but it is not always obvious when the correct temperature is accomplished. In the areas where the flower receives light, I mix cobalt blue and yellow ochre into my white. The shadows are a mixture of green, pink and yellow that are applied very thinly and mixed on the canvas. The transition between light and shadow is a mixture of cobalt blue, permanent rose and white. The only pure white in this picture is the highlight on bottom of the central flower which I applied with a palette knife.
Below are earlier stages of the painting.