Fluffy Clouds and Azure Water

August 15, 2018

Several of you asked me to give a little more information about my painting setup. I paint under a 4 foot florescent unit that has daylight, color corrected bulbs. This provides consistent, natural light no matter what time of day or night it is. I don’t paint at night, I’m definitely a morning person but I know many artists who do. The easel is a crank up Santa Fe type easel that we purchased online through either DickBlick.com or Jerrysartarama.com. Jack and I got matching easels at the ‘Turn of the Century’, January 2000, as a Y2K present for each other! So I don’t remember exactly which of the two online sites we got them from. My glass palette rests on a white board placed on top of a culinary table with wheels that we got at the Container Store. The taboret, holding my laptop used to view reference photos on, is a smaller version. The shelves allow me to keep all the supplies I’m using handy and organized. A garbage bag is draped over an aluminum walker, which keeps it open and easily accessible to throw away dirty paint tissue. Standing for long hours painting really tires out your legs and feet. A dear collector, Ed Marhanka, surprised me with a Gel Pro Mat. WOW, is it ever wonderful. I have Happy Feet at the end of the day. And of course, my setup wouldn’t be complete without Sissie! You may click on the picture to see it larger.

 

VIDEO DEMONSTRATION: Painting the Sky

VIDEO DEMONSTRATION: Painting the Ocean

Fluffy clouds hover lazily over the beautiful azure water.

Now I begin painting the Church below our little terrace. The dome is painted with mixes of White + Cobalt Blue. The wrist of my right hand rests against the mahl stick which is hooked over the top of the easel, giving me a steady support as I work.

The white stucco walls are made cooler toward the back with mixes of White + a little Ultramarine Blue. The part of the building nearest to us is painted warmer, with a mixture of White + a bit of Cadmium Orange, making it come forward.  This follows a simple rule that helps to give the appearance of depth in a painting: Warm Colors Come Forward, Cool Colors Go Back.

The terrace wall is covered with combinations of White + MUD (2 parts Ultramarine Blue + 1 part Alizarin Crimson) + a bit of Cadmium Orange. This mixture is warmer than those used for the Church, so it advances toward the foreground. The gate is Cobalt Blue + a tiny bit of Pthalo Blue + White. We’re done for this session. I appreciate you following along as well as all of your questions! HUGS,Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

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Let’s Skip On Over to Greece!

August 14, 2018

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if traveling the world was that easy? Just “skip” on over to Tuscany, Greece or the Cote d’Azur? I don’t think I’d ever be home! But I have a feeling Molly and Sissie, my rescue kitties, wouldn’t be very thrilled about that. OK enough dreaming, let’s get to work. This is a neat painting, it’s going to be for a book cover! And that’s all I can reveal. So I have some special perimeters to work around. My sketch is shown above. The darker outline is the actual border of the cover, the lighter pencil outline allows for the bleed.

After receiving approval from my client I’ve enlarged the sketch to the same size as the painting. The back of the sketch was scribbled with a soft, 6B pencil. Positioned and taped in place, the design is followed with a ball point pen. The lines are transferred to the canvas, much like using carbon paper.

You can see the transferred drawing in the lower half of the canvas. Too view this more clearly just click on the picture to enlarge the image. On the upper part of the canvas I’ve blocked in the church and distant bluffs with a thin oil wash of MUD (2 parts Ultramarine Blue + 1 Part Alizarin Crimson) + Liquin. The distinctive dome has been covered with a mixture of Cobalt Blue + Liquin. The Bougainvillea, cascading over a pergola, is washed in with mixes of Permanent Rose + Liquin and Magenta + Liquin.

The chairs, wall and containers of plants are now drawn in.

Wine bottle, glasses and a Cobalt Blue gate complete our initial wash in of the painting plan. I’ve lightly penciled in the border of the cover. We’ll begin applying opaque Oil Paint in our next session. I do hope you’ll come follow along! If you would like to receive an email every time I publish a new post please feel free to subscribe to my blog. CLICK THIS LINK and scroll to the upper right side of the page. You will see a heading EMAIL SUBSCRIPTIONS. Just enter your email address and click the button “Sign me up!”  It’s easy.

