That’s a Long Fence…

December 6, 2016

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Before we get to building the fence I block in the pastures on both sides of the lane leading to the barn. The grass in the back is made bluer, or cooler. Moving toward the open gate the grass becomes warmer. Where the road and lawn dip down into the little valley it’s darker because the hill on the right casts a shadow across the low area.

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That loooooonnnnnggggg fence is painted over the wet grass. My, Oh my. Getting the perspective on the posts and rails is a challenge. The nice thing about painting in oils is, if I make a mistake I can just scrape the paint off with my palette knife and begin again. 

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On the right side I take a little different approach. Just like building a fence in real life, I set all the posts first. Then I start the rails with the top one. Please remember, you may enlarge any of the pictures by clicking on them.

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Moving back to the fence on the left I begin developing the front and side planes of the individual posts. 

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Now for the cattle. In one of the reference photos my collector sent there was a cow cooling off in the pond. He definitely wanted to add that to the piece. So….here is our “Cool Cow”! My right hand rests on top of my left which is braced against the unpainted canvas for steady support.

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Next time you see a lake, pond or calm body of water notice along the shoreline. The sky illuminates the edge of the water, highlighting little pieces of debris and foam that collect there. Adding a little light line here and there helps to give the feeling of the water lapping up against the rocks.

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The black steers are blocked in with Ivory Black. Then I add highlights of Ultramarine Blue + Ivory Black + White. The blue from the sky reflects off of their shiny black coats.

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Whew! The fence and cattle are pretty much finished. Now for the gravel lane leading down the hill and back up to the barn.

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Shadows cast on the grass by the cattle are completed.

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The red barn really POPS with all of the greens around it. This is because Green is the complimentary color of Red. Or in other words, they are directly across the color wheel from each other. Placing complimentary colors next to each other makes them appear brighter. As Jack would say, “That’s your little lesson for today!” HUGS,

A Stately Red Barn

December 4, 2016

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I love barns, especially red ones. And this is a beauty. A mix of Cadmium Red Deep + a little bit of MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + White is used for the sunlit part. Cadmium Red Deep + MUD + Alizarin Crimson makes the shadows.

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My wrist is braced against the mahl stick to steady my hand as I paint the cupula. Would you like to know about my mahl stick? CLICK HERE to find out.

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There is a weathervane with a bull on top of the cupola. My hand rests on the unpainted part of the canvas to delineate the fine detail. If you’d like to enlarge this or any of the other pictures just click on the image.

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The windows have white casings; it’s a challenge to get them all the same. My hands are braced a little differently on the mahl stick to pull the horizontal lines.

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My collector specifically asked for a tractor in the painting. He said, “You can’t have a red barn without a John Deere!” 

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The distinctive yellow and green John Deere tractor glows in front of the red barn.

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The last thing we’ll do is close the huge doors on the front of the barn. Thanks for following along today. AND… always feel free to ask questions. One of the main reasons I write this blog is to help fellow artists. HUGS,

It’s Your LAST CHANCE!

December 4, 2016

sk3316-stop-and-smell-the-bluebonnets-10x10Stop and Smell the Bluebonnets  10 inches by 10 inches

Don’t Forget, My eBay auctions for these three paintings end TONIGHT at 8 PM Central Time!

CLICK HERE to go to the auctions

sj3016-linger-a-while-10x10Linger A While    10 inches by 10 inches

sk3516-a-quiet-moment-22x22A Quiet Moment     22 inches by 22 inches

This is your last chance to WIN a Senkarik Original Oil Painting to give for Christmas. So don’t linger! The auction ends TONIGHT, Sunday December 4 at 8 PM Central Time.

CLICK HERE to go to the auctions.

HAPPY BIDDING!

Blue Sky, Distant Trees

December 3, 2016

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OK, Let’s get to painting! My sky mixes are: #1. White + Pthalo Blue + a touch of Lemon Yellow. #2. White + Pthalo Blue. #3. White + Pthalo Blue + Cobalt Blue. #4. White + Cobalt Blue. #5. Two shades of White + MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson). #6. Mix #5 + more White.

