Sunset Serenade

May 22, 2018

Now we’re planting Geraniums in those containers resting on the base of the fountain. I had originally planned Pink Petunias here but realized I needed the dark value the deep red provides. This accentuates the sun warmed promenade in the background.

The water cascading out of the fountain is painted with mixes of White + Ultramarine Blue. I gently pull the fully loaded brush down, letting it skip over the lumps and bumps of the thick paint of the Geraniums behind. The broken brushstrokes help to give the impression of moving water.

Now, I’ll just plant my Pink Petunias in the foreground container. They are made with mixtures of Permanent Rose + White. Deep centers are indicated with a mix of Magenta + Liquin. You may click on the image to take a closer look.

More Geraniums take up residence in the terra cotta pots lining the upper plant shelf. Some of the delicate vine that was growing in with the Jasmine over the arch, as well as some Sweet Potato Vine, is added into the containers.

I’ve saved my color from the other parts of the courtyard wall. Now I cover the area below the plant shelf. This will allow me to paint the large leaves of the Giant Bird of Paradise Plant wet-into-wet.

VIDEO DEMONSTRATION: Painting the Giant Bird of Paradise Plants

I decided not to add the Bird of Paradise flowers, they would be too crowded by the other blossoming plants I’m putting here. Soft violet Angelonia and Geraniums fill this container. The Angelonia is blocked in with White + Dioxazine Purple, White + Ultramarine Blue and White + Pthalo Blue.

I’m going to plant some more Sweet Potato Vine with the Geraniums and Angelonia. The heart shaped leaves bring another subtle hint of romance to the piece.

African Daisies fill the lower left corner. The rich combinations of Cadmium Red Light + Alizarin Crimson, Cadmium Orange + Alizarin Crimson, Cadmium Red Light and Cadmium Orange add a POP of warm color in the foreground. This helps to make the cool colors in the distance, GO BACK!

Sunset Serenade     30 inches by 36 inches

Reflections of evening lights and colors bursting across the Venetian sky, dance to the “Sunset Serenade”! Thank you for ALL of your wonderful comments! You are the BEST! With LOTS of Hugs,

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

Sun Warmed Promenade

May 21, 2018

Now that the water and cityscape are complete I concentrate on the promenade lining the canal. A couple walks, hand in hand, silhouetted in the distance. Very little detail is made because I want them to disappear into the background. A romantic surprise for the viewer to discover upon closer examination of the painting.

The setting sun warms the ancient pavers directly behind the flower pots sitting on the base of the fountain. The entire surface of the promenade and courtyard floor are covered with thick strokes of combinations of MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + Cadmium Orange + White. A lot of texture is used to give the impression of rough bricks.

Curved perspective lines are drawn into the wet paint with a fine liner brush dipped in a mix of MUD + Liquin. If you would like to enlarge this, or any of the other images in my post, just click on the picture.

Additional stokes of Ultramarine Blue + White and Pthalo Blue + Cadmium Orange + White are made toward the back edge of the promenade. This helps to give the appearance the floor is receding, following a simple rule that helps give depth in a painting. Cool colors (blues) go back, Warm colors come forward. I continue to delineate the pavers, bringing more detail to those in the foreground.

The painting, attached to cardboard, is taken off the easel and placed bottom up on the back of a desk chair to paint the lower edge. The top edge of the backing board is braced against my desktop printer so the painting doesn’t slip and fall. That would be disastrous! Since the piece is painted in a gallery wrap style, this method makes it much easier to handle and ship the wet painting. If you would like to see how I attach the canvas to the backing CLICK HERE!

The fountain is painted with mixes of Viridian Green + Cadmium Orange + a little MUD + White. Blue from the water in the base is reflected onto the lower edge of the bowl above. That is indicated with a brushstroke of White + Ultramarine Blue.

Brilliant sky reflections, dancing on the canal, act as a pointer to the fountain in the foreground. I’ll add the water cascading down in our next session, after flowers are planted in the terra cotta containers! Come watch! With Colorful Smiles and Big Hugs,

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

Glimmering Reflections

May 19, 2018

The buildings on the left side of the canal are all in shadow. The one closest to us is painted with mixes of Ultramarine Blue + Cadmium Orange + a little MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + White. Shutters are Viridian Green + White + a touch of MUD to mute the intensity of the color.

I brace my hand against the unpainted portion of the canvas to delineate the steps to the front door of this home. Wouldn’t it be fun to live where you took a boat everywhere instead of a car? Oh, please remember, you may click on this or any of the other images to view them larger.

Lights from the courtyard shine though the opening in the wall. I don’t want them to be too bright, just a nice little twinkle! My tribute to Thomas Kinkade!