Please keep in mind, to move through the blog when you get the posts just CLICK on the small titles at the top of the page. The right one for the next post or the title on the left side for the previous session. And if you enjoy my blog please CLICK the FaceBook LIKE Button. As we say in Texas, “Much Obliged!Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

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Inexpressible Joy

August 8, 2018

The cactus are blocked in with several mixtures of Cadmium Orange + Pthalo Blue + White. I can just give the square tip of my Bright brush a twist to make the oval pads, or paddles. Several of them catch the warm light of the rising sun.

The White caps on the Bluebonnets are now added. The little tops in the distance are painted with White + a touch of Ultramarine Blue to make them recede. Pure White is reserved for those flowers directly in the path of the sun’s rays.

Sharp spines, illuminated by the sunlight, are added to the cactus with a fine liner brush.

Originally I had a clump of grass growing between these slabs of limestone, you can see it in the first two images on this post. After examining my painting in the mirror placed in back of me I decided to remove it, exposing a larger expanse of rock below the colt. It’s easy to scrape the unwanted grass off the canvas with the edge of my painting knife.

Here’s a picture of my studio set up. You may click on the image to see an enlargement. The placement of the mirror behind me makes it very convenient to turn and study my painting as I’m working. Looking at your art in the mirror switches it from the inventive, or creative, side of your brain to the analytical side, making it easier to critique your own work.

The foal is painted with mixes of MUD (2 parts Ultramarine Blue + 1 part Alizarin Crimson) + Cadmium Orange + a touch of Pthalo Blue + White. The warm sunlight catches the top of his hip.

Jack taught me a very simple, yet effective, technique of painting eyes. The entire eye is first painted with MUD. Then a tiny white catch light is added. Since the sun is to the upper right of the colt, it is made at about 1 o’clock.

The iris, or colored part of the eye, opposite the catch light is illuminated. This is indicated with a crescent made of MUD + Cadmium Orange. The very center of the crescent, at about 7 o’clock, is made a tiny bit lighter.

The foal’s star, stripe and snip are now painted with pure White, making him POP out from the background!

Inexpressible Joy    19″ x 25″

Springtime in Texas means Bluebonnets and Baby Horses! This little colt is full of “Inexpressible Joy”, taking a delightful sunrise gallop through a field of the Texas State Flowers as his mother watches alertly from a distance. If you’d like to see this enlarged, just click on the image. “Inexpressible Joy” is one of the paintings for my Annual TEAM SENKARIK Collector Event in Santa Fe. Can hardly believe it’s right around the corner, August 31 and September 1. If you’re in the area it would be so cool if you’d join us! CLICK HERE for more details and pictures from last years Gala Event! HUGS,
Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

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Mama and Bluebonnets

August 6, 2018

Trees at the distant edge of the meadow are painted with soft grey greens made of Pthalo Blue + Cadmium Orange + MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + White. A few touches of a warmer green mixed with Pthalo Blue + Cadmium Yellow Medium + White are added where the rising sun illuminates the foliage.

Majestic Live Oaks nestle at the base of the hill on the left. Notice how I’ve highlighted some of the grasses at the far edge of the field with oranges from the sky, indicating the warm light skipping over them.

The mare is back lit by the rising sun. Mama is blocked in with mixtures of MUD + Cadmium Orange + a touch of Pthalo Blue + a bit of White. More White is added to the mix for the lightest shades. My lower arm is braced against a mahl stick, hooked over the top of my easel, to steady my hand. Please remember as you read through my blog, you may click on any of the images to view them larger.

The Bluebonnets are blocked in with mixes of Dioxazine Purple + Ultramarine Blue + White at the far edge of the field. Moving closer, combinations of Ultramarine Blue + White are used. The closest flowers are Cobalt Blue + White, which is more intense, making it appear to come forward. Some of the cactus pads are rimmed by the sun’s rays, a fine liner brush is used to make the warm highlights.

Outcroppings of limestone dot the Texas hill country landscape. Mixes of MUD + Cadmium Orange + Ultramarine Blue + White are used for the slabs of rock. Crevices are indicated with a thin mixture of MUD + Liquin.

