On “Mae in October”
by Kathie Wheeler
When painting a portrait, I try to stay true to the essence of the person.
I often begin a portrait with a small study to work out the composition and color before starting on the larger painting. I do not typically draw the figure onto the canvas first, but rather begin with gestural strokes and a rough block-in of the masses of color and value.
This sweet little girl lives on a sheep farm with her family in southwestern Wisconsin, so it was only fitting to paint Mae outside, ruddy-cheeked, wearing the hat, sweater, and mittens her mother made from the wool of their sheep.
Her gaze, looking straight out to the viewer, keeps bringing you back to her face. I intentionally left the rest of the painting loose, so the eye dances around the painting, but always returns to her face.
About the Artist
Kathie Wheeler is a classically trained fine art portrait painter in southwest Wisconsin, working primarily in oils. Website: kathiewheeler.com