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The darkest blue mix, #4, is used at the top of the sky. The blues are made increasing lighter as I move down toward the horizon, close to the trees and barn. That portion of the sky around the top of the barn is made with mixture #1. The soft green will make the red of the barn appear brighter. White spots are left in the field of blue so I can determine the pattern of the clouds.

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The shadows of the soft clouds are blocked in first. Please remember as you read through my blog, you may click on any of the pictures to see them larger.

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Sun pours into the painting from the upper right. Highlights on the clouds are painted wet-into-wet with mix #6.

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The trees behind the barn are painted with cool greens mixed from various proportions of Pthalo Blue + Cadmium Orange + MUD + White. A few brush strokes of Ultramarine Blue + White are made here and there for additional coolness.

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A row of Crepe Myrtles bring a surprise of soft color by the barn. Mixes of Dioxazine Purple + White and Dioxazine Purple + Magenta + White are used for these beautiful summer bloomers.

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Tall trees in the pasture to the left of the barn are made with warmer greens so they jump in front of the cooler ones behind the barn. Mixes of Pthalo Green + Cadmium Yellow Medium + MUD + White are used. This follows a simple rule that helps to give the appearance of depth in a painting: Cool Colors Go Back, Warm Colors Come Forward.

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The tall trunks are highlighted and that’s it for today. The barn will be painted next, hope you’ll come back to watch! HUGS,

Barn Country

December 1, 2016

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Starting a new commission. And this one has a cool red barn! It’s going to be a fun departure from my usual garden/architecture pieces. That’s one of the neatest things about collaborating with my collectors, I get to paint subjects I normally wouldn’t think of! My sketch is shown above. If you’d like to see the picture larger just click on the image.

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I begin by drawing up the gate posts. Getting the foreground elements in first helps me to determine the exact placement of the barn in the background. I use my sketch, as well as reference photos of the farm, as guides.

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Large half whiskey barrels, at the base of the posts, will be filled with Coreopsis, Nasturtiums, Sweet Potato Vine and Angelonia.

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Bracing my wrist against the mahl stick to steady my hand, the barn is sketched with a brush dipped in a thin oil wash of MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + Liquin.

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The windows and large door on the front of the barn are washed in with the same mixture. The crowning touch is adding the cupola on top!

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An old, John Deere tractor sits out in the pasture in front of the barn.

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We’re all sketched up and ready to begin painting in 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!

Give a Senkarik for Christmas

November 29, 2016
My, oh my! This year is flying by. Can you believe Thanksgiving is over? Now Christmas is right around the corner. Give that special someone on your list the gift of a Senkarik Original Oil Painting, it’s sure to bring smiles for years to come. This year I’m offering 3 different pieces on eBay; to make it lots of fun all of the bidding begins at 1 cent. That’s right, ONLY A PENNY!
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 Stop and Smell the Bluebonnets
 
I adore Burros and Bluebonnets. So why not combine both in a happy painting? All of us are busy, busy, busy these days. Stop and Smell the Bluebonnets is a cheerful reminder to slow down and savor the moment. Do you have a loved one on your Christmas list who needs a little break? This cute fella would bring them a smile and a chance to enjoy the refreshing Texas spring, any day of the year. You may click on any of the pictures to see them larger.
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Linger A While
 
Give a Senkarik “Billboard of Happiness” to someone you love for Christmas. Linger A While would be a wonderful gift for that person in your life who enjoys color. The recipient will see an expression of how much you care every time they view Linger A While in their home. Or maybe you’d like to have this pleasant courtyard on YOUR wall. Imagine how relaxing it would be to sit and Linger A While in that turquoise rocking chair, surrounded by the soft fragrance of Lavender.
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Both Linger A While and Stop and Smell the Bluebonnets measure 10 inches tall by 10 inches wide. You don’t have to worry about doing any framing, each piece is painted on a canvas panel with 1 1/2 inch finished sides. They are ready to hang, I’ve even provided the hanger and nail. These would retail in galleries for $590. But remember, the bid begins at ONLY A PENNY!
 