A few clumps of Bluebonnets, our Texas State Flower, hug the rocks in the foreground. The little White “caps” on the flowers will be added in our next session.

Extra Cadmium Orange + a bit of Cadmium Red Light is added into the mixtures for the rocks closest to the viewer. This follows a basic rule that helps to give the appearance of depth in a painting, “Warm Colors Come Forward, Cool Colors go Back.” I appreciate all of your wonderful comments and thank you for following my blog! With Colorful Smiles and BIG HUGS!Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

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Sunrise!

August 2, 2018

The blue field of the sky is blocked in first. The uppermost region is made of White + Ultramarine Blue. The portion of the blue sky near the horizon, lighter than the upper part, is painted with White + Pthalo Blue. Bands where darker clouds float were not covered with blue, they are now painted with mixes of MUD (2 parts Ultramarine Blue + 1 part Alizarin Crimson) + White and MUD + more Alizarin Crimson + White. Please remember, you may click on any of the images to view them larger.

The rising sun is beginning to color the sky! The area around where the sun will be peeking over the distant hills is painted with a mix of Cadmium Yellow Medium + Cadmium Orange. Moving out from that central point I warm the sky with mixtures of Cadmium Orange + Cadmium Red Light + White and Cadmium Red Light + Alizarin Crimson + White. Jack and I have always been early risers, I love studying the colors wash over the clouds as Our Lord welcomes me to His brand new day.

I’ve indicated the placement of the sun with a spot of Cadmium Yellow Medium. More warmth is brought in behind the mare’s head to help accentuate her.

The sun is made of Cadmium Yellow Medium + White. Then the distant hill is painted with a mix of White + Ultramarine Blue + MUD. The sun washes the color of the mountain immediately below it. Using some of the oranges from the sky, I drag them into the blue to give the feeling of the sun’s warmth.

Sunrise! I have a theory about beautiful Sunrises and Sunsets. I believe God gives all of the artists in Heaven huge paintbrushes and sends them out to paint the sky for those of us here on earth to enjoy! Makes my heart happy when I think of Jack up there painting with all of the other Master Artists he so admired! With Colorful Smiles and BIG HUGS!Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

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Mare, Foal and Bluebonnets!

July 31, 2018

Let’s start on another painting for my Annual Collector Event and One Person Show, August 31 and September 1st in Santa Fe. To find out more about this FUN event CLICK HERE!   Normally I do a sketch to layout the basic plan or roadmap to follow. However, I can envision this painting so clearly in my mind I’m going to begin without doing an initial drawing. I’ve lightly penciled in the young foal galloping in a field of bluebonnets. After sketching in the large live oak tree and distant mountains, I draw his Mama with a brush dipped in a thin oil wash of MUD (2 parts Ultramarine Blue + 1 part Alizarin Crimson) + Liquin. Please remember as you read through my blog, you may click on this or any of the other images to view them larger.

Resting my right hand against my left, which is braced against the canvas, steadies the brush as I delineate the foal’s head.

I don’t worry about drawing the hooves on his hind legs, they will be hidden behind grass and bluebonnets.

Looking at the horses, I don’t really like the position of the mare.

SO……..It’s easy enough to wipe off the oil wash sketch with a clump of tissue dipped in my odorless paint thinner, right now. Once the oil wash is dry that’s another matter all together!

I turn Mama a bit so we see more of her body. There will be some trees behind her to accentuate the rim of sunlight on her back and hip. The highlight shows much better with her at this angle.

I also lowered the mare’s head just a little, looks more natural. The cactus and rocks in the foreground are just roughly indicated at this point, I’ll sketch them in with more detail later. I appreciate you following my blog. If you would like to receive an email every time I publish a new post please feel free to subscribe to my blog. CLICK THIS LINK and scroll to the upper right side of the page. You will see a heading EMAIL SUBSCRIPTIONS. Just enter your email address and click the button “Sign me up!”  It’s easy.

Please keep in mind, to move through the blog when you get the posts just CLICK on the small titles at the top of the page. The right one for the next post or the title on the left side for the previous session. And if you enjoy my blog please CLICK the FaceBook LIKE Button. As we say in Texas, “Much Obliged!Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

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Jack’s Place with a Chinese Twist!

