Way Out of My Comfort Zone

You know I love pushing myself from time to time, sometimes stepping so far out of my comfort zone that it’s frightening. So, yes, thisย Woman With Flowers might be a bit scary, but I’m actually quite fond of her. She represents my first attempt at painting a person in oils, and I’m happy that I at least got something on the canvas that resembles a human being.

Way Out of My Comfort Zone

I made no real attempt to paint her hands and that was fine with me. Mostly I wanted to focus on shapes and colors, especially in her face and hair.

I love landscape painting, but I also enjoy figure drawing, and I do want to paint human figures. It’s going to mean learning a lot of new skills, and I’m excited for the challenge.

I’m happy with this first attempt. It’s taken me two years to get brave enough to try this firstย people oil painting. I wonder how long it will be before I get up the gumption to try another.


  1. A start is a beginning of learning new things. This coming new year in Jan. 2019, I plan to learn portrait painting from Nolan Clark on paintbasket.com I learned how to draw from him, too. I never drew anything or did any art in my life until a few years ago. Check out his forum and FB.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We did one life drawing session with a live model, and I was very pleased with the results. I focused mostly on the model’s face in one drawing. I have it in my sketch book. I’ll have to dig it out and post it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice Judith! It makes me think about when I was working on improving my people painting skills a couple of years ago – I actually ended up buying an online video course from https://willkempartschool.com/ (it was meant for acrylics, but you could totally do it in oils if you wanted) and found it very helpful (I am self taught and have hardly ever taken any classes, but, this one really hit the spot with me!) Will Kemp is an awesome teacher and it’s fun to own a video course you can play over and over – He has a lot of free stuff on his website, too and is VERY helpful and lovely to talk to by email! OH, now you’re making me want to get back to doing people!!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, Hilda. I love doing charcoal portraits and pastel portraits — and I love figure drawing. It’s just so different to do it with oil paint. I really want to do more, and I will check out the course you mentioned.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I found it really helpful with simplifying mixing for skin tones, which was a definite game changer, for me! Best wishes with this latest stage of your art journey, Judith! Hope you blog (lots) about it! ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I learned a little rhyme when I was doing watercolor portraits. “Red, yellow, brown, and white, that’s how we get our skin tones right.” It’s been helpful.


      3. That’s very close. I’m really excited about doing portraits in oil. I’m fascinated by faces, to the point where I’ve developed a bad habit of staring at people LOL. I’ll have to try working with the palette you’ve mentioned, too.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I highly recommend finding a willing family member to sit for you…you can light them however you like and take photos for later….and they won’t mind being stared at!! I hear you about the staring at people out in public, I do it all the time, too! It’s best to try to do it out of the corners of your eyes….or, here’s a good one – sit in your car and do it!! Interestingly, I have found that sitting in a car makes you almost invisible to other people!! Hope you get to stare at a lot of people over the holidays, Judith!! ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      5. LOL… yes, being invisible is really good. I attended a pastel portrait workshop earlier this year and really enjoyed it, so I definitely want to do more of those. I think that will be good practice, too, for doing portraits in oil.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. It was fun. I didn’t have any expectations for the first attempt. I could just let it be whatever it was — and when I stepped back and could recognize it as human… LOL. I felt I’d definitely succeeded.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, for my first “people painting” in oil, it turned out better than I’d hoped. I like doing portraits, but have only tried graphite, charcoal, pastel, and watercolor. Now I want to do more. I especially like the warmth I felt with the colors in my “Woman with Flowers”.


  3. This is really lovely. I especially like the vivid, unexpected salmon color you chose for the background — it reminds me of a really squinting-bright day, especially with the hard shadows. I’m learning to paint in oils as well, so it’s fun to see someone else’s journey (no people for me yet, though!). Nice work!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. It was a fun painting to do. I knew I couldn’t really paint a portrait, so I just had fun, did what I could, and enjoyed the process — especially the colors. It was a refreshing change from “trying hard” to do a good painting. I had no expectations for it, so the results didn’t matter. ๐Ÿ™‚ I wish I could paint with that attitude more often.


I'd Love to Hear Your Thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s