Wisteria, made of Dioxazine Purple + Ultramarine Blue + White and Dioxazine Purple + White cascades over the wall.


I painted the mooring posts in the VIDEO DEMONSTRATION above, but I’ve decided to change them. I feel it’s a better balance having two in the distance, behind the bridge, and three in the foreground.

WHEW! Sunset sky, buildings and water ALL DONE. We’ll begin on the foreground in our next session! Hope you’ll come back and watch. AND…thanks to all of you for your wonderful comments. I feel so blessed that God has given me the ability and opportunity to celebrate His beauty on canvas. BIG HUGS,Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

Stately Bell Tower

May 17, 2018

Before continuing on the background I want to get the wall of the courtyard painted. Not only does this make the sky POP; it also helps me in establishing the light and dark values on the buildings lining the canal. The basic mixes are MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + Cadmium Orange + Ultramarine Blue + White. A little of the sky color is pulled into the side of the arch where it is warmed by the setting sun.

The Jasmine pouring down the wall is made of several different mixes of Magenta + White, Magenta + Alizarin Crimson + White and Magenta + Dioxizine Purple + White. The leaves are Sap Green + a bit of Lemon Yellow. Another vine is intermixed with the Jasmine, bringing additional interest to the foliage. You may click on this or any of the other images to view them larger.

Deep centers of pure Magenta finish out the fragrant Jasmine flowers.

NOW….let’s do those buildings in the background. Those on the right side of the canal are illuminated by the warm sun.

The bell tower is made a darker value to accentuate the brilliance of the sky. I brace against the mahl stick to steady my hand in order to delineate the details of the bells.

As I mentioned before, I just can’t envision Venice without a striped awning somewhere in the scene. The entire surface is first covered in several shades of White + Ultramarine Blue + a touch of Cadmium Orange and White + a little bit of MUD. Then the stripes are drawn into the wet paint with a mix of Viridian Green + White.

We’ll complete the buildings AND the water in our next session. I hope you’ll come watch; I’m even going to do a video of painting the water! By the way, THANK YOU for ALL of your wonderful comments. I really appreciate them! With BIG HUGS,

Colorful Sky

May 15, 2018

Here are my mixes for the colorful sky: #1. MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + White. #2. MUD + a touch of Ultramarine Blue + White. #3. Three shades of Ultramarine Blue + a touch of MUD + White. #4. A couple of mixes of Alizarin Crimson + MUD + a bit of Cadmium Red Light + White. #5. Cadmium Red Light + Cadmium Orange + a tiny amount of Alizarin Crimson + White. #6. Mix #5 + Cadmium Yellow Medium + White.

The darkest clouds are blocked in first with Mixes #1 and #2. Then I begin adding the brighter color with the two shades of #4.

Blues are added into the clouds in the upper part of the sky. Even though it’s setting behind the tower on the left, mixes #5 and #6 are used to indicate the glow in the sky from the sun.

The shadow of Venice in the distance is painted with mixes of Pthalo Blue + MUD + Cadmium Orange + White. Some of that color is extended down into the water that we then begin painting with the darker shades remaining from the sky.

The Basilica and the buildings around it are made with mixes of MUD + Cadmium Orange + Cadmium Yellow Medium + White. The Basilica di Santa Maria Della Salute was built as a thanks or offering to the Virgin Mary against the plague which had taken almost a third of the Venice’s population in 1630.

It’s fun adding the lights lining the canal along the distant shore and the base of the Basilica. The ones in the background are made cooler with a mix of White + Ultramarine Blue. Those closer are White + a tiny bit of Cadmium Orange. Please remember as you read through my blog, you may click on any of the images to see them larger.

Reflections from the lights are pulled straight down into the wet paint of the water below. That finishes us up for today.

But Before I go I want to let you know of this Special Offer our publisher just notified me of.

You can SAVE 20% on ALL of Jack’s Books.

Here is your chance to purchase any of our LULU books in PRINT, including all seven of Jack White’s Art Marketing Classics, at 20% OFF the regular price. To get the savings just use the code TWENTY18  at checkout!  CLICK HERE to see all of our books available at Senkarik Publishing. Have fun browsing through all four pages but please remember, the savings ONLY applies to our books in print, not downloads.

Thought you would enjoy this email I recently received.

From a grateful artist… Dear Mikki, I wanted to reach out and tell you how much Mr. White’s books on art marketing helped me. Moreover, I have recommended his books to several of the artists I know, and I can see the change happening in their art careers, all thanks to a generous and caring soul that wanted to share his knowledge and success with others! I have only been painting for two years, but in the last four months I sold over a hundred of my works, most of them on eBay – I have read all the books Mr. White has written (and not once…) and I make every effort to follow his advice. Yet there is a lot to improve. I admire your work and your spirit, and, knowing how busy you are, I am very thankful for your time reading this note of appreciation! Sincerely, Julia”

For those of you selling on eBay or thinking about making the plunge this book tells how we do it. CLICK HERE to order the hard copy.

