While the sky is still wet I move to the foreground to block in the vine tumbling over the building. It’s easier to paint all the stems and flower petals wet-into-wet. Various mixes of Alizarin Crimson + Cadmium Red Light + Cadmium Orange are used for the fiery blossoms. Then the foliage color is worked around the flowers. I usually follow this sequence: Flowers First, Foliage Second. By painting the flowers to begin with the color remains clean. If the leaves were blocked in first, when I come back to put in the flowers my brush would pick up the green, muddying the blossom color.
One of the most essential tools an artist can have in their studio is a mirror. Mine is framed and mounted on an easel with wheels. The mirror is placed directly behind me so I can turn and critique my piece, I do this quite often as I work. Looking at your piece in the mirror moves it from the artistic side of your brain to the analytical side. You can see your painting as if someone else has done it and judge with a critical eye. Mistakes that you overlook while painting are glaring when you look at the piece in the mirror. If you don’t have a mirror in your studio, get one. AND….. even more important, USE IT! That’s Jack’s painting beside my easel, one of my favorites.
The mirror is especially helpful in painting buildings like these lining the harbor in Portofino. I can tell if my lines are straight and the perspective correct by judging the piece in the mirror. The first step is to block in the basic colors of the structures. I keep the hues muted so the buildings will stay in the distance.
Bracing my hand on my mahl stick the awnings, shutters and windows are delineated. Wouldn’t you love to live in one of these buildings with such a beautiful view of the harbor? To find out more about a mahl stick CLICK HERE.
Finally I add a flower market and a few people strolling along the harbor promenade. If you would like to see any of these pictures enlarged just click on the image. I’m glad you stopped by the studio, please come back again soon. Have a great day. Hugs, Mikki Senkarik