As I perused a friends blog reflecting their recent train tour of Italy – and environs, I saw a photo taken in Venice which stopped me in my tracks. There were many beautiful photos from their trip, but if you recall my paintings from my Venice photos, they all featured umbrellas, rain and the night. I immediately selected her daylight photo to paint. I thought it would be interesting to see if I would approach this painting differently. I enjoyed creating the color variation and texture on the walls, though there was texture on my canvas as well. I added plants and simplified many other aspects of her photo. Painting is about eliminating the non essential.
Recently, Venice presented some very exciting news to the world. During the past several years a $7 billion engineering project was developed to save Venice.
It’s fascinating. (The development and engineering of this system was created by a woman – just so you know.) If interested in learning about the project – view this short YouTube video in the link below and perhaps a few more.There is real hope for Venice.There’s just no other place like it in the world. I believe the system first launched a couple years ago. Saving Venice
I actually painted a portrait last week and though “correct” I found it completely boring and hence wouldn’t post it. Have a great weekend. Hope you have some flowers and veggies growing. I have plants, of course, but the primary food I grow is strawberries in containers. This year, I had to divide them and gave tons of plants to friends. YUM! Thank you for viewing my blog. Winifred
Many young women came to me in the past wanting a special photograph for the special man in her life. I remember this young woman. She was not the “posing machine” as was a previous young women I mentioned, but she was lovely. The hat added a little interest for a few of the shots and selected it as my reference photo. During the original photo shoot. I used drapes of sheer gold and white for the background, but that wasn’t consistent with my vision for this painting. In fact, I had a really difficult time determining what the background for this painting would be. The painting itself was very complex and time consuming. I wanted the background to be easy. I had something in mind but it didn’t work, my colors were just too warm. Only when I layered cooler blue/gray/violet tones was I pleased and she stood out all the more. The few wisp of the lightest paint color reminded me of wings. They had not been painted as such – just an accidental gift, but became he basis of the name for the painting. Now that it’s two days after I finished the painting, I see something that needs to be corrected. It’s. always like that, and I will do so. Hope you enjoy. Thank you for viewing. Winifred
This painting combines my love of portraits, love of floral, and makes up for all the color I haven’t painted in a long time. Well, I did paint with red last time, but my recent portraits have been pretty muted.
She was reluctant to be photographed on this day and on this occasion. It wasn’t a planned shoot, she just happened to be outside and I ask her to stand amidst my very large tulips. I really love it when little children do things with their little fingers – though I hadn’t noticed at all. she had tugged at her shirt. If I had, I probably would have said ” stand still and don’t tug at your shirt. We can be our worse enemy. I remembered this photo reference because it was outside and had all the color – thought it might be fun. I had mixed feelings about the panther, although since it forms an X with her hands in the center it contributes to the focal point. So I have two focal points – her adorable face being the other, with tulips framing her. How lucky I am. There is more going on in this painting than I ever would have planned but I think it hangs together pretty well. It’s also her cool tones surrounded by the very warm tones of the flowers that allow her to remain forward – stand out, and not get lost amongst the flowers but also has strokes of the warm reds on her shirt to keep her fully integrated into the background. So I think I’ve convinced myself it’s OK.
I was conscious of staring at my painting and not blinking this week. PAIN reminds me if I start down that path. I get so obsessed when I begin a new painting that I can do nothing else. Well, I start after breakfast at noon, and I do break for dinner. Otherwise I paint. My new IPhone came yesterday – upgrading from X and I have yet to update it for use. I will tonight. Have a great weekend. I wonder what I will paint next. I do love painting. Thank you for viewing. Winifred
I decided I was not going to post another painting – I had issues with as I have the past 2 weeks. This painting was complex and very time consuming but I knew it would be worth it. I do love this painting. You can’t go wrong with a square jaw and dimples! That wasn’t so bad but a portrait with full facial features in always challenging – also a beard.
This frame has been hanging around for quite a while. I was waiting for the right painting and I think they do nicely together. The question now is “what do I paint next”? I get a break for a day or two while I go through images and figure that out. It’s fortunate because I need a break after every painting. I discovered something else very important. Day one of this painting, I did a rough block in of the shapes. Day two, I start to bring in detail. My eyes started to really hurt. They were strained and stinging. It was really bad. It’s been happening more and more – but I figured out the problem. There are times I am so focused on small details that I don’t breath nor blink! It can be a minute, maybe more of “no blinking”. My eyes hate that. So finally I am much more conscious of the process and have eye drops nearby. It is not in every phase of painting that I do this, but when engaged in particular task. A portrait with this much detail required a lot of me. So now I know. Blink and Breathe.
