Sakura Cherry Blossoms

May 4, 2016

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The soft pink blossoms of the Sakura Cherry Tree are blocked in with mixes of Alizarin Crimson + Magenta + White and several shades of Alizarin Crimson + White.

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The gnarled, knobby truck is fun to paint! You can see how the image extends onto the side of the gallery wrapped canvas.

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Highlights on the delicate petals of the Cherry Blossoms are indicated with a mix of White + Alizarin Crimson. The corner of my small Bright (Square) brush is used to make the thick, textured brushstrokes. You may click on this or any of the other pictures to see them larger.

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The roof of the arch is a grey-green that will make the red of the columns appear brighter. I’ve used mixes of Pthalo Blue + Cadmium Orange + MUD (Alizarin Crimson + Ultramarine Blue) + White.

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I made the distant peak of Arenal more blue or cooler. It was a little too warm and wasn’t receding into the background. This follows a simple rule to give the impression of depth in a painting: Cool Colors Go Back, Warm Colors Come Forward. The long fronds of the palms are painted directly over the wet mountain.

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Heart shaped leaves of Ivy cascade from the trunk of the Cherry Blossom Tree.

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Mixes of Cadmium Red Deep + Magenta, Cadmium Red Deep and Cadmium Red Medium are used for the arch.

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The red of the arch is more muted than the bright plumage of the Male Cardinal so he will stand out!

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The frames, as well as the light and shadow patterns on the panels that will bear the Japanese characters are blocked in first.

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The calligraphy is then drawn into the wet background with a fine liner brush dipped in Ivory Black.

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The symbols on the panels stand for HOPE, FAITH and LOVE. That’s it for this session. Thank you for following along today. Big Hugs,

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG


A Couple of Cardinals

May 3, 2016

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Like always I begin with the sky. The sun comes in from the upper left, therefore the sky on that side is a bit lighter. The lightest portion is painted with a mix of White + Pthalo Blue + a tiny touch of Lemon Yellow. Moving to the right a slightly darker mixture of White + Pthalo Blue is used. The darkest part of the sky on the far right is a combination of Cobalt Blue + White.

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Now work starts on the female cardinal perched on top of the arch. I want to paint both of the birds wet-into-wet over the background, that way I can soften the edges of the feathers. I’m making them a tiny bit larger than life size since they are an important element in the painting.

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The distant peak of Arenal is blocked in with cool blues and greens.

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The male cardinal is coming in for a landing on one of the pilings supporting the arch. Mixtures of Cadmium Red Deep + Magenta make up the shadow part of his body.

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I let the end of Mr. Chipper’s feathers blur into the mountain far behind to give the impression of movement. The highlight on his bright red body is pure Cadmium Red Light. If you would like to see the image larger just click on the picture! That’s all for today. I appreciate you visiting our studio. HUGS,

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

A Combination of Cultures

May 1, 2016

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Another commission. This is a special piece, we are combining cultures. The setting is in Costa Rica with the volcano Arenal in the background. It’s a gift for Jeana’s sister who really likes all things Oriental, so we’ve incorporated several Far Eastern elements into the design. You can click on this or any of the other images to see them larger.

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Since the Arch is going to frame the volcano in the distance it is drawn first. Then I sketch in some of the other foreground elements with a brush dipped in a thin mix of MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + Liquin.

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The Oriental bench is a fun change from the Southwestern styles that I usually have in my paintings.

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A pink Sakura Cherry Tree provides cool shade for anyone sitting on the bench. The outline of Arenal and the palms in the background are indicated. We’ll start applying color in our next session, hope you’ll come watch. If you would like to receive an email every time I publish a new post you can 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!

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG







Save 20 PURR-CENT Plus Free USPS Shipping!

April 29, 2016



Hi Everybody! Molly here. I’m taking over for Mikki today. I want to let you know you can SAVE 20 PURR-CENT on all of Mikki and Jack’s PRINT books at! AND… the postman will deliver it for FREE!

