There are so many ways to paint hydrangeas and hydrangea still lifes. I’ve tried quite a few. They are challenging with all the little cluster petals. There are those who paint the little 4 petal clusters all over. That’s more detail than actually interest me. If anything I want to become more more loose – more abstract. I’m going to work on that. But for now, here are a few examples of work I’ve done recently and one hydrangea painting from a year ago. One painting I created and then scraped all the flower heads back to repaint. I thought I’d put them all together.
I like both of my painting above but find them a bit too “sweet” and whimsical for my preference. I have always been able. to paint in several “voices” – even when I was a digital painter.
Ultimately, I decided the flower heads above had too much texture, saturation and contrast. Better to scrape off the heads and redo them. (not shown) I did that but still wasn’t happy and redid them again. – see final below – or is it!! I’b always good for a redo, if over time, I. am not happy and there remains some significant portion of the painting I like.
Well, to me this painting has now largely lost the look of hydrangeas – though the hydrangeas I referenced had deep red fall coloring. I’m ok with them being “flowers – of some kind” besides, now there is foliage. My other option, is to have this painting panel cut horizontally to make a 12×16 panel from the bottom portion of the painting – all of which I like. Can you imagine?
I painted the above painting more than a year and a half ago when I was just getting started and trying to work out what a hydrangea looked like – how to paint all of those little petals but NOT!
I thought you might enjoy seeing the progression of these paintings – the struggle! Hope you’re enjoying your summer. Winifred
My Venice paintings were rather complex – not to say, sunflowers are not challenging, but painting them brings a smile. The above oil painting was particularly enjoyable and was created from imagination. I created quite a lot of paintings from imagination when I painted digitally. I felt I had less to risk if I screwed up. I could throw away a layer – only part of the image, and make corrections. I feel great joy when I look at the above painting, which hopefully means I’ll create more.
It was two years ago when I visited Venice with a friend from New York. I have now completed a 6 painting series of “Venice at Night”, primarily in the rain. I most enjoy creating figurative paintings which you can feel and which tell stories. I think I have a few such paintings here. During the process, I got to experience the magic of Venice again.
To complete the series, I include below the first painting I started with – previously posted. The location is Murano, Italy and during the day.
I hope you enjoy these images. Soon I will commence images of the canals and Gondolas.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!! I’ll make new strides in 2019. No playing it safe – such as with my tomatoes. Painting this was not easy for sure. Each color and tonal variation had to be mixed separately. Oil paints don’t easily blend together and you can see the color variations are many. However, though tedious, I purchased 3 tomatoes and had them to look at. Basically, I painted what I saw – realism.
Just imagine, however, you set up a still life, below, but you chose to completely alter the color, textures and even some content – more abstract, more impressionistic. This makes the painting even more complex though giving one the opportunity to stretch the imagination, completely personalizing the style mood, color texture all. I’m will do more if this, attempt to stretch my capability with each and every painting. I hope you will enjoy.
There will be times when I work very seriously, but I also believe in play. Below, you can see play!! Grapes, pear and a shadow. This was fun. Thank you for sharing my painting journey and hope you will continue into the future. Wishing you and your family the best in 2019. Winifred
The common denominator in my paintings this week is primarily foliage. For sure it is not painting style!! That’s fun for me, painting one way and then another as well as experimenting. I will feature 4 paintings in this post – though I may delete one or more as time goes on.
Ever since I can remember this clock has been in my Godmother’s home. Finally she gave it to me. I consider it a treasure. It doesn’t work. There is no glass front and the numbers are worn off. It does have hands. I decided to paint it. I put it off for a long time because of the ornamentation but alas, it was “time”. I wanted to increase it’s creativity and the very moment I had that thought – limes and ivy popped into mind – so here it is!
The Geranium: This summer I purchased a 4 inch deep purple and fuchsia Geranium, which I really enjoyed. I wanted to have it again next year and looked up how I might over winter it. It’s easy – just bring in inside, cut it back a bit and place it in a sunny window. It’s thriving. It has no flowers at this time but it’s very green and happy. I brought it into my studio and along with a few other items, this is the resulting painting. It wasn’t important to me for it to become identifiable as a Geranium – only foliage and color.
The painting above is an experiment. It’s important for me to not be “safe” in painting all the time. So the bazaar and even the failures come with the process. Sometimes I view them as interesting – other times – just plain weird!!
Tiny White Flowers: I really don’t cherish looking at one of my paintings and thinking of it as “sweet” or “cute” and that’s what we have here. I’m not sure how that happened. I didn’t think of it as such before I added the white flowers but it needed something. I enjoyed the Van Gogh like brush strokes throughout as well as the color and impasto effect and design. There is nothing wrong with it technically, in fact there’s a lot great about it. I’m the only real problem and I am sure there is someone for whom this painting will be just right. ENJOY YOUR HOLIDAYS! I will have much more to show you in the NEW YEAR!!!
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.