July 28, 2018

This is a fun Anniversary gift based on my original oil painting, “Jack’s Place”, shown above. Spring in the Lone Star State is delightful; God paints the Texas Hill Country in a cornucopia of beautiful colors. Because the show varies from year to year we Texans tend to record time by the best wildflower displays. 2010 was SPECTACULAR! Jack and I lived in Floresville that spring; each afternoon we would clean our brushes early and hop in the car, armed with cameras. We’d drive the tiny back roads, exclaiming with joy at the beauty of Our Lord’s tapestry covering the rolling hills. One day we came around a corner and screeched to a halt, frozen in awe. The scene before us was breathtaking. Neither of us could speak, Jack reached across the center console and gently took my hand. We sat speechless for minutes, overcome by God’s masterful combination of complimentary hues. Birds sang in the trees; the breeze gently swayed the brilliant blossoms. When our jaws finally unlocked we conversed in whispers; afraid we’d disrupt the spell if we spoke too loudly. We instantly agreed, this was the BEST of the Best wildflowers we’d ever experienced.

After God took Jack home to Heaven I painted “Jack’s Place” to honor him and this moment we shared. Jack taught me to paint and then set his stellar career aside to promote mine. This piece is my tribute to Jack White; my dearest friend, mentor and the love of my life. The original painting was auctioned on eBay, the entire proceeds were used to start an endowed scholarship for Fine Art Students, the JACK WHITE CHARACTER SCHOLARSHIP, to honor Jack’s memory for years to come at his Alma Mater, Howard Payne University. CLICK HERE if you would like to make a tax deductible donation to the fund.

AND…to find out about the very first recipient of our JACK WHITE CHARACTER SCHOLARSHIP CLICK HERE.

My collector asked me to do one of our Limited Originals, a hand embellished giclee on canvas of “Jack’s Place”, to give to his wife for their 25th Anniversary. But wait, there is more to the story. Ted and Jennifer bought their first Senkarik Painting in Carmel, California on their Honeymoon! Is that cool or what? Ted and Jennifer have added several of my paintings to their collection over the years. In one way or another we’ve worked in the Chinese Zodiac symbols for them and their two boys, Max and Alex. Ted wanted to follow the tradition on this piece. So after much thought I decided to add some Texas Limestone cropping up in the field of Bluebonnets. Then do the designs like petroglyphs on the rocks. Both Jennifer and Alex were born in the year of the horse, so a mare and foal gallop along in the lower left corner. You may click on the image to view an enlargement.

A rabbit for Max and rooster for Ted are carved into the rocks in the lower right of the piece. Bluebonnets and Indian Paintbrush nestle around the huge slags of limestone.

So here is the finished Limited Original of “Jack’s Place”. This is a good example of why Jack came up with the name “Limited Originals” for our hand embellished giclees. The limestone, with petroglyphs added, makes this individual piece in the edition uniquely different from any other that will ever be made. Even though it is part of an edition, it is an original. So HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, Jennifer and Ted! Thank you everyone for following my blog! And please remember, always feel free to ask questions. HUGS,Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

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Radiant Serenity

July 25, 2018

The old weathered wheelbarrow is painted with combinations of Severs Green + White. A little bit of MUD (2 parts Ultramarine Blue + 1 Part Alizarin Crimson) is added in the mix for the darker shadows. Notice I’ve pulled a few strokes of the same color into the floor beneath the wheelbarrow, giving the impression of a reflection in the damp tile surface.

Phoebe’s body is blocked in with color from the White stucco walls. The highlights on the white portion of her coat are made with White + a tiny touch of Cadmium Orange. This makes a warm, bright white that comes forward of the wall in back of her. Her spots are made of paint leftover from the floor and rock wall.

VIDEO DEMONSTRATION: Painting Phoebe’s Head and Eyes

Hollyhocks extend over the edge and onto the side of the gallery wrap canvas. The flowers are blocked in with mixes of White + Dioxazine Purple, White + Phtalo Blue and White + Ultramarine Blue. The deep impressions in the center of the blossoms are indicated with Magenta + Liquin.