This offer at Senkarik Publishing doesn’t last long. It will expire at 11:59PM Eastern Time on Thursday,  MAY 17. Just remember to put in the coupon code TWENTY18 when you are checking out and you will automatically save 20% on your order. Be sure to run the code all together, it’s not two words.

I appreciate you reading my blog, please feel free to ask questions! With Colorful Smiles and Big Hugs,

Let’s Go to Venice

May 10, 2018


My Gallery in Sedona, Exposures International Fine Art, just sold the painting of Venice I had done for them recently. If you’d like to see “Venetian Enchantment” CLICK HERE.   So I’m doing another one for them. We’ll be in a courtyard looking out, through the arch, at one of the hidden canals of Venice. I don’t worry about sketching the foreground, I can visualize that in my mind. But I do work out the details of the canal in a drawing. In the distance is the Grande Canal and the Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute.

The painting is 30 inches tall by 36 inches wide and will be done in the gallery wrap style with the image extending over, on to the edges. I begin sketching the basic architecture with a brush dipped in a thin oil wash of MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + Liquin.

Using my T-Square as a straight edge I establish the perspective of the walkway along the canal. Notice the vanishing points indicated on the horizon line. You may click on this, or any of the images, to see an enlargement.

I balanced the T-Square on the top edge of the canvas to make the upright lines of the tower and buildings. Then, with my hand braced against the mahl stick for steadiness, I draw the openings for the bells in the tall tower.

The Basilica is ghosted in the background, I’ve just roughed in the shape with a thin wash of MUD. Next I begin working on the details of the buildings lining the canal. And I just can’t seem to do a painting of Venice without throwing in a striped awning somewhere!

Won’t do anymore on the background, I’ll add the windows and rest of the details when I paint the buildings. Now we’ll start defining the plants that fill the pleasant courtyard.

The sketch is complete. I’ll begin painting in the next session, hope you’ll come follow along! I appreciate you visiting our studio. 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. And if you enjoy my blog please CLICK the FaceBook LIKE Button. As we say in Texas, “Much Obliged!


God’s Beauty

May 6, 2018


VIDEO DEMONSRATION: Blocking in the Foliage of the Bluebonnets

The distinctive leaves of the Bluebonnets are now defined, using varying mixes of Pthalo Blue + Cadmium Yellow Medium + White. A few leaves made of Pthalo Blue + White are popped, here and there, into the depths of the leaf mass to bring coolness. You may click on this or any of the other images to see them larger.

Let’s plant some Indian Paintbrush in among the Bluebonnets.

More detail is added to the Bluebonnets in the foreground with Cobalt Blue and Cobalt Blue + White.

The warm leaves of the Indian Paintbrush are made with combinations of Ultramarine Blue + Cadmium Yellow Medium + White.

Stems, supporting the blossom that dance in the gentle breeze, are made with a fine liner brush.

The tiny white caps of the Bluebonnets in the distance are a mixture of White + Ultramarine Blue. This makes a cooler White that drops back.

Pure White is reserved for the “Bonnets” of the Bluebonnets near the foreground that are illuminated by sunlight pouring into the painting from the right. The tops of the Bluebonnets across the front that are in shadow are made with a mix of White + a little bit of MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson). 

“God’s Beauty”

And we’re done. Thank you for joining me in celebrating the Awesomeness and Joy of “God’s Beauty”. His magnificence is far greater than any of us artists here on earth can come close to achieving. With BIG HUGS,

Live Oaks and Indian Paintbrush

May 4, 2018

Majestic Live Oaks are treasured here in Texas. Green all winter, they offer cool shade in the summer and the leaves, dropped in the spring as their new growth bursts out, make great mulch for our garden. I’m using mixes of Pthalo Blue + a bit of Ultramarine Blue + Cadmium Orange + White for the shadows. Brushstrokes of Ultramarine Blue + White are made here and there to bring more coolness to the darker areas.

The same mixtures, with additional white, make up the lighter portions of the tree’s canopy.

Tiny twigs, peeking through the foliage around the perimeter of the tree, are drawn into the wet paint of the sky with a fine liner brush.

VIDEO DEMONSTRATION: Blocking in the Indian Paintbrush wildflowers

FIRST OF ALL….I must apologize. This video is a bit out of focus. It’s entirely my fault, Operator ERROR! I was so excited to start working on the Indian Paintbrush I forgot to focus the camera. OPPS, is my face ever RED! It matches the painting!

