The rose arbor at the end of the porch drew me to paint this picture of a white house. The delicately colored pink flowers can be seen because they are much lighter than the dark shade under the porch. The slightly vase like shape of the arbor contrasts nicely with the straight, rigid lines of the house.
A viewer is able to see any given shape within the vista in front of her because the shape is either lighter or darker than that which surrounds it or possibly is the same value but a different color. Parts of a white house may be either. A white building surrounded by snow is in all likelyhood darker than the snow, or if the sun is shinning on the snow parts of the building might be the same value but a different hue. A white house might be blue surrounded by yellow snow.
One could just leave the house the white of the paper but that would be without details and be flat, uninteresting. To paint “white” one must paint in the palest of hues. There are many colors present in a “white“ building: the shady side of the house, of each column, at the edge of the window frame, under the eaves, reflected color under the eves or on a wall.
One must always be aware of reflected color. The building might be a pale apple green because of the reflected light from the sunny green grass in front of it. Gray is warmer than blue so gray will probably be found closer to the viewer than the turned side of the building. Sparkle is present in the lightest areas of the building and those may be the white of the paper or the whitest, white of the whatever medium one is using. Remember to always think warm and cool as measured against the other colors in the painting.