Periwinkle Foxgloves nestle beside the Hollyhocks. They are painted with various combinations of Dioxazine Purple + Ultramarine Blue + White and Ultramarine Blue + White. The tall seeded stems extending above the flowers are made with White + a bit of Pthalo Blue + a tiny amount of Cadmium Orange.

Red Purple Geraniums fill out the wheelbarrow and the container on the window sill. Mixes of Magenta + White and Magenta + Alizarin Crimson + White are used for the flowers. The leaves are various shades of Pthalo Blue + Lemon Yellow.

Our wheelbarrow is getting pretty full but there is still some room for Sweet Potato Vine. The long tendrils lined with heart-shaped leaves, add a touch of love to the painting.

Nasturtiums drape out of the wall container by the door. The brilliant orange flowers and variegated Maize (corn) are a beautiful combination with the Plum colored door. Purple, Orange and Green, are all secondary colors while Red, Blue and Yellow are the primary hues on the color wheel.

Sunflowers and African Daises snuggle below the window sill. Mr. Chippers decided to drop in as an added surprise for Jeana. She loves Red Cardinals!

Radiant Serenity  18 inches by 24 inches

The happy combination of colors brings a Radiant Serenity to Phoebe’s quaint courtyard! This has been a fun piece to paint, I hope you’ve had as much fun following along! HUGS,Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

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Plum Pretty!

July 23, 2018

 

VIDEO DEMONSTRATION: Painting the Plum Colored Door

VIDEO DEMONSTRATION: Painting Indian Corn

Let’s turn our attention to the courtyard floor. The surface is covered with Terra Cotta mixtures made of MUD (2 parts Ultramarine Blue + 1 part Alizarin Crimson) + Cadmium Orange + White. A few strokes of Ultramarine Blue + White are made along the back; the coolness of the blue makes it recede. After the light and shadows are established I come back with a thin brush dipped in a combination of MUD + Liquin and pull the perspective lines into the wet paint.

Next, the horizontal lines are drawn and edges of the tiles highlighted.

The wall planter is made with some of the paint remaining from the floor. Then the mix of MUD + Liquin is used to form the wrought iron holder.

That door with the corn is just “Plum Pretty” isn’t it? I love the combination Jeana chose and will definitely have to use it in another painting. Jack always said, “Mikki, your collectors have the most wonderful ideas!” I totally agree! HUGS,Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

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Constructing the Building

July 21, 2018

After blocking in the distant trees with soft blue greens made of Pthalo Blue + Cadmium Orange + White the stucco walls are “constructed”. Mixes of MUD (2 parts Ultramarine Blue + 1 part Alizarin Crimson) + White and Ultramarine Blue + MUD + a tiny touch of Cadmium Orange + White are used for the shadows. The areas of the building illuminated by the brilliant sunlight, are painted with mixtures of White + Ultramarine Blue + a bit of Cadmium Orange and White + MUD. I don’t use pure White at this point, that is reserved for highlights.

VIDEO DEMONSTRATION: Painting the Terra Cotta Tile Roof

The surface of the rock wall is first covered with several shades of MUD + Cadmium Orange + a touch of Phtalo Blue + White. A brush dipped in a mix of MUD + Liquin is used to indicate the crevasses between the individual stones. This is done impressionistically; I don’t want to outline each and every rock.

AHHH! Construction of the building and courtyard wall is done. Now, let’s add the window and shutters!

Jeana requested Turquoise so I pulled out my trusty tube of REMBRANDT Pthalo Turquoise Blue. Mixed with White it makes a beautiful soft coler that is just perfect.

On the right in the picture above, the colorful bracts of the Bouganvillea have been blocked in with combinations of Permanent Rose + Magenta + White and Permanent Rose + White. On the left I’m painting the foliage around the clumps of pink using several shades of Viridian Green + White and Pthalo Blue + White. 

The long arms of the brilliant pink Bougainvillea cascading over the building cast shadows that dance across the turquoise shutters and white walls. I’ll be working on the “Plum” door in the next session, hope you’ll come watch. I’m going to have a VIDEO! With Colorful Smiles and Hugs,Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

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