The first task today is to paint the soft Texas sky. The lowest portion of the sky that meets up with the distant hills is painted with a mix of MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + White causing it to recede. Since the sun is coming from the left a mix of Pthalo Blue + White is used for that side of the blue sky, making it brighter. As we get farther away from the sun on the right side of the canvas the blue is made of Ultramarine Blue + White. The shadow portion of the clouds is just a darker shade of MUD + White.
Highlights of Cadmium Orange + Ultramarine Blue + a lot of White finish the fluffy clouds. Then I paint forward, making the most distant hills blue so they stay back. The closest mountain is warmer to bring it forward. I love this old Texas barn, I can smell the freshly mown hay in the loft as I paint the weathered plank walls.
The distant fields are blocked in with cool greens, following one of the most important rules for a painter to remember: Cool colors go Back, Warm colors come Forward. I let a few patches of magenta phlox and cactus grow in the middle ground.
Two years ago we seeded the flower beds along the walkways to the studio with Bluebonnets. We thought we had a pretty good crop last year, but WOW! They reseeded themselves and our Bluebonnets are incredible this year. I’ve got plenty of models to paint from.
We also threw a few Red Corn Poppy seeds in among the Bluebonnets. The patch of green leaves in the right front of this bed is a Poppy. You can see one of our very first red blooms in the back on the right.
The field is blocked in with various shades of Ultramarine Blue + White. Toward the back of the field I dab a few purples in with the blues. This will make it look as if there are patches of different flowers here and there. I now come in and add foliage, working it around the shapes of the Bluebonnet flowers. Moving into the distance I make the greens of the leaves cooler. We will finish the Bluebonnets in another session, so please come back and visit our studio. Hugs, Mikki Senkarik