Now through SUNDAY, May 1 at 11:59 PM you can get 20% OFF on ALL of Mikki and Jack’s PRINT books at Senkarik Publishing.  Plus you will receive FREE Mail Shipping. Just use the coupon code APRSHIP20 when you checkout. Act fast to take advantage of this great offer from, Mikki and Jack’s online distributor.

JW Preacherman's Son

Preacherman’s Son is a historical novel about the famous Gunfighter John Wesley Hardin! It’s a real page turner. CLICK HERE to find out more about one of Jack’s latest books.


You’ll find out some surprising facts about one of our most loved Presidents in Jack’s book Abraham Lincoln, His Dark Side Exposed. To go directly to the order page CLICK HERE.

Artist Confidential Calming Waters COVER eBook version

Jack’s book, ARTIST CONFIDENTIAL: Secret Guidelines of Professionals is chock full of practical ideas and helpful tips for artists, a must for anyone making art! CLICK HERE to order ARTIST CONFIDENTIAL in hard copy.


Jack’s book, Run Oklahoma Run is a great read. To find out more about this action packed historical novel CLICK HERE. And…….that’s Jack’s portrait of Quanah Parker on the cover.

The online distributor of our books has offered a special promotion for our readers. We want to make this available to all of you. 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 PLUS FREE shipping by the US Mail. To get the savings just use the code APRSHIP20 when you checkout. CLICK HERE to see all of our books available at Senkarik Publishing. Have fun browsing through all four pages.

Thought you would enjoy this excerpt from an email we recently received. “I just finished reading Magic of Selling Art. It made me realize that there are a lot of things I could do to enhance the sales of my art. For example, your book has caused me to revamp my website. The book isn’t just for artists. I have trained hundreds of salesmen in my life. You have taken a lot of techniques that all salesmen are normally exposed to and adapted them to the selling of art. What I like is the way you have done it with your stories and actual examples. Your book is interesting, thought provoking, easy to remember and written from the heart.”

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.

Sea to Shining Sea: The Mexican American War and the Manifest Destiny, is the sequel to Jack’s first historical novel, Ten Years in Texas. Sea to Shining Sea covers the two years after Texas became a State, the Mexican American War and the greatest expansion of the United States in our history. Follow the adventures of Bud Miller and Texas Ranger Jack Hayes in this informative page turner. Jack painted the portrait of Jack Hayes on the cover! To order Sea to Shining Sea: The Mexican American War and the Manifest Destiny CLICK HERE.

Unfortunately Jack’s first book Ten Years in Texas, about the ten years Texas was an independent Republic, is not included in this offer because it is distributed by Amazon. But if you would like to order a copy of Ten Years in Texas at the regular price CLICK HERE.

In BREATHTAKING RETREAT: Making a Painting Mikki shows the step by step process of making a 6 foot by 8 foot oil painting of the picturesque Portofino Harbor in Italy. Step into the studio and watch the painting come alive. Filled with painting techniques and useful tips on setting up a studio, BREATHTAKING RETREAT: Making a Painting is a complete oil painting workshop. The Jack White Double Primary Palette is explained and this book reveals the one tool an artist CAN NOT afford to be without. A must for artists and art collectors alike.


This offer at Senkarik Publishing doesn’t last long. It will expire at 11:59PM on SUNDAY, MAY 1. Just remember to put in the coupon code APRSHIP20 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.

2014-11-8 Molly

Please feel free to share this with ALL of your friends. By the way, don’t you think that’s a cool little trash can I made into my play house? Mikki and Jack got it at the Container Store just in case you’re interested. Thanks for following Mikki’s blog. She’ll be back soon IF I can get her out of my garden and to the easel!

kitty paw print

Breakfast for Two

April 28, 2016


VIDEO! Painting the Philodendrons.

VIDEO! Blocking in the Geraniums following my usual sequence, Flowers First, Leaves Last.

VIDEO! Adding the final touches to the Geraniums.

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The Red Geraniums offer a nice contrast juxtaposed by the white shutters and yellow walls.

