Today is Planting Day! The first task is to put in the grape vines on the trellis. The twisting tendrils of the vines and the hanging clusters of grapes are fun to do. Next is the Lavender with that wonderful scent. The flowers are painted first, then I come back in and paint the greenery. I work around the purple of the blossoms so their color remains crisp and clean.
Petunias have been potted in the ceramic container Nicky is sitting next to. Ultramarine Blue + White was used for the blue ceramic. I originally had a square pot in the sketch taped to my easel above the painting. You can see it better by enlarging the image, just click on the picture. After getting the piece drawn up on the canvas I realized there were just too many straight, up and down lines with the distant cypress trees, wall, building and trellis. Rounding the pot gives the painting a better feel.
The colors for Nicky are mixed and ready to go. The sienna colors are a mixture of MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + Cadmium Orange + White. The green for his eyes is some of the distant vineyard color lighted a bit with White.
Nicky is now perched in his sunny spot above the poppies. Notice the blue along the side of his head and back, reflected from the blue container. In the early process of putting Bonnie’s ideas together in a sketch I had thought of having Nicky looking off into the distance. Then Bonnie mentioned the painting was to hang in her kitchen. At that moment I knew I had to turn his head so he could keep an eye on her as she puttered around. I’m using the corner of a large brush to block in the poppy blossoms, letting them dance in the Tuscan sunlight.
Sunny Memories 20″ x 24″ Original Oil Painting
The Poppies are finished and the final touch was the yellow blooms on the hanging vine. The Pink, Red and Yellow flowers provide bright warm hues that jump forward. The soft, cool greens and blues of the vineyards and mountains now fall way back into the distance. The painting is ready to bring my collector many Sunny Memories of Tuscany and her favorite kitty. Thank you for visiting the studio and watching me paint. Jack and I hope all of you have a very safe and happy New Year’s Eve. Hugs, Mikki Senkarik