Now to get started on paintings for my Collector Event in Santa Fe. Our theme this year is Travels. Since we had such a great response to the commission painting A Touch of Greece I decided that I would do a Santorini piece for my show. The basic plan is sketched up on the canvas.
A soft summer sky is made with a few clouds lazily drifting on the horizon. The distant islands are cooler and lighter in value, making them fall back. The closest island is made a little warmer to bring it forward. The color of the ocean is duller toward the horizon, becoming brighter and more intense as it gets closer to the viewer.
The dome of the Church is a crisp Cobalt Blue. The shadows of the building are made bluer, or cooler so it will drop back down the hill. Even the white highlight on the left side of the Church has a touch of blue added to make it fall back. Warmer whites are used for the wall along the foreground walkway so it advances forward from the background building. The highlight here is pure White.
Bougainvilleas are everywhere in the Greek Islands. Permanent Rose + White is used for this pink specimen with its long reaching arms. A little Magenta is added for the bracts in shadow. Flowers are painted first, then the greens of the leaves are worked around the areas of pink. Painting in this sequence keeps the blossom color clean.
Now for the foreground buildings. The walls in the sunlight are actually painted with shades of gray, reserving the pure White for highlights. Notice the building on the right, the portion of the wall to the left of the door is painted bluer, or cooler, to make it recede. The part to the right of the door comes forward because it is warmer. The shadows are also cooler in the back and get warmer in the front. On the left side the building is painted with grays made of various proportions of White + MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson). This makes lovely purples that are warmer than the blues of the Church in the distance. I think this is the rule I depend on most as I paint: Warm Colors come forward, Cool Colors go Back. You certainly hear me say it often, but unless you are an abstract artist this rule is very important in giving depth to a painting. Hugs, Mikki Senkarik