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 A Quiet Moment
La Escaramuza Charra! Teams of pretty girls in flowing dresses ride sidesaddle on spirited horses; performing intricate maneuvers at a full gallop. I think this is the most exciting event at a Mexican Rodeo or Charreada. But there are a few minutes of tranquility as the girls sit on their horses, waiting to enter the arena. One of the Charras is captured in A Quiet Moment with her trusty mount, the calm before the storm of her team’s exhilarating performance. This Senkarik Original Oil Painting would make a perfect Christmas gift for that horse lover in your life! And this one doesn’t even have to be fed!
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A Quiet Moment is framed in our Senkarik-White Signature Frame, all your happy recipient will have to do is hang it on their wall. The outside dimension of the frame is 22 inches tall by 22 inches wide. The painted image is 15 3/4 inches tall by 15 3/4 inches wide. A piece this size would retail for $990 in galleries.

I’ll be happy to personalize the back of any painting for the lucky person you are giving it to. Just let me know as soon as possible after you win!

SO…. get your Christmas shopping done early. The three auctions are staggered 10 minutes apart so you can win one or all of the Original Oil Paintings for your gift giving.
 
Don’t linger, the first auction ends Sunday, December 4 at 8 PM Texas (Central) Time.
HAPPY BIDDING and HUGS,

Warm Breath of Color

November 28, 2016

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Following my usual sequence of Flowers First, Leaves Last the Geraniums are blocked in. The red blossoms are mixes of Cadmium Red Deep + Alizarin Crimson and Cadmium Red Deep + Cadmium Red Light. The leaves are combinations in different proportions of Pthalo Blue + Lemon Yellow.

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Lacy Silver Pony Foot Vine drapes from the Geranium Container. Mixes of Pthalo Blue + Cadmium Orange + White are used for the delicate, hoof shaped leaves. Please remember as you read though my post, you may click on any of the images to see them larger.

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Now for some of my favorites, the Sunflowers. The big blossoms are blocked in with Cadmium Yellow Medium + MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) and Cadmium Yellow Medium + MUD + Cadmium Orange. A mix of Cadmium Yellow Medium + Lemon Yellow is reserved to highlight the flowers illuminated by the sun.

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The dark centers are made of MUD + Liquin. Why do we call MUD, MUD? Just CLICK HERE to find out.

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Old watering cans have such character. Don’t you think the dents, rust and scratches make them all the more attractive?

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African Daisies nestle at the foot of the gate on the right. The flowers are mixes of Cadmium Red Light + Alizarin Crimson, Cadmium Orange + Alizarin Crimson, Cadmium Red Light + White and Alizarin Crimson + White. The grey-green foliage is painted with color left over from the Silver Pony Feet!

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The dancing Daisies almost seem to come alive when the centers are added.

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Hollyhocks keep the watering can and Sunflowers company. This picture shows how the painting extends over, on to the side of the gallery wrap canvas. The flowers of the white Hollies are blocked in with the shadow colors. Mixtures of White + Dioxazine Purple, White + Ultramarine Blue and White + Pthalo Blue are used. Then the foliage is made of Pthalo Blue + Cadmium Yellow Medium. The greens are painted around the masses of white, giving shape to the crepe papery flowers.

sk3416-warm-breath-of-color-20x24Warm Breath of Color     20″ tall by 24″ wide

Pure White highlights those flowers touched by the sun. Deep magenta centers with yellow stamens and tall, pod laden stalks complete our Hollyhocks. This happy courtyard is going to our gallery in Santa Fe, ready to bring a Warm Breath of Color to a new collector’s home. BIG HUGS,

 

HOT PINK

November 25, 2016

I hope every one of you had a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving. I shared the day with good friends and had a great time. Panna’s food was incredibly delicious; I ate way too much. We all missed Jack but knew he was with us in our hearts and watching down from Heaven. And I definitely know he was jumping for joy when the Cowboys won!

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OK, back to the easel. Growing up in the south I’ve always loved Bougainvilleas. Their hot pink bracts are brilliant in the sunlight. I pull out a couple of special colors to use, Permanent Rose and Magenta. The blossoms are blocked in with mixes of Permanent Rose + Magenta + White for the shadows. Permanent Rose + White is used for those flowers illuminated by the sun. I have to stand on a step stool to paint the top edge of the gallery wrapped canvas.

