Man in Red Sweater

Man in Red Sweater 12×16 Oil Painting by Winifred Whitfield

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

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Lady with Shawl in Chair

Lady with Shawl in Chair, 12×16 Oil Painting by Winifred Whitfield

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

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Toll Both Attendant – New York

Tool Both Attendant New York by Winifred Whitfield Oil Painting 9×12.

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.

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Girl in Dramatic Light

Girl in Dramatic Light Oil Painting on Linen 9×12 by Winifred Whitfield

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.

A Little Girl in her White Fur Coat Oil Painting 8×10 by Winifred Whitfield

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.

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Lady Byron

Lady Byron 11×14 Oil Painting by Winifred Whitfield

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.

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The Poser

The Poser 1 by Winifred Whitfield 11×14 Oil Painting

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.

Head Bowed 2 11×13 Oil Painting by Winifred Whitfield

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Lady with Oil Lamp

Lady with Oil Lamp 14×19 Oil Painting by Winifred Whitfield

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.

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Beside the Pond

Girl By The Pond 12×16 Oil Painting by Winifred Whitfield

Hope everyone is having a great New Year. I came upon the reference image for this painting recently and and knew I wound enjoy painting such a classic and somber pose. I particularly loved the curve of of her neck and body. I did exaggerate and alter colors a bit.

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Blue Bow

Blue Bow in Her Hair 9×12 Oil Painting by Winifred Whitfield

I promised you another “bold” stroke painting this week and I thought that would be the case, but as we’ve seen before, I had little control over my hands. The reference image for this painting was taken in my studio 10 years ago or more. She was a lovely model and fancily dressed. I added the bow to her hair and altered the detail trim of her dress to mimic the hair bow style – just to loosen things up a bit. She was from Eastern Europe and came with beautiful long dresses for her photo shoot. Below:

Roses at Christmas – 2021 – 16×20 Still Life Oil Painting by Winifred Whitfield

I don’t have Poinsettias but decided a painting of red roses is an appropriate image for almost any holiday occasion. I wish everyone a very MERRY CHRISTMAS and a loving holiday season. Thank you so much for being part of my painting journey. You inspire me. Winifred

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Bold Strokes

Lady with Bowed Head 5×7 Oil Painting on Canvas – By Winifred Whitfield

I’m “busting loose” with these 3 paintings. I remember watching painters on YouTube as they confidently placed individual brush strokes to create form color and texture. Really, they place one brushstroke then step back 6 to 10 feet to observe, then walk back to the easel to place another. They didn’t smooth, or “lick the paint” it is called, when dabbing at the paint un-assuredly, to try achieve a form. I so wanted to be able to do achieve that. Well, I must say I’m getting closer. These paintings were really fun. The idea is that at a point in time, decide your objective – perhaps to add a shadow under the chin – then put down a stroke and leave it alone. Then place another discrete stroke. Don’t keep dabbing at it trying to fix it or make it “pretty”. Don’t blend the color – allow the paint to be paint. Show the brushstrokes. I love the juicy paint texture. Well, that’s what I did with these paintings anyway. I find them exciting and energetic. I didn’t step back 6 feet after a single brushstroke but I may try that. I also found that by the time I got to the third painting I found myself trying to refine too much, I was being drawn back into concern to create a likeness, when that was not my original objective. It has actually been a longer learning journey to paint in this fashion than to paint in a super realistic fashion. After all, If I want the likeness of a person in a photograph, I have most of the information right in front of me. These paintings require an abstracted interpretation of the photo, and a level of confidence in each abstract brushstroke. I’ll be trying more in the future – and larger – after I finish a more traditional portrait which I’ve almost finished.

Whatever you chose to celebrate, HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL. Winifred

Lady with Long Braids 5×7 Oil Painting by Winifred Whitfield
Lady with Black Scarf 5×7 Oil Painting by Winifred Whitfield

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