She was wearing red at the time of the photo shoot but I had a different vision. I wanted a more harmonious and painterly look. It would allow her face and the waves of her hair to be the star. Of course I have more work to do but I’m not embarrassed to show at this stage. I have another painting of her as well and I love the style of painting of her face in that one but I have not been able to work out the background. If I do, Ill show you next week. If I don’t, Ill remind myself to figure out the background before I begin. I have one, of course but it just doesn’t work and I saw that all the while. I do enjoy these colors. New for me.
Have a wonderful weekend. Thank you for looking. Winifred
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
There are Rules for creating copies of a Master’s Paintings. Such paintings are referred to as “master copies or master studies”. I would refer to my work on this page as studies. I wouldn’t quite elevate them as “copies”. I didn’t actually make such an attempt. The rules, however are number one, not to make the study/copy the same size/dimensions as the original painting. That is flat out considered FRAUD! The other rule is to put on the front of the painting “After … and the artist name” as I did here. There is debate as to whether or not such paintings can then legitimately be sold, though there does not seem to be a big problem with that so long as the first two rules are followed. This is my first attempt at a master study.
In Europe, the first years of an art students study is primarily making master copies. If you’ve been to the the Louvre in Paris, you have do doubt seen students sitting if front of some of the great paintings of the ages attempting to make copies. I am told that after years of this kind of work, the students are allowed, only then, to make original paintings. It’s hard for me to imagine. I am also told that this kind of study is beginning to occur more and more in the USA. I guess I’m beginning to see the point. After my first two weeks of effort trying to paint from bad internet copies and book print copy – which is poor quality also, I would love to have an original work as a reference. There is value in observing and intensely studying the design, brushwork, color palette and values structure of great paintings.
Gauguin is one of my favorite painters. I love his colors and the design of his paintings. He primarily creates yellow and orange highlights and blue to purple shadows. He intermixes that with bright reds and vivid greens. He’s a genius colorist as was Van Gogh. I chose the painting above to paint, honestly, because it was simple! When Gauguin’s mother died, he was far far away in Tahiti. He had only this one photo of her taken when she was a girl and so that was his reference. His paintings are normally very complex with multiple people in the foreground and landscape scenes in the background. As a study, however, I can choose any part of his painting – not necessarily the whole thing.
Below: I also love Renoir’s portraits, though I certainly found this style of painting pretty hard to do.
There are no smooth areas of paint or color. The small brushstrokes are constantly changing in hue, value and direction. I made an effort toward some level of accuracy on her face, hair, body and dress, but not with the background. You can look her up (Renoir Portrait Painting of Jeanne Samary) if interested to judge how I did with my first impressionist portrait study. Don’t forget there are many different color versions of this painting due to the manner in which it is copied and displayed. So many times I gave myself permission to quit – after all, it was only a study. It’s funny, when I did so, this seems to give me the stamina to keep going a bit more. It will be interesting at some point to see if I can use these techniques on a reference photo which I have taken.
It’s also interesting that the two study references have opposite characteristics. Gauguin uses relatively large flat smooth paint areas whereas Renoir has constantly varying brushstrokes and textured surface areas. I love both.
It’s been a lengthy absence by my standards and I’ve had technical problems posting. Hope this works. I’ve been really really busy with so many activities. I even redid a couple paintings I previously posted but I have not yet replaced them. When I create a new painting and as I continue to observe it, I dislike it more and more – I do rework it if there are fundamental strengths. This happens fairly often.
This my most recent is a unusual and I do love it. I enjoyed working with this wonderful model. I’m very fortunate with my collection of growing models. I also love the fact that I have an excellent capacity to create dramatic lighting in my home just by pulling back the corner of a drape, which is otherwise dark. So essentially by pulling back the corner of my drape, I have a single spotlight. To add a little “fill” light I only have to pull back the corner of the other side of the other drape – of a two window bank which keeps the room from being completely dark – as though I turned on a flashlight. Is that confusing enough? Anyway, it really works. I don’t miss my studio. The amount of space maybe but I’m OK.
