What Colour Is Snow?

As children, we grow up believing that snow is white.  Of course it’s white.  Everybody knows that.  However, when we learn to paint, our childhood knowledge can actually deceive us.  If we set off to paint snow armed with only a tube of white paint, we won’t get a good result.

Here is a picture of a skiing slope I found on the Internet.  It happens to be a section of a slalom course.  As you can see, it’s mostly snow.

In my favourite fashion, I decided to get the colour picker out in Paint.NET to see if I could discover what colours I actually needed to include in my paintbox, in order to paint this snow.  The colour swatches are below:

What you can see from the colour swatches is that there is a lot of mauve and purple, with some shades of Prussian Blue.  The brightest “white” in the picture is actually a grey, with a purple tint.  The darkest shadow is next to the lightest white.  It’s a very strong blue.  These are the colours you actually have to mix on your palette to render the scene in the photograph.

So next time somebody tells you that snow is white, tell them you know better.  🙂

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About tropicaltheartist

You can find out more about me here: https://michaeltopic.wordpress.com/. There aren’t many people that exist in that conjunction of art, design, science and engineering, but this is where I live. I am an artist, a musician, a designer, a creator, a scientist, a technologist, an innovator and an engineer and I have a genuine, deep passion for each field. Most importantly, I am able to see the connections and similarities between each field of intellectual endeavour and apply the lessons I learn in one discipline to my other disciplines. To me, they are all part of the same continuum of creativity. I write about what I know, through my blogs, in the hope that something I write will resonate with a reader and help them enjoy their own creative life more fully. I am, in summary, a highly creative individual, but with the ability to get things done efficiently. Not all of these skills are valued by the world at large, but I am who I am and this is me. The opinions stated here are my own and not necessarily the opinion or position of my employer.
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One Response to What Colour Is Snow?

  1. Yeah! I experience this winter very intensively as we have almost renounce to heat, beside to cook a meal on the old wood oven or when it gets very cold at night (but even than…lots of blankets and several clothes upon each other helps!) .
    To my surprise, I enjoy it. I feel more alive and in touch with a season. I learn new insights about myself, and the rest of nature. I don’t feel well, in the overheated places in the city. Instead of a natural slowing down and a bit of contemplative hibernation, it has to be a business as usual.Something appears wrong to me in all this.We human have rhythms too.
    Depending the light, almost all colours are visible in snow and ice. So many gifts!

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