About Winifred Whitfield

I'm a digital painter. Portrait painting is my speciality. I am a professional photographer portrait photographer. I love to paint. I can paint with or without the use of photographs - depending upon client needs. I create both portrait and fine art paintings.

Trying Something New

Sunflowers Against Red Oil Painting by Winifred 11×14 on Panel

The first paintings and the one below represent a very recent new technique I am trying.  I spread onto my panel a relatively thick layer of  material to serve as an underpainting and then carved my image into it with the and of a brush or palette knife. At that point you can create additionally as much or as little texture through out.  I allowed it to dry for 2 months. I then painted in the dark outline surrounding each element before beginning to paint with loose imprecise  brush strokes and palette knife. 

Sunflower with Fuchsia 11×14 Oil Painting by Winifred

 I have created paintings ranging from those as precise as photographs to loose bold  painting strokes and texture like these.  This is one of my favorite styles.  I am very excited about this process and I love the results.  One of the wonderful things about oil painting is that you can never say you are done with learning and experimenting.  It’s endless, if you’re a curious person who loves to try new things and I am one of those people.  

Still Lifes Between Old and New

12 x16 Sunflowers and Fruit Oil Painting by Winifred

There will be more portraits to come for sure, but I also want to share with you some still life paintings I’ve been  creating.  They may look a little different and I have created this look intentionally.  I wanted to create still lifes that make me feel what I feel when I look at some of the “masters”.  There are certain, hues, textures and values which give their work a distinctively “non modern” look. 

12×12 Still Life “Bounty” by Winifred Whitfield
Panel

I am aiming to create a look somewhere between old and new.  To do this has required me to refine my own oils, a long and complex learning curve to this –  rather than using commercially refined oils. Refining my own oil gives me thicker, faster drying, less to non yellowing oil.   I make my linen panels (so time consuming), in order to have a nubbier less commercially smooth linen panel. I create hand made paint, by grinding my hand refined oil into powdered pigments I purchase which created a different paint texture. I have about 30 tubes of this paint now – and a sore wrist.  I make medium to mix with my paint, all non toxic, using chalk, marble dust or calcite, oil  and other ingredients, which adds thickness, translucency and stability to the paint. I get more color saturation and increase my ability to work in layers, wet into wet with out muddying the paint because the paint is thicker and more sequestering. 

8×10 Fruit with Blue Plate by Winifred

All of these processes are very time consuming  to make but there was something within me that wanted a grasp of my products and how I could  manipulate them to alter the look and texture of a painting. Many times during the process, studying and creating these products, I have asked myself why I can’t be content with product I could order from the internet – but I just can not – so I just have to live with myself and the added time and effort!!

I do enjoy, for sure, the results I’m getting.  It is definitely a different look from what I was creating with commercial products and I am just getting started!! Thank you for your time. Winifred

Commissioned Oil Painted Portraits – 1

 I have not posted for more than 2 months. My previous weekly postings fell away. I will do better. One reason for my absence is the amount of effort and focus I was directing to the series of  commissioned portraits I’ve been working on, as you will begin to see here.  I hope to do better and to keep you more up to date with my work. This is quite a colorful group of oil paintings.

Girl with Floral Vines – Oil Paint on Linen Panel, 12×16, by Winifred Whitfield

 

 The styles of my paintings are quite varied.  I allow the person, the image to dictate the ultimate outcome. The painting thus evolves intuitively.  I am often surprised by the journey and the outcome. I’ve been fortunate that I’ve been given free rein in creating these portraits. No direction was given. This allows me to be at my most creative. The inspiration for the floral vine came from floral elements in the families marble table

 

 

 

Girl with Colorful Sky, 12×16 oil painting by Winifred Whitfield

 

I enjoy this rich and colorful sky.  It was breezy when I photographed this young lady. At times her hair was whipping all about her face.  I ask that she just relax and let it happen.  There is always the perfect moment and perfect movement, hence the floating wisp of her hair helping to bring this painting to life. There was not a hint of a sunset –  in fact, yet it appeared in the painting.

 

 

 

12×16 Oil Painting on Panel, ” Little Boy with Hand in His Hair” by Winifred Whitfield

 

 

This is the most colorful oil portrait I’ve ever painted. The family loves intense vivid color.  I thought it would please them and it did.  Freehand painting a patterned background was a bit scary but I love patterns and felt confident I could do it. I am pleased. It’s pretty amazing that with all the color and pattern in the background, your eyes still go right to his eyes.

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Sunflowers Tapestry Damask

Oil Painting – Sunflower Tapestry Damask, by Winifred

 

This painting adds a level of detail which I don’t usually include in my paintings.  For that reason I an including a few images which reflect the process.  Please let me know what you think?

Initial drawing with values created with oil paint.

Freehand painted background design and  first color layer.

 

Above, second color layer and beginning of table cloth.Above, third color layer and continuing to conceptualize table cloth. I rather liked the unpainted tapestry area but ultimately painted it. Below final painting after many adjustments to color and values with glazed oil painting techniques.

Oil Painting – Sunflower Tapestry Damask, by Winifred

 

Sunflower Seeds and Stems on a Brick

11×14 Oil Painting on a Panel

Sunflower Stem and Seeds Oil Painting by Winifred

Not long ago, I paint sunflowers with petals drooping and falling off.

This time, I decided to create a sunflower painting at a stage when all it’s yellow petals had dropped. What you see is the rather stiff green bract, located behind the petals. I find every aspect of the sunflower’s structure and development beautiful and quite fascinating. Initially I set up a single flower head, but two provided much more interest. For this still life set up, I used sunlight  beaming through my window blinds to provide dramatic light.  I’m pretty happy with the painting. I may have it cut it to a square in order to alter the design so the bottom flower is not dead center.  Hope you like it.

Portrait – Guatemalan Girl in Doorway

Unfinished Oil Portrait of Girl in Doorway – by Winifred

The reference photo for this Oil painting was provided by Daphne and Art Carlyle – Thank You!!  I loved the image for it’s overall design and emotional content.  It’s not finished (notably hand and area around hand) and I rarely post unfinished work – but I may not finish it because I have so much to do right now and I wanted to show you one of the paintings I’ve been working on.

 

 

 

Below is a detail of her pretty face.

Head Detail – From Guatemalan Girl in Doorway Portrait

Sunflowers in Checkered Pitcher

11×14 Oil Painting

Sunflowers in Checkered Pitcher Oil Painting by Winifred Whitfield

Without a doubt, this is one of my favorite sunflower paintings to date. It absolutely brings a smile. I love the black and white enamel pitcher.  I resisted painting it for months now, thinking I didn’t want to paint all the checks but it was not so difficult to do. 

Below –  Oil on 11×17 panel.

Sunflowers Oil Painting on Checkered Table Cloth by Winifred Whitfield

I guess, I’d already commenced my “checkered” journey a couple weeks before with the tablecloth the painting above – from imagination.  That’s probably why I felt I could at least paint checks looking at them.   I love the looseness of these flowers and the colors. Hope you enjoy both.