Ménage à Trois – YAMS!


10×8 Oil Painting on Canvas Board

Ménage à Trois – YAMS! Oil Painting by Winifred

Early in June, I set up and photographed many still lifes,  I would later reference to paint.  I even photographed three large yams on a rich velvet background. Since that time, whenever I’ve scrolled through that collection of images, I would stop at the yams thinking “they looked so very weird”!  I thought I would never paint “that one”.  Wrong again.  I came to like the fact that the photo was  so unusual, so organic with the rich complementary colors and interesting shapes. It brings a smile. So, here it is!!

Below,  I  initially created an oil sketch and a light grid to be sure to get accurate placement, referencing the photo. I then chose my background color and painted loosely around the yam sketch.

Oil sketch with grid visible.

Below, I create my mid-tones, highlights and shadows.

Blocking in values as underpainting.

As usual, I like the  brushstroke looseness  of the stage above.

By the way, I wiped down and cleaned off my Hydrangea oil sketches from last week.  I will paint it  pretty soon and of course show it to you when I do. Til then, Winifred Whitfield


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Blue Hydrangeas Progression

Blue Hydrangea – 8×10 Oil on Canvas –  Preliminary Oil Painting Sketches

Hydrangeas – Preliminary – Progression

This is my first effort to develop a hydrangea painting. I explored a progression of considerations.  I could have painted clusters of perfect little petal flowers and a lovely blended background, or there are many other pretty styles. I know how to do that, but I would not find it interesting. In fact, I created many versions of this painting – more than you see here. They became less and less spontaneous. All paintings are not going to work, but if I am not pushing the creative envelop, experimenting with color and texture, detail or lack there of, I’m not moving forward. There are aspects of each image I like or don’t like.  I will leave it up to you to wonder through the images.  I will create a final painting  in the future starting with a blank canvas.  At that time, because of this efforts, I will better know how I want to develop it. Thank you and Bye for now. Winifred

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Diametrically Opposed

Oil Painting On Canvas 8×8

I set up these still lifes in my studio. Could any bouquets of flowers be  more different in painting style? I love loose painter strokes, but I also found it interesting to try my hand at some basic “one stroke” brush techniques in the image below.  Both were certainly very interesting to paint.


I found myself buried in details the painting below, but the results on this black canvas were vibrant and enjoyable to create.


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Lady in Crimson

“Lady in Crimson” 12×16 Oil Painting on Gessoed Board

Oil painting of lady in crimson.

The reference photo was  taken in New York years ago.  I find such interesting looking people there, and so willing to pose for me right on the street. I enjoyed flailing paint about on in this painting and enjoy the crimson  added as a last minute decision.  I don’t create detailed sketches before I paint.  With a large brush, I create placement for the figure, then loose placement for features before beginning refinements.

This is what the process looked like for this painting. Locating  shapes.

First 5 Minutes of Painting

Below, finding mid tone values in face.  Do you wonder what that thing is on her head? Initially I was adding a tam – which she did not have,  After a while, I decided it looked like a “cap and gown” image – which it does, so the tam had to go.

Below, starting to look like a person – in “cap and gown”!  I’m convinced that ultimately it would not have, but given the way I finished the portrait, it would not have worked anyhow – do you know what I mean?

Below: I always like my paintings before they are finished, but never stop there.  It’s a dare that a few more strokes will make it better. Sometimes that works and sometimes I’m filled with deep regret!!  

I will tell you at this point that this is a Transgender person.  She wore a two piece fitted outfit with her midriff showing and hand on her hip – there was plenty of attitude.   I  like the painting at this point but kept painting creating a very different image.  Eventually,  I changed the jawline, softened the expression and added the crimson. the final is added below to make comparison easier.

Oil painting of lady in crimson.

Painting Sunflowers

Sunflowers in Blue Room – 9×12 Oil Painting on Gessoed Board


I was in the mood to paint sunflowers this week. I do love them. I had something in mind and made a sketch on my board. Then I thought – now what. What colors will I use? It would be easier to figure this out digitally than in oil – then I would paint it.  I photographed my sketch with my phone and brought the sketch into painter to do a rough paint sketch. Below is the result. I like both of my drafts -great light!

Color Draft #1

I then printed it on a high gloss paper which gave me vibrant color contrast and detail. It would be my visual reference image for my painting – at least loosely so.

It was then late and I sat down to watch “So you think you can Dance”. One dancer wore coral red paints, a teal blue shirt and a blue violet hat. WOW! The colors popped and it was not a color combination I had been conscious of before. I spent some time thinking about the colors and what gave them the ability to compliment and harmonize. I thought – I can still do that. I finished watching the amazing dancers and went back to my computer.

Painter draft sketch 2 – “dancer” color added.

Above, I created a colorize layer and painted in my “dancer colors. It was an improvement – certainly for the subject matter and style in which I would paint. One just never knows where the next inspiration will be found. I didn’t really mean to go to the tip top if the board on my final oil painting at the top of the page. It didn’t start out that way. I still like it. After all, magazines cut of the top of all the models heads these days. It’s a thing! I did get every petal in the frame however!!


Sunflowers on Black Canvas – 6×8 Oil Painting

Prompted by a video, my first sunflowers were painted on black canvas. I’ve never done this before. It’s almost easier in a way,  because the darkest values are in place.

I like the painting and the idea. I will certainly do more paintings that way. Interesting I had already purchased Black Gesso and had covered several boards knowing this was something I wanted to do. So, I was ready.




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