The wall was blank behind her. It’s a warm mid tone brown color with a burgundy ceiling. I can always make the wall even more neutral/cool in Photoshop if I like. So, there I had this lovely portrait of a young lady sitting on a stool against a light background – light when the sun hit it. In the scene, there was also part of a pulled back drape showing. Now, what would I do?
I could paint it as it was – yes I could, but no challenge there. Then I occurred to me to fill it with soft swirls of fabric and play with grayed colors to maintain her as the focus. The next idea which came to me was to repeat her eyes in the background. I started with lots of eyes, six on each side and kept eliminating them to 3 then 2. Then I started to enlarge them. I did so and I was finished with what would be my reference for the painting. This concept came together very quickly – just showed up – no reference for any of it. RARE – no struggle. I looked at my reference, the likes of which I have never painted before, and thought “how am I going to paint this”! There were so many slight color variations which created the forms. But I did. I have no idea where these ideas come from, I simply try to follow the instructions and to make room for them as they flow through me. I’m only a conduit I always say. This digital file does not reflect the photo well at all – but that’s how it goes sometimes.
Happy Indigenous Peoples Day – The real discoverers of America. Have a great weekend. Winifred
For the past 20 years, starting with photography, then digital painting and oil painting, I am drawn to portraiture and figurative art. Portraiture grants the opportunity to create a “portrayal”, of an individual with the potential range of human emotions – be it joy, serenity, sadness or despair. One who commissions an individual or family portrait, normally wants to be flattered in their representation, as well as recognizable, all of which requires technique and precision. It’s something I work at all the time. I think the bulk of portraits painted are art portraits, portraits which have not been commissioned but are painted by the artist for art sake, to strengthen technique or to express a story. I am fortunate to do both.
I’ve seen many portrait painting styles from artist which I greatly admire. You know the thinking, “I wish I could paint like that”. Well, I’ve finally accepted that the only and best artist I can be is to paint like is ME and that will always be a work in progress.
Someone said that to achieve mastery in anything requires 10,000 efforts. With respect to oil painting, I have about 9,800 portrait paintings to go, so… I’d better get cracking!
Much has been made of the portrait of Michelle Obama painted by artist Amy Sherald in 2018. The discussion, primarily has been, Does the portrait look like Michelle Obama. The significance to me is that portraits are not required to look “exactly” like a person in order to portray who they are. I found a short and very interesting video featuring the artist Amy Sherald, Michelle Obama’s artist for her portrait created for the National Portrait Gallery. I think you will enjoy.
I wanted to do something different – something a bit impressionist looking. I did an easy sketch from imagination (no face) to create a practice painting. First the background was painted using short parallel brush strokes and transparent paint. My palette contained a rainbow of analogous colors which I could quickly dip into to paint it. The brushstrokes were rather random/abstract having no predetermined elements to paint. Ultimately I used lots of short curved parallel strokes. The background became rather interesting. I blocked in the figure with color in a simple fashion. The next day, that first paint layer was “tacky,” as opposed to wet or dry, and the painting was ready for a second layer of paint. I always love painting draped shawls and scarfs a well as designing jewelry to adorn my figures. I created a hairstyle somewhat similar to a friends, but not really! When it came to the background, I decided not to add a second layer because I knew this would substantially change the colors, and tone and I liked the colors and tones as they were. I convinced myself it finished and fine and hung it on the wall to observe and critique – I liked it. After a few hours of admiration, I said to my self – “go forth and experiment- no one is awaiting this painting – lets change it!” I am proud of my willingness to do that. I can remember when that would not be a consideration. Below: I wanted to create an alternate to the hard edged version.
I did this by feathering edges, blending strokes and by creating little soft abstract brushstrokes by allowing the brush to “dance”. When comparing the two, side by side, I prefer the first. It’s dramatic and the colors are luscious and royal. When not comparing, however, I enjoy the soft strokes and feathered texture of the painting which actually remains. Since I had no reference for this painting, deciding my color palette was a bit of a challenge, The shawl was changed, the scarf was eliminated.
