Santorini, Greece is one of my favorite places to paint. Joan lived in Greece for several years and wanted to capture the memories of that wonderful chapter in her life. She saw Santorini Sunset on my website and contacted us about doing a commission based on the piece. The painting had been sold; however, it was too small for her space anyway. She needed something larger to go over her mantle. Joan liked the simplicity of the composition and basically wanted the same feel with just a couple of changes.
Because this is going to be a larger painting we can show more detail in the distance. You can see in the sketch I’ve added some of the islands surrounding Santorini and a windmill on the slope in the background. You can click on any of these images to view them larger.
The first step in transferring the sketch on to the canvas is to draw the horizon line. The islands are indicated as well as the dome of the Church. Then I move to the foreground and establish the perspective of the steps and flower pots. All of the drawing is done with a brush dipped in a thin oil wash of MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + Liquin. Shrink wrap and blue painter’s tape is used to protect our White Senkarik Signature Frame. When the painting is finished the tape will be pulled off, leaving the clean white frame.
After getting the Church and background elements sketched in I realized I needed to make some adjustments in the foreground. I can “erase” my lines with a brush dipped in odorless paint thinner. It is held in the plastic container on the left side of my palette shown in the previous picture. I also prime my canvases with a thin coat of white acrylic. This makes the surface just a tiny bit slick, making it easier to sketch or rub off any errant lines. I must warn you though, any “erasing” must be done before the paint has a chance to dry overnight.
Joan and I decided to plant Deep Red Geraniums in the foreground pot instead of going with the White Cyclamen as labeled on the sketch. I shift the Geraniums to the tall pot so they will provide a dark backdrop for the yellow Coreopsis in the other container. The dark red will also contrast nicely with the blue water behind them. The sketch is complete and tomorrow we will begin painting. Before we finish today I want to share an inspiring story with you. Just CLICK HERE to watch the video about Bunk Wurth. He is a paralyzed artist with an incredible attitude. Please take time to watch, it is well “Wurth” it. Hugs, Mikki Senkarik
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