Looks Like Fall

Feather in Her Ear – Oil Painting 12×12 by Winifred Whitfield

It was only moments ago that I looked at this image and saw “FALL”. That’s what can happen when one combines yellow, orange, red, burgundy brown and green as the palette colors.This is particularly the case when you view some of the brushstroke shapes I created in this portrait. Also, I think I’ve solved the problem of the over sharpening of my digital files and too much contrast. What a pain that’s been. increased contrast and sharpening is fine for photos but not so for paintings. It ruins them.

You’ll be seeing some new styles of portrait paintings in the future and I’m looking forward to the process. Have a wonderful weekend. Winifred

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Portrait Study and Vase Redo

Woman in Window Light 9×12 Oil Painting Head Study by Winifred

I create my paint sketched freehand with a paint brush. I must have told you by now, how hard it is to do this and to actually achieve an accurate resemblance. It is really hard. There are a few tricks though, to assist you. I used a couple. One is to turn both the reference image and the painting upside down. It helps immensely when you really get stuck and are not seeing some feature correctly. You can see the error of your seeing immediately because when upside down a lip or an eye or any shape becomes an abstract shape and the concept of eye of lip goes away. It turns your brain off a bit but increases your vision. It’s a pretty amazing tool.

They say the eyes are the window of the soul but the mouth creates the likeness. Honestly I spent hours trying to see her mouth correctly. Each tiny curve and tonal value has to be correct for it to properly appear as the reference mouth. If it’s not correct, you have a painting of some unknown person. I spent hour working on/painting her mouth and in the end is is finally correct. Brushstrokes throughout the painting appear a bit choppy particularly in the shadows of this digital file – far less so on the painting itself. I didn’t particularly concern with smoothing brushstrokes. myself with that. I wanted the features to be correct.There are many ways to make portrait painting easier, I could use a grid, there are even ways to copy an image onto the canvas. However, I want to sketch and paint freehand and to strengthen my eye for this capacity. Therefore, I must endure the pain of the process. I don’t mind a bit of suffering to get there. Below: A redo.

Red Vase Pink Roses 9×12 Oil Painting by Winifred Whitfield

Do you recall the pink roses in the green vase last week? Well, this is it. I gave it a redo. The red rose in the red vase painting quickly had a new home and I missed the red vase in particular. I also kept envisioning gold tones in the background rather than the more cool neutral tones I used before, so in this redo, gold it is. Original below and I do like the original roses. It’s all fun. I’m already thinking about what I’ll do next and I’ve pretty much decided.

Three Red Roses 2 Oil Painting by Winifred Whitfield

Have a great weekend. Winifred

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Three Red Roses

Three Red Roses Oil Painting 9×12 by Winifred Whitfield

Its been a year or perhaps two since I’ve painted a floral still life and I it really hadn’t part of my plan. I was simply going through my images looking for the next portrait reference and a photo of three roses in a decorative vase (clearly out of place) was before me. I thought I’d do something quick as a diversion.

Three Red Roses 2 Oil Painting by Winifred Whitfield

Actually it was the painting below and to the right which was the first I painted. When it was finished, I wanted to try a different style of painting as well. So, I’ve ended up with two quite different paintings from the same reference image. The image to the right is most like the reference in colors and proportions. The one above is much more of an interpretation.

Well, it’s time for me to get back to my portrait study. The portrait reference is from a tight head shot, which is not the kind of portrait I particularly enjoy painting, but it’s continuing practice in drawing, developing an eye for proportions. and painting features which is a process and practice which never ends.

Hope you enjoy the roses. I know you don’t particularly enjoy commenting, but I would love to hear your thoughts/preference regarding these two paintings, so I will leave the comments turned on – but no pressure. Winifred mailto:[email protected]

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John Singer Sargent Study

Sargent Study – Girl from Capri – Master Copy

John Singer Sargent was an American expatriate artist and was considered the greatest portrait artist of his time (1856 – 1925). If you are not familiar with his paintings, I hope you will look him up and view his masterful works. He was painter of the rich and famous. I wanted to imagine his brushstrokes. This is my study of his study of Rosina Ferra whom he painted very early in his career at 22 years old. She was a frequent model for his sketched and finished paintings.

It is hard to know when working from internet images what the actual colors are in the actual painting and there were so many internet versions to choose from. Accurate and original color didn’t matter to me, as much as did form, values and accuracy of in the face. There was a substantial amount of violet in my painting and in my reference. None of this shows up in this internet conversion. I have little doubt that my version of her sweater falls short of his in many ways. The sweater was far more challenging than the face but I wanted to make an effort. I wanted some semblance of the abstraction of Sargent’s brush marks – marks which will remain uniquely his.The texture of his canvas would have also contributed significantly to the creation of the sweater and all aspects of the painting. Painting her face, was enjoyable and I think the color is in the ball park.

Have a wonderful weekend. Winifred

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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

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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

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