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My colors are mixed for the White Daisies in the lower left corner. The recipes are as follows…..#1. White + Ultramarine Blue. #2. Two shades of White + Dioxazine Purple. #3. White + Pthalo Blue. #4. Pure White. #5. White + Pthalo Blue + Lemon Yellow. #6. Three mixes in different proportions of Pthalo Blue + Cadmium Yellow Medium + White. #7. Pthalo Blue + White.

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The shadow colors of the white flowers are blocked in first with mixes #1, #2 and #3. Please remember, you can click on any of the pictures to see them larger.

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Next the foliage is painted. I work the greens around the masses of white, giving shape to the flowers.

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One of the most fun parts of painting Daisies is adding the centers and crisp White highlights. Instantly the flowers seem to come alive, dancing and bobbing in the breeze!

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Lilies are another of my favorites. The yellow mass was painted with mixes of Cadmium Yellow Medium + Cadmium Orange + a touch of MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson), Cadmium Yellow Medium + Cadmium Orange and Cadmium Yellow Medium + Lemon Yellow. The leaves are made with greens left over from the White Daisies. I just added a bit of Lemon Yellow to all of the mixes.

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The deep centers are indicated with a combination of Magenta + Liquin.

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The same greens are used for the broad leaves of the Canna Lilies.

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Magenta + Dioxazine Purple Petunias are planted in the terra cotta pot next to the Lilies. Since they are complimentary colors, Yellow and Purple, each appears brighter.

SD1216 Breakfast for Two 24x30Breakfast for Two         24 inches tall by 30 inches wide

Silver Ponyfoot Vine spills out from the Petunia container. AND…..we’re finished! The sun dappled terrace overlooking the Amalfi Coast provides a delightful spot for an enchanting Breakfast for Two. It’s been fun having you visit our studio to follow my painting process; hope you’ll come back soon. BIG HUGS,

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

Fresh Fruit and Wicker Chairs

April 25, 2016

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Now…..let’s get to the fruit basket by the vase of Roses. The red grapes were first blocked in with thin mixes of Alizarin Crimson + Liquin. Next work begins on the bananas. Please remember as you go through my blog, you may enlarge the images by clicking on them.

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Adding highlights and the reflected light along the lower edge of the individual grapes makes them appear round.

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Moving to the wicker chairs the dappled light pattern on the back is established first.

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I come back with a small Bright (square) brush and use thick brushstrokes in a lighter value to indicate the texture of the woven wicker.

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“Painting Forward” I begin blocking in the fresh white tablecloth that drapes over the Bistro table.

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Thick, fluffy Ultramarine Blue cushions issue an invitation to plop down in the wicker chairs. The combination of Blue and Yellow looks so happy. I’m really glad Stan and Lonnie changed from the wrought iron chairs to the wicker. They look so crisp with the yellow building and white shutters. We’ll be planting in our next session. Grab your gardening gloves and come help! BIG HUGS,

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG



Romantic Roses

April 24, 2016

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Stan asked me to put a vase of Roses on the bistro table especially for Lonnie. Isn’t that romantic? I begin blocking in the pink blossoms with several shades of Permanent Rose + White.

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Palm Fronds add a different texture to the happy bouquet. I start to delineate the details of the flowers with a small Bright brush. Want to know more about the brushes I use? Just CLICK HERE!

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Breathe in deeply. Can’t you just smell the wonderful fragrance of the freshly picked Roses? To see the picture enlarged just click on the image.

VIDEO! Starting to paint the Italian Tile floor. First I cover the surface entirely, establishing the dappled light and shadow pattern.

VIDEO! The perspective lines are drawn into the wet paint of the floor with a fine liner brush dipped in a mix of MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + Liquin. This is done freehand, using a mahl stick would limit the movement of my hand making it difficult to pull a straight line. Then the horizontal lines separating the tiles are made.

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That’s all folks! Thank you for all of your kind comments and questions. You don’t know how much I appreciate them. Hope you’ll come back soon. We’ll be working on the fruit basket, table and wicker chairs in the next session. BIG HUGS,

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG


Wispy Wisteria and Sun Dappled Shutters

April 22, 2016


VIDEO! Painting the Wispy Wisteria draping over the yellow wall. The lovely lavender is made of several mixes in different proportions of Dioxazine Purple + Ultramarine Blue + White. The lacy leaves are made with mixtures of Viridian + Cadmium Yellow Medium. I follow my usual sequence of Flowers First, Leaves Last!

