Snow, Ducks and Ancient Ruins

We had SNOW last night! I know those of you who live in the Frozen Tundra are falling out of your computer chairs laughing. (Can you guess who we are for in the Super Bowl?) Now just wait before you say, “That is the most pathetic excuse for snow you have ever seen!” We hardy ever have snow in this part of Texas so even a tiny bit is a pretty big event for us. Our temperature has been below freezing for several days so all of our plants are  tucked in! We’ll see what survives when it warms up.

Just had to share a little more of our snow covered backyard. One thing for sure. Slinky, our little wild kitty didn’t like it. We didn’t see hide nor hair of him until it melted. Snuggled under the freeze cloths covering the plants he wouldn’t even venture out for breakfast. He is definitely a southern kitty!

We have ducks galore enjoying Senkarik Pond. Northern Shovelers and American Wigeons make up the majority of our migratory duck population. There are probably about 100 in all. To see the image larger just click on the picture.

Now, from Ducks to Turkey (smile). I’ve got the paint ready for the Library of Cestus. Several variations of Ultramarine Blue + Cadmium Orange are mixed. MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) is added for the darker values, White for the lighter ones.

The image above shows an example of one of the most basic rules in painting: Warm colors come forward, Cool colors recede. The ocher, sunburned grass covering the closest hillside has a warmth that comes forward of the cooler mountain in the distance. The jumble of ruins are blocked in with the cooler (bluer) mixes on my palette so they will fall behind the warmer, upright columns lining the left side of the wide boulevard. On the Library I use the largest brush possible and my cooler hues to cover the ancient walls.

The basic values of the upright building are now blocked in and I’ve started indicating the rock work. But not extremely detailed because I want the Library to fall into the distance. Too much detail would make it jump forward. This is another method to give the impression of distance in a painting. Objects in the distance are softer and less detailed. As elements come closer to the foreground they have harder edges and more detail.

Here I’ve applied the Warm/Cool rule again. The columns and protruding porticos are painted warmer than the wall behind them. This makes them visually come forward. It’s slow going but I’m pleased with how this stage of the painting is progressing. Thank you for visiting the studio today. Hugs, Mikki Senkarik


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