Lady in Bustier

Woman in Bustier 12×16 Oil Painting by Winifred Whitfield

This painting began as a black and white photo, but I wanted to make it more than sepia tone. Painting it is color with it’s various color nuances was interesting. The lighting is dramatic and I can remember taking this photo in my studio years ago. I like it and I like the painting.

After I’ve worked for days on a very serious portrait as above, I most often select a photo to paint which easily allows me to PLAY – as was the case below. It creates a kind of balance within me. There’s the desire to just throw paint around. Any color, shape or brushstroke is almost acceptable, although I still attempt to achieve overall color harmony and composition. Lots of thick brush strokes are providing texture which of course does not photograph well. I did have fun! Hope you enjoy both. Hope you are very well. Winifred

Loosening Up

Girl in Red

Girl in Red 12×12 Oil Painting by Winifred Whitfield

Any combination of yellow, red and blue produces a lovely color harmony. There are artist who paint exclusively using this color combination. I don’t often use it but I like it. In this painting, I find the right shoulder offers too much contrast. Notice how your eye is drawn there. I must change that, but otherwise I will leave this painting as is.

Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend. Winifred

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Sunny and Breezy Day Oil Painting by Winifred Whitfield

It’s pretty photo realistic, I’m aware.. I didn’t intend this and I don’t prefer this as a painting style, as you are well aware by now. I’m a bit surprised it developed in this manner especially when I uses no aids or processes to go from photo to painting. There was no grid, projection or tracing. I looked at the photo, created a soft sketch and then painted. Sometimes it just happens. I think it’s the hair that plays the greatest role in the photographic look. I told you about the dozen brushes or so I modified. I didn’t have to create individual strokes to get the look of freshly combed hair. it’s the brushes I’ll blame. I have another great little brush which allows me to create the individual wispy hairs. It was actually fun – the whole thing.

The photo was taken in my garden when I owned my farm more than 10 years ago. I held a workshop, focused on both photographic shooting techniques and Photoshop editing techniques. It was well attended. This young lady was one of the 2 models hired. I’ve wanted to paint this for quite a while. It’s not often that one captures dramatic backlighting and adequate highlights and shadows in the face. Her shoulders were actually bare. I added a few painterly strokes to create a little shoulder drape just to add some looseness to the painting.Nonetheless, I hope you enjoy.

For sure, next week I will post a portrait painting that looks like a painting. Be well. Winifred

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Hazel Eyes

Hazel Eyes Oil Painting 9×12 by Winifred Whitfield

I liked her expression and the tilt of her head and I decided to focus solely on that aspect of the reference photo. As usual, it took three full rounds of painting her face and features to get to this point. Another round of painting might be merited but “over painting” most often takes the “life” from a painting. Imperfections can be a good thing. I liked the unfinished look of the hair and in addition added a couple touches of red – just because. I always worry about the color of the images in my my post because the color is never the same as the paintings. I struggle to get it as close as I can. Sometimes it’s close, other times not. Anyway, I hope you enjoy.

Have a good weekend. Winifred

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Guitar Player

Guitar Player (Study) 9×12 oil on panel.

I’m posting this painting to view but I’m well aware this painting didn’t work very well. The energy and expression are flat and the composition is not particularly interesting. The value of this painting is practice, and the likeness is quite good. Many many hours go into practice but no doubt, some paintings are more successful than others. I do love the paint texture itself. The reason I’m getting such interesting paint texture is that I’ve modified a bunch of brushes. I’ve created a dozen brushes or so with jagged edges and missing hairs which gives me all the paint texture. As you see, it looks like paint! I do like that.

There is also an interesting back story to this image. More than 10 years ago there was a major mudslide in the town of OSO, Washington. About 47 homes slid down the hill as a result of clear cutting and days of rain. Sadly, many lives were lost. There was a fund raiser held for the affected community with the fire department task with the distribution of the funds raised. I attended. This man was part of the entertainment for the event. What I loved about the image is the dramatic light.

So far, our weather continues to be very wonderful – at least, it’s my preference. We have. cool nights, 60 and below and I don’t think we hit 80 this past week. Enjoy your weekend. Winifred

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Venice at Night #27

Venice at Night 27 11×14 Oil Painting by Winifred Whitfield

It was the light which drew me to the photo I chose as a reference for this painting. No umbrella this time. I thought of adding one but such would have significantly affected the patterns of light. I enjoyed playing with painterly brushstrokes and paint texture. Am I finished? Maybe. Hope you enjoy. There’s been no significant heat here as yet, and unseasonably cool nights. Thus far -we’ve experienced below 60 degree nights. I’m in heaven. My strawberries are prolific. That’s my update. All is well. Hope you’re comfortable where you are. Winifred

The Shopkeeper and His Wife

The Shopkeeper – 12×16 Oil Painting on Panel by Winifred Whitfield
The Shopkeeper’s Wife – 11×14 Oil Painting by Winifred Whitfield

I think it’s interesting to see the difference in the surfaces of these two paintings. The Shopkeeper’s painting has a softly pebbled and a semi absorbent surface creating significant soft surface texture.

The Shopkeeper’s Wife was painted in sunlight on a smooth and non absorbent surface which allows the paint greater movement. You can see they look entirely different. I made the panel as well as the product I applied to the surface. To create this surface product is quite a bit more time consuming than using conventional products but I’ve decided it’s worth it.

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Sleep Little One

Sleep Little One – Oil Painting 16×16 by Winifred Whitfield

Children are beautiful when they sleep. This has been a portrait on my list to paint for a very long time. Basically sepia tone, that’s what spoke to me. for this one, in it’s quiet darkened environment. I also love the golden glow of the light and only a hint of the “teddy” was necessary. Hope you enjoy and hope you’re not sweltering. Winifred

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Lady on Hilltop

Lady on Hilltop Reading 16×20 Oil Painting by Winifred Whitfield

I can’t remember when or if I ever painted clouds before. The original background was a picnic scene – very cluttered but I loved her dress and her back in the photo. I decided to put her high atop a grassy hill. I looked at a YouTube video on painting clouds and decided I’d give it a try, though in a simplified fashion. Then I watched a video on painting grass. I think the colors overall are pretty and it was fun trying something very different.

Have a wonderful weekend and thank you for looking. Winifred Whitfield


Poised, 16×20 Oil Painting on Linen Panel by Winifred Whitfield

This may be the most complex portrait I’ve painted and for me it’s relative large at 16×20. I took my time and enjoyed the many challenges. I’ve had the photo reference for more than a year but decided at that time it was more challenge than I wanted. I was now ready. No doubt, as always, I will make changes for some time to come.

I’m beginning to envision a portrait with 2 people. It will be my first. I will create that photo reference soon. I hope you enjoy today’s post. Winifred