Joan asked me to paint a peachy orange Bougainvillea. For reference I’m using a slide of a hot pink one we photographed years ago on Key Largo in the Florida Keys. The slide is viewed on a rear projection screen, the projector is out of the picture on the right. You can see the Bougainvillea mixtures of various proportions of Permanent Rose + Cadmium Red Light + Cadmium Orange + White on my palette. You can click on the image to see it larger. Molly, our shelter rescue kitty, supervises. If I step away from the easel for any reason she wakes up and meows, alerting Jack that I’m not painting. I think there is a conspiracy going on here!
The sun catches the top of the Bougainvillea so that area is painted with the lighter mixes. Magenta + Permanent Rose is used for the lower bracts in the shadow of the wall. The cool blue wall behind the fiery “Bougie” makes it appear even brighter. Blue is across the color wheel or the complement of Orange. This is another one of those rules we use in painting: Placing a color next to its complement makes it appear more intense.
After the basic flower area is covered or blocked in the foliage is painted. This sequence, Flowers First, Leaves Last is followed on most of the blossoming plants I paint. The greens of the leaves are worked around the bright color to shape the blossoms. If the greens were painted first my brush would pick up some of that underlying color when putting in the flowers, making them muddy. The corner of a #10 Bright brush is used to add the details of the smaller leaves.
Deep Red Geraniums contrast with the azure water behind. The reds are made of Cadmium Red Deep + Magenta. Highlights are Cadmium Red Light. The leaves are a bright, intense green mixed with Pthalo Blue + Hansa Lemon Yellow.
The Geranium container provides a dark backdrop that accents the yellow Coreopsis, a native of Greece. Mixes of Cadmium Red Light + Cadmium Orange + Cadmium Yellow Medium are used for these cheery flowers, dancing and bobbing in the breeze.
A Touch of Greece 38″ tall by 32″ wide Original Oil Painting
Leaves, along with red centers in the flowers, are added to the Coreopsis and……. we are finished. Joan’s painting is ready to bring A Touch of Greece to her home. We just have to let it dry a few days before I can spray it with Retouch Varnish and ship it. This has been so much fun. I really appreciate all of the wonderful comments you have made. This blog is for you, if I can ever answer any questions please feel free to ask. I’d also like to extend a big, Texas “Much Obliged” to Joan for allowing me the opportunity to travel back to Greece and relive our warm memories of the area. Jack and I are going to miss seeing this piece in the studio. Hugs, Mikki Senkarik
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