Amber Necklace

Lady Wearing Amber Necklace 11×14 Oil Painting by Winifred

Initially I created a painting without significant deviation from the reference photo. She was a lovely model. She wore an olive green velvet spaghetti strap dress. Her hair was cropped chin length. It was a flattering cut for her. The background was plain. Upon finishing this version of the painting, I looked at it and found it to be such an unimaginative painting. I had added nothing. I wasn’t sure what to do but this first version was unacceptable. Before starting a new version of the painting, I went into Photoshop and began to play with possible changes in colors, attire, background and even her hair style. I developed a new vision. I then went back to my easel. I don’t know just how to describe this style of painting, but for me it expresses more of what I want to see in my portraits. Modern portraits and photographic looking portraits really don’t appeal to me even when they’re colorful and full of energy and well done. I’m attracted to the Old Masters, their color palette and their techniques. This painting was pretty complex because ultimately, it’s pretty difficult to create a painting when I’ve decided NOT to follow the reference photo. I do enjoy this painting now.

I am so excited that I’ve figured out how to take a decent photo of my paintings with the iPhone. I have 13 Pro Max and it has Adobe Camera Raw. I can make my own adjustments and I have altered iPhones automatic settings to eliminate the sharpening and contrast the iPhone was imposing on my paintings. I should have figured this out long ago. What a difference it makes and you won’t have to hear me complain any longer.

The last thing I’ll say is that these wars cause me great pain. Truly. Hope you’re enjoying your holidays. Winifred

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Lady in Window Light

Lady in Window Light – Oil Painting by Winifred Whitfield

I was introduced to this lady by the Master Gardener’s of Kitsap County Calendar Committee in 2006 when I photographed a calendar for the Master Gardeners as a fund raising activity. It was one of those “pretend to be nude” calendars – so long ago. One of the great things that occurred during the process is that the County, or perhaps the State governing body was less than pleased with this calendar concept and require a “BANNED” sticker to be placed on it. Boy, did that increase sales! We had so much fun and raised so much money. As we ended the project, I ask the calendar committee if they knew anyone who would like to have a beautiful portrait created. They all suggested this woman. They spoke of her beauty and elegance. It was true. The photo was 3/4 body length and had a wonderful background by virtue of using what was known as a Virtual Background Machine. I created a large photographic wall portrait for her. She was very pleased. I used only her head as my reference for my painting. I’ll see if I can’t find her to let her see it.

I hope you had a wonderful holiday. I have lots of smoked turkey left. I wish you health and happiness. Winifred

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Feathers Around Her Neck

Feathers Around Her Neck Oil Painting by Winifred Whitfield

A soft yet dramatic portrait – I created the feathered look from what was actually ruffles. I wanted to bring a bit of energy to the quiet look. This portrait was challenging, as is always the case, taking days to paint. But then I allowed myself to have the fun – stepped in vivid color and avoiding detail I was able to quickly paint the floral sketch below.

Rose Bouquet Oil Painting Sketch by Winifred

I call it a sketch because it is quite unfinished but that didn’t matter. I do love the fact that in this sketch I am able to convey a “bouquet of ROSES” with very few petals apparent. They say in painting “less is more”. That’s a hard lesson for a detailed oriented painter as I am – though struggling to overcome. In fact, I still thought I should add a second layer of paint when this initial layer dried a bit, just to add some details – but then I thought NO! Leave it! It was just fun and I did enjoy quickly putting down loose shapes of color, light and dark, and have it turn out not too bad – though the shadow is not very good.

Well have a warm and happy holiday and safe travels. I want these wars to be over. That’s my holiday wish. Winifred

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Butterflies in Her Hair

Butterflies In Her Hair Oil Painting by Winifred Whitfield

She was married in my garden – more than15 years ago. She was lovely – in no way a “bridezilla”. I photographed her wedding and printed her each of the 50 photos chosen for her album. I would be printing her photos in black and white in my “chemical dark room”. It was the only time I ever did this but her images were stunning – I must say. Not many people want a black and white wedding album when photos were actually taken in a beautiful and colorful garden. She has very classic and sophisticated taste. Some years later I held a workshop to study studio lighting techniques and Photoshop. She was one of the models requested for the occasion. My reference image for this painting came from that photo shoot.

At one point during. this painting I took a painting tool tool and made some streaks around the edge of her head. The first one in particular resembled a butterfly. It’s on the upper right side of her head. I’m sure you can pick it out – hence the title. If this painting looks a bit different, that’s good. I’m exploring new techniques which is an ongoing effort.

I managed to get 200 bulbs planted in15 large pots yesterday. Carrying dirt and compost, lifting pots, I was in pain by the end of the day. Two Ibuprofen and an evening’s rest, I recovered. What a “bulb show” it will be in Spring. It will go dark in the Northwest in a few days. Even now the sun sets at 5:45. Soon it will be dark at 4:30. Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy the remaining light. Winifred

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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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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

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