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After finishing the Wisteria I move to the tall, sun dappled shutters. The shadows are painted first.

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Then the sunny portions are dragged over the shadows with pure White. This softens the edges of the sun streaks.

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The upright edges of the shutter panels are drawn with a thin mix of MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + Liquin.

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Next the horizontal lines of the shutters are drawn. I brace the fingers of my left hand against the unpainted portion of the canvas. I rest my right hand on my left wrist to steady it as I delineate the individual louvers.

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Since the louvers sit at an angle there is a triangular space at the end of each one. In this case I use the mahl stick to steady my painting hand as I draw them.

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We’re moving right along…..Thank you for following my blog. Hope you’ll come back soon! BIG HUGS,

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG


The Terrace Pergola

April 20, 2016

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The whitewashed buildings just below the terrace are now painted. For the sunlit portion of the stucco I use a cool White made of White + a tiny bit of Ultramarine Blue. This will make the buildings drop into the distance. I’ll use a warmer mix of White for the part of the terrace shutters illuminated by the sun. My wrist is braced against the mahl stick to steady my hand as I delineate the details of the Severs Green + White window frame and shutters.

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The columns supporting the Pergola are painted with several shades of warm White. Mixes of White + MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + a teeny touch of Cadmium Orange in different proportions are used. Pure White + a little Ultramarine Blue + a bit of Cadmium Orange is used for the filtered light streaking down the round column.

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It’s fun dragging the lacy shadows of the Bougainvillea across the yellow wall. Two shades of Cadmium Yellow Medium + MUD + a little Cadmium Orange + White are used for the building.

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Here are my color recipes for the Bougainvillea. #1. Alizarin Crimson + Magenta + White. #2. Magenta + a tiny bit of White. #3. Alizarin Crimson + White. #4. Two shades of Viridian Green + White. #5. Pthalo Blue + White.

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The colorful bracts of the Bougainvillea are blocked in first with a large Bright (Square) brush.

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The foliage is painted around the masses of Red, helping to shape the flowers. You can click on the image to see it larger:)

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The Bougainvillea cascades over the pergola, the rays of sun drifting through its long arms will bathe the terrace in filtered light. The trunk of the Wisteria on the left side is added and we’re done for today. Hope you’ll come back and watch the next session. I hope to have a VIDEO for you! BIG HUGS,

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

Painting Amalfi

April 18, 2016

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Let’s get painting! Here are my color recipes. #1. Ultramarine Blue + White. #2. Ultramarine Blue + a tiny bit of MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + White. #3. Mix #2 + a little touch of Pthalo Blue + White. #4. Two shades of MUD + Ultramarine Blue + White. #5. Cobalt Blue + White. #6. Pthalo Blue + White. Why do we call MUD, MUD? CLICK HERE to find out and learn more about our double primary mixing system.

VIDEO! I start with the sky because it is the source of light for the piece. When it is complete I “PAINT FORWARD” beginning with the farthest bluffs.

VIDEO! Work on the background continues.

VIDEO!  Adding some of the details on the delightful coastal village.

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Reflections of the old fort on the rocky outcropping are dragged straight down into the water below.

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Then a few horizontal brushstrokes are made across the reflections. This gives the feeling of waves moving in to crash against the shoreline.

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I follow a simple rule in painting the ocean: Muted colors go back, Intense or bright colors come forward. The Mediterranean water is made duller in the distance. Mixes of Ultramarine Blue + MUD + White are used. Moving to the middle ground slightly darker mixtures of Ultramarine Blue + White and Ultramarine Blue + Pthalo Blue + White are used. The closest water is Pthalo Blue + White making it very intense. This helps to give the feeling of depth in the piece. The shallow water nearest the beach is made a bit greener. The creamy yellow sand influences the blue water over it, making it appear more green!

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The view from the terrace is complete! Thanks for following along today. BIG HUGS,

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG


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