Friday, April 8, 2016

It's thyme to paint a portrait of Aunt Sophie

I really enjoy painting
Primitive Portraits
I have painted several of them
 I want to show you my latest one
Aunt Sophie

Step inside my 

My Palette

Gingerbread, Raw Umber, Mocha, Shading Flesh, Neutral Gray, Emperor's Gold, Brandy Wine, Soft Black, Milk Chocolate, Light Buttermilk, Driftwood, Olde Gold, Lamp Black , Dark Chocolate, Dove Gray, Buttermilk


I began by applying 2 good coats of GESSO to masonite panel.
Be sure to let each coat dry well.

Once the GESSO had dried completely
 I base coated  the panel 
with a mix 
Brandy Wine and Gingerbread
I applied 2 coats of this mix letting each coat dry completely.

I then thinned some Walnut Stain with water on my palette.
 I used a slip slap motion and a 2" bristle brush to apply to my panel.
I then took a scrunched up piece of old cotton t-shirt to "rag off" the stain.
I pressed the rag lightly and quickly over the surface to give it a mottled look.
Work quickly before the stain dries!

I let the panel dry completely before spattering the background heavily 
 Lamp Black

* To do this easily , dip the bristle tips of a large stencil brush into water and mix into a dime size puddle of Lamp Black, Hold brush over panel and pull a few bristles toward you with a palette knife, using some pressure. Turn brush to access more paint. Reload if necessary. Let dry completely!

It's now thyme to trace and transfer the main design.
Exclude the details for now.

Base coat the chair with 2 coats of Olde Gold.

I am now adding some shading to the chair with Raw Umber.

Base coat the dress with 2 coats of Soft Black.

I shaded the dress using a 3/4" brush to create a large float with Lamp Black

I also dry brushed using Lamp Black to soften the shading details of the dress.

The leaves on the chair are painted so to look like they were stenciled on.

Adding the line detail to the chair.

Chair detail is complete.

Base coat collar, face and hands

Shade face and hands.

I am now working on cheeks, lips and nose

I have now added the hair and the bow on the bonnet

I am now working on the bonnet

I am now working on the eye detail 
adding additional detail to the lips.

I am now adding some highlights to the hair.
I am also working on the lace around collar and cuffs.

Close-up of detail

I have now added more detail to the eyebrows .
I have also added some "wrinkles" to the forehead, around eyes, chin and mouth

Next I cut a stencil of the knitted shapes.
I put a piece of screening over the stencil
pounced heavily into the stencil openings.

I then shaded the "knitted area" with Milk Chocolate then Soft Black.

I used Dura Clear Ultra Matte Varnish on my completed piece

Once my panel was completely dry I mixed some
 Burnt Umber

I applied this lightly to the background areas of the panel, 
wiping with a clean cotton cloth.

Aunt Sophie sitting waiting to be "framed". 

The finished piece measures
26" x 23"

My husband made the frame for this project

I first sanded then sealed my my frame 

I then applied 2 coats of Antique Gold

I taped off the inner edges of the fame.

I applied a thick coat of One Step Crackle Medium.
 Let dry.

I then mixed some Lamp Black with the Staining and Antiquing Medium.

I brushed it on the frame and wiped the excess with a clean cotton cloth.

Now we have a crackled finish

 I measured to find the center of each side of the frame.
Using a stencil brush I pounced Emperor's Gold into the stencil.
I then spattered the gold edges  heavily with Lamp Black.

I then inserted Aunt Sophie in the frame.

DecoArt provided me with the paints and products to complete this project as part of their 
Helping Artist and Blogger Outreach Programs

Thank you DecoArt!!!

I hope you have enjoyed watching me paint 
Aunt Sophie

I will soon be painting a companion piece to this project 
Captain Jack

Happy Painting!



  1. Good Morning Lynn, I am so delighted to have found your tremendous blog. You are amazing and so generous to take the time to show us step by step your brilliant technique for your primitive work. I am a bit in awe. I have painted for years but never seen the methods that you use. I'm excited to give it a go. Thank you.
    I am your newest follower and I'm adding you to my favorites blog-list . . . I don't want to miss a single post. Again, happy to meet you.
    Connie :)

    1. Thank you for your kind words Connie! Enjoy!


Keep those brushes flying!
Lynn Barbadora @ Painting Thyme Needfuls

"Life is a great BIG canvas and you should throw all the paint you can on it!"
~ Danny Kaye