Blue Violet

Woman in Blue Violet – 9×12 Oil Painting by Winifred Whitfield

Just scroll back 5 or 6 post back and you will see a different version this painting. This painting is from the same reference image as before – except previously, I painted faster and looser. You may recall she had red and yellow “butterflies” in her hair and a black background. I decided to make some changes. Initially the changes were intended to be minimal and I was only tidying up – which is not a good thing. (Someone once told me that finalizing a painting is not “house keeping” – you are not to “tidy up”, which usually results in overworking a painting and taking life from it). That sounds like something I would do. However, once I got started making things “more tidy” I became pretty obsessed and created a complete repainting and “over working” of the painting. My eternal struggle – I revert to a very realistic portrayal. At this point, I can’t determine if it’s better or worse – hopefully just different. Anyway, it’s gone.

In this version of the painting, the face and features are more realistic but I’ve also altered the entire color palette, which is not easy. In the reference photograph, she wore a black dress and had a red and black background. I used this for a workshop I hosted. When you have a red background, red will bounce all over – affecting her skin, her hair and attire. I didn’t want that super saturated red color throughout the image – not for this portrait. I wanted a color palette more neutral. I altered her skin tones, and then came the challenge of creating a background. Initially I painted the background a solid color – basically the same hue as her attire and the coolness of her skin tone. It was quite boring. What to do? Using some thickened paint. I painted the background more violet and then started to make some small dark”swirls” reminding me of brocade fabric. I thought that was okay, certainly better than the previous plain background – so I stayed with that. The repainting had come to an end. You may notice the two moles on her face. The rule is, that if a mark is going to be gone in 6 months, don’t put in in, If it’s going to be more permanent, include it. For sure, most moles are there to stay and they look just fine and don’t detract from her attractiveness. I’m happy to put this down – for good – hopefully.

I didn’t get to work on my floral painting which I abandoned last week but I’m really looking forward to doing so. I hope you’re having a good weekend. Winifred

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