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The leaves are mixes of Viridian Green + Cadmium Yellow Medium.

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Now we move to the foreground courtyard. The entire surface of the floor is painted with the light and shadow pattern. I drag a few strokes of the red into the floor directly below the gate. This gives the impression of the red gate reflecting into the wet pavers.

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The lines separating the individual tiles are pulled into the wet paint of the floor with a fine liner brush. You may click on the image to see it larger.

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I place the canvas, still mounted on the cardboard, on Jack’s desk chair in order to paint the bottom edge. You can see how having the painting on the backing board makes it easier to handle. Molly, our rescue kitty, is in the background supervising! 

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Now the fountain is dry I come back and finish the cascading water. I lightly drag the brush straight down, letting it skip and dance over the bumps of the dry paint underneath. This helps to give the feeling of water spilling over the edge into the base below.

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The basic color of the basket is painted first, then the pattern of the woven reeds is delineated with a mix of MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + Liquin.

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A bit of Cadmium Red Light is added to the floor mixes to make the terra cotta containers lined up across the top of the courtyard wall. We’ll be planting them in our next session. I appreciate you following along today, hope you’ll come back and visit our studio again soon. BIG HUGS,

So Much to be Thankful For

November 23, 2016

 

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HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Don’t you think it’s those times in the kitchen when you get to catch up with friends and family you haven’t seen for a long time that make Thanksgiving so wonderful? Norman Rockwell is one of Jack’s and my all time favorite artists. He’s captured the essence of those fleeting moments perfectly. I grew up admiring his paintings on the covers of the Saturday Evening Post Magazine, his attention to detail is amazing.

Just living in this great country is an incredible gift from God. We are very thankful for all of the men and women who have sacrificed so much so we can enjoy our lives in America. I also want let you know how much I appreciate your support the past several months. We ALL have much to be thankful for, God has certainly blessed each one of us. But please remember to thank Jesus every single day for his gifts. “Thanksgiving is an attitude of the heart not a day of the year.”

I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving filled with Laughter, Love and Hugs. And GO COWBOYS!

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

Morning Glories and Poker Plant

November 22, 2016

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I begin by painting the distant trees and courtyard though the arched opening. A Magenta Morning Glory spills over the wall. Mixes of Magenta + Dioxazine Purple + White and Magenta + White are used for the blossoms which are blocked in first. The foliage is then painted with several combinations of Viridian Green + Cadmium Yellow Medium.

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Poker plant nestles at the base of the wall. The cone shaped blooms are shaped with the corner of a medium Bright (square) brush. If you would like to know more about the brushes I use CLICK HERE. Please remember as you read through my blog, you can click on any of the pictures to see them larger.

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The paver floor is now “Laid”. I’ve covered the entire area with cooler mixtures of MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + Ultramarine Blue + Cadmium Orange + White. Brushstrokes of Ultramarine Blue + White are made here and there to bring additional coolness to the tiles. I want this floor to be cooler than the one in the foreground so it will fall back. Then perspective lines are drawn into the wet paint with a fine liner brush.

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Mixtures of Viridian Green + MUD + White are used for the fountain. Paint from the floor is used for the terra cotta tiles topping the base of the fountain. 

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Jack always loved my “Through the door” paintings at this stage. It’s fun to see the completed background with the rest of the painting just sketched in. So this picture is especially for Jack.

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My adobe mixes are combinations of Cadmium Orange + Ultramarine Blue + MUD + White. Notice the back part of the wall I’m working on is made more blue, or cooler. The portion closer to the front, where my brush is, warmer. This follows the simple rule to give the appearance of depth in a painting: Cool Colors Go Back, Warm Colors Come Forward.

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The red gates POP against all the cool colors in the background. The shadow areas are Cadmium Red Deep + Alizarin Crimson. The sunlit part is pure Cadmium Red Light.

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I think these wrought iron hinges are so cool, they add a Spanish touch to the piece. We took reference photos of these in Carmel by the Sea many years ago.

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Iron rings complete the gate hardware. Thank you for following along today, I’ve enjoyed your company. Hope you’ll come back soon. HUGS,