It’s a new painting and thus far, it remains. I think you prefer the initial version – not sure. I think I prefer it. It reminds me of tapestry. This was an important exercise – at least instructive. The hardest part of posting these images is my inability to get the colors and tone and texture to actually look like the painting. I try. Thank you for sharing my journey – I so love it.
I must say that I’m so sad about the invasion of Ukraine.
They paused for just a moment. He put his arm around her shoulder and she tilted her head toward him. That was the tenderest moment of all the moments I observed and photographed. Years of creating and capturing special moments has sensitized me to what might come and to be ready for it. I altered the environment on both of these paintings – this one and the one below. There were too many distractions in the actual environment. These paintings appear more “fanciful”, than my normal figurative style but its fun. Below, is a second version.
For some reason, I decided to paint a second of this same image. This second painting is 16×20, the first I painted is 12×12. I do like the square format. I don’t really paint trees. It’s a struggle. So, at best I invent a facsimile. I can actually paint a photographic looking tree but I don’t want to do that. My stylized trees need lots of practice. The figures in the first painting are more accurate in their pose – not that it matters. So long as I have a paintbrush moving in my hand, I’m moving forward. Have a wonderful week. Hope you enjoy and hope you and your loved ones are vaccinated. Winifred
I was walking in Greenwich Village, New York a few years ago when I spotted a young man photographing his client.This photographer had, an interesting and creative lock hair style. I wanted to photograph him. He was working but I was hopeful he would allow a brief intrusion – just a couple shots of him. He smiled and permitted me to do so. I attempted this painting once before, in color and in a more conventional style. Ultimately, I didn’t like it and sanded it down to reuse the panel. That was probably 4 years ago. This is a new version. So far, I’m liking it, though as always, I’m always prone to make changes.
I’ve seen so many paintings of potted geraniums. Most often the plant is in a clay pot with a watering can next to it, perhaps in front of an old shed. You’ve seen those. Now I’ve painted my version with a simple background. In addition to the bright red geraniums, I love the accent of the Bacopa with it’s tiny white cluster of petals. Many people don’t know this plant but it is a wonderful, profusely blooming water loving plant that does well in containers, hanging baskets and even as a ground cover. There’s always some growing in my containers and one always finds it in bloom. I skipped using a clay pot, though I do love them. It’s a classic image item. I decided to use a ceramic pot instead. I’ve had this pot for a while but couldn’t plant in it because it didn’t have a drainage hole. Finally I saw a YouTube video that showed how to drill holes in glass, ceramic or clay pots. I immediately purchased diamond drill bits and put holes in all kind of glass containers. Anyway, this allowed me to grow a geranium in my pot. By the way, I propagated 14 new geraniums, last fall and they’re are all currently in bloom. The geranium I propagated is a different kind of geranium from this one with a very different color and petals. You’ll see it at some point.
Have a wonderful week and I hope this brings you cheer. I know – it kind of feels like Christmas. Winifred
I cut these hydrangeas from a large bush last week in a friends yard in Seattle. The flower heads were huge and most were beginning to dry on the bush. Hydrangeas turn many beautiful colors in fall. I didn’t try to capture that color exactly, instead opting for the blues, purples and reds of early summer – mainly because I already had the several gradients of paint colors mixed that I need for blues, purples, greens and reds. I’ll do the other colors some other time.
Believe it or not, I still have more to do on my mom’s portrait. I saw a problem with her nose and I need to correct it. Overtime, something new might reveal itself to me, and I’ll keep making the corrections until I feel it’s all done. Have a wonderful week.
Another black man was killed in May around the same time as the George Floyd killing. The police lied, said death was due to a drug overdose. Now the video and documents reveal a major cover up by the entire police department and I believe the District Attorney as well. He had been suffocated. I want this to end.
I’ll miss Ruth Bader Ginsburg – a great lady – a great Supreme Court Judge.