The round pads of the cactus are made by twisting my square (Bright) brush. Please remember as you read through my blog, you may click on any of the images to see them larger.

An artist’s heart leaps for joy when something cool like the brushstroke above occurs. The little openings add magical texture to the dried brush behind the cacti; a happy surprise I make certain to leave alone.

Now, let’s get to work on the field of Bluebonnets. The larger ones in the foreground are blocked in with combinations of Cobalt Blue + White.

Mixes of Ultramarine Blue + White are used for the Bluebonnets in the distance, near the Indian Paintbrush. The mixture is a little duller than the more intense Cobalt Blue, so these flowers will recede. I’m following a simple rule that helps to give the impression of depth in a painting: Intense Colors come forward, Duller colors go back. This is one of Jack’s WHITEISM’s!

Work will continue on the Bluebonnets in our next session. I do hope you’ll drop by the studio and follow along. By the way, I really appreciate all of your kind comments! My readers are THE BEST! With Colorful Smiles and Big Hugs,

Jack’s Place Revisited

May 2, 2018


VIDEO DEMONSTRATION: Sketching the basic plan up on the canvas.

This commission is based on my piece “Jack’s Place”, that we auctioned to start the JACK WHITE CHARACTER AWARD Scholarship Fund. A picture of that painting is shown in the video above. If you’d like to meet the very first recipient of this $1,000 scholarship awarded in Jack’s honor CLICK HERE.

Because it’s the source of light for our landscape, I begin painting with the sky. The upper portion is blocked in with a mix of White + Ultramarine Blue. The lower part, nearest the horizon, is White + Pthalo Blue. The areas where the clouds will be are left blank.

Shadows on the fluffy clouds are made with a mix of White + MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson). Sunlight pours into the canvas from the right so the upper parts of the clouds on that side are left unpainted.

The blank portions of the clouds are now covered with a mix of White + MUD + Alizarin Crimson + a touch of Cadmium Red Light. This gives them a “Sun Warmed” feel.

Highlights on the clouds are White + Cadmium Red Light + Cadmium Orange, giving them a “Sun Warmed” feel. “Painting Forward” the distant line of trees are blocked in with cool greens made of Pthalo Blue + Cadmium Orange + White. A few touches of White + Ultramarine Blue are added here and there to bring additional coolness, making the trees drop back. You may click on this or any of the other images to view them larger.

Moving forward, the field of wildflowers behind the fence line is blocked in. Various mixes of Magenta + White, Dioxazine Purple + White, Ptahlo Blue + White and Alizarin Crimson + White are used. Then cactus at the base of the trees are painted. The corner of my square (Bright) brush is used to make the round pads.

Old cedar posts supporting the barbed wire fence add nice character to our landscape. Thank you for following along today. Hope you’ll come back for our next session. 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. And if you enjoy my blog please CLICK the FaceBook LIKE Button. As we say in Texas, “Much Obliged!

Bluebonnets on eBay!

April 30, 2018

“Promise of the New Day”

I’ve always loved getting up before dawn. Watching the early morning sky brighten fills me with joy and anticipation of what adventures the new day will bring. Colors dance across the clouds as the sun’s rays change them from rich purple to lavender to rose to pink. And I can think of no better way to experience the “Promise of the New Day” than overlooking a field of our Texas spring Bluebonnets! You may click on any of these images to see enlargements.

CLICK HERE to go directly to the eBay Auction

“Promise of the New Day” measures 7.5 inches by 10.5 inches. It’s framed in our Senkarik/White Signature Frame, the outer dimension of which is 11 inches by 14 inches. The frame is durable acrylic that can be washed with Windex and a soft, lint free cloth. The painting has the hanging wire attached; it’s ready to put up on your wall!

The regular price of “Promise of the New Day” is $590, however we are starting the bid at ONLY A PENNY! That’s correct, you can jump in right now for the chance to win this SENKARIK Original Oil Painting for ONLY 1 CENT!

To go to the eBay Auction CLICK HERE

Enjoy the “Promise of the New Day” in your home or on your office wall. Mother’s Day is right around the corner! This painting would be a wonderful way to say “I LOVE YOU”. Give that special MOM in your life the joy of a Bluebonnet sunrise; every time she sees “Promise of the New Day” she’ll be reminded of your LOVE!


Speaking of Mother’s Day please don’t forget the paintings I’m offering at a special savings just for your MOM!

 These prices will only last through May 13th. The pieces shown above are only a few of those available.

CLICK HERE to view the entire Mother’s Day collection.

AND don’t hesitate on bidding for “Promise of the New Day”, the eBay auction ends Sunday, May 5th at 8PM Texas (Central) Time!

To go to the eBay Auction CLICK HERE