I’m usually saying “have a good weekend” but it’s Monday night. I couldn’t get this painting finished in time and even when I thought it was finished – it wasn’t and required many hours more. And who knows – there may be more painting when I take a real break and then freshly view it again.
Anyway, you may always contact me if you like at [email protected] Bye for now. Winifred
Just another few days in the studio. I learn something new all the time. I like the way this lady poses for me, she looks to the side, she tilts her head, she does a great job for me – so why did I choose a reference image with her directly looking into the camera. Something about it struck me. I’m not so happy with this painting I must say – having nothing to do with the sitter. I wasn’t happy with the one I posted last week either. That’s not a fun streak to have. Before that was the’ creepy doll”. I need to get past this. I do love it though when I have the perfect frame. Pretty soon I’ll tuck this painting away away in a box of “paintings that didn’t work”. Its a large box! Then the day will come when I sand it down and paint over it. I do this regularly. I’ll never have to purchase another panel to paint on. There are also the paintings that bring me joy each time I look at them and they remain on view always. I have lots of those too – far more than in that other box. That’s good.
I also learned this week that I really must stop using solvents in my studio. I thought I could get by, but now I think not. I can stop using solvents too – no problem. I was simply falling prey to the advertising of some popular and easy to use products. I moved all of them out of my work environment this past week though I can even use them out of doors to clean brushes if I want to. The concern is one of ventilation and during winter one is locked up tighter.
My town Poulsbo doesn’t know it’s spring yet. Last night it was 40 degrees and I really felt it. There was a high of 50 today. That’s about as warm as we’ve been getting. Still I planted all my containers yesterday so when it does warm up, they’ll explode with color! Have a wonderful weekend.Winifred
While paused at the toll both in New York, not sure which bridge, I ask the attendant, wearing her orange uniform top, if I could take a snap. She had such a warm and friendly face. you can see she said yes. It wasn’t to be a glamorous shot, just a normal person at work. For a long time, I haven’t known how to approach a painting from the photo reference. This is what I decided on. I wish I could find her to allow her to see herself through my eyes. I think she might like it.
I’m not sure what I did which sized the file smaller but since it’s her head only, It’s sufficiently visible. It’s been a while since I painted such a realistic portrait. I’m also not quite sure how these decisions get made but I do enjoy the versatility. I would become quite bored if these paintings were all the same style and I would not enjoy it if I actually had to figure out how I would paint a portrait ahead of time. As it is, I select a photo and and then go along for the ride. I do make input from time to time after the style is chosen. Portraits like this are very difficult and time consuming but that’s just fine. Below: I painted this little girl a couple months ago but hadn’t posted.
above, low-key, this little girl high-key. Since the styles are similar, this is the perfect place for it. I hope you enjoy them both. I never painted fur before and I love her fur jacket and the little button. Thank you for viewing. Enjoy your weekend.
You’ve seen paintings painted 100 years ago or even more. Typically there is a narrow color range, certain brush work, limited contrast, certain poses and even a certain expressions. That’s what I was attempting with this painting. Hence I named her Lady Byron.
we had the best time ever during her photo shoot. She told me she had been practicing poses for years while yearning for such an occasion. She went from one pose to another in rapid succession. Top Model never had is so good. I’m only giving you the simplified head shot version. Her actual hair was more like the color below – a red burgundy and she had plenty of it.
Below is a a second portrait painted from a reference image I really like. I like the image he because of its varied and interesting shapes and angles. I painted it fast and loose which was fun.
I remember vividly her portrait session. She wanted pretty and sexy photos to send to her husband away in the military. I always requested additional poses for my photo collection. I’ve been looking at this reference photo for a while now. In addition to the complexity of the face, It also featured both hands and the lamp. I decided I was ready to give it a try and I’m glad I did. I even very purposely left texture in the brush strokes of her skin. I didn’t want it to look like a photograph. When paintings are viewed at a distance, even 5 or 6 feet, a modest amount of brush texture mostly becomes invisible.