This painting combines my love of portraits, love of floral, and makes up for all the color I haven’t painted in a long time. Well, I did paint with red last time, but my recent portraits have been pretty muted.
She was reluctant to be photographed on this day and on this occasion. It wasn’t a planned shoot, she just happened to be outside and I ask her to stand amidst my very large tulips. I really love it when little children do things with their little fingers – though I hadn’t noticed at all. she had tugged at her shirt. If I had, I probably would have said ” stand still and don’t tug at your shirt. We can be our worse enemy. I remembered this photo reference because it was outside and had all the color – thought it might be fun. I had mixed feelings about the panther, although since it forms an X with her hands in the center it contributes to the focal point. So I have two focal points – her adorable face being the other, with tulips framing her. How lucky I am. There is more going on in this painting than I ever would have planned but I think it hangs together pretty well. It’s also her cool tones surrounded by the very warm tones of the flowers that allow her to remain forward – stand out, and not get lost amongst the flowers but also has strokes of the warm reds on her shirt to keep her fully integrated into the background. So I think I’ve convinced myself it’s OK.
I was conscious of staring at my painting and not blinking this week. PAIN reminds me if I start down that path. I get so obsessed when I begin a new painting that I can do nothing else. Well, I start after breakfast at noon, and I do break for dinner. Otherwise I paint. My new IPhone came yesterday – upgrading from X and I have yet to update it for use. I will tonight. Have a great weekend. I wonder what I will paint next. I do love painting. Thank you for viewing. Winifred
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
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
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.
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.
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.
Above, for the most part, I focus on tones and contrast and expression in my portraits. I use very little color. That surprises me but as I look at any group of my portraits paintings that is what I see and I’m fine with that.
Below: On rare occasions, color takes over.
It’s more so the color of my imagination rather than from the reference. This photo image by Daphne and Art Carlyle. It’s fun to paint little figurative images like this, as opposed to “serious” portraits because I feel comfortable in focusing less on accuracy and details. I enjoyed creating the color and loose textured brush strokes.
Yesterday and today it snowed – just enough to be pretty! Very little is left. The scene below was taken about midnight from my balcony.
It’s always a challenge and a joy to paint a portrait. Of course you know my tendency is toward realism – and so it is. I enjoy her elegance in the red draped fabric – and the tiny hint of a smile.
Finally, it has begun to cool and to rain a little. I cannot ever remember such a warm and dry fall as we’ve had. It’s been really lovely. Watering plants has come to an end. The time will change in a week or so to Daylight Savings Time. I thought this had ended legislatively but I am obviously wrong. It will become dark very early – 5pm, even 4:30 by December. I’ll continue to tuck myself in my studio and paint. It’s a creative and restful time for me. I hope the same for you. Winifred
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
I wonder if it was shocking to see this painting pop up. Art experts suggest you not always attempt to make your paintings “precious”. You shouldn’t working so intensely as though trying to create the next greatest masterpiece. Such endeavor, they say, halts creativity and experimentation. This can cause burnout and it’s not so much fun. I’m am pretty intense when I paint. Soon, my back hurting and my eyes strained, trying to get those brushstrokes just right – it’s emotionally very stressful. In the above painting, I just had fun – fun colors, fun and funny brushstrokes, unfinished hands – it didn’t matter. The photo reference was taken in a nail salon years ago when I use to get acrylic nails. My nails were pretty but I felt it such a waste of my time. I don’t have fake nails any longer. It’s really pointless given my current preoccupation, though I gave it up long before I was painting. Below: A painting far more on the serious side – “a girl in a lace shawl dreaming”.
I like this painting, but I feel I’ve created so many pretty, dramatic and serious paintings – which “feel” quite similar. This painting is the opposite of the one above. I think I want to play a bit more – and work more with my painting knives. It’s easier on ones back!
I said I would present you with a non-human portrait this week but ultimately I didn’t like the photo reference I had in mind – so I chose as usual, a human portrait – a little girl. Yet another portrait look with lots of texture. I love the way children hold tiny things in their hands – the items appear to be so precious to them.