A Sweeping Curve

A mix of Ultramarine Blue + a touch of MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + a little White is used for the shadow portion of the gate. Ultramarine Blue + White makes the sunny side. This soft blue is selected for the gate so it won’t be distracting. I want the viewer’s eye to be drawn past the gate and dark adobe wall to the sunlit bluff in the distance. The blue is also the complimentary color (across from each other on the color wheel) to the oranges in the mesa. By placing the two together the hue of the rocks appears even more intense.

My mixtures for the tile floor are laid out on the palette. I used several colors leftover from the distant bluff and mountains. The darker terra-cotta colors are a mix of MUD + Cadmium Orange + White. I even use some of the cool greens from the base of the mesa and purples from the sage to add variation in the pavers.

The darker shadow parts of the floor are blocked in first. Warmer colors are used in the foreground. Brushstrokes of cool blues and greens are added toward the back to make the distant edge of the floor “Lie Down”.

The sunlit portion of the floor is painted next. This is made warmer and lighter toward the front, with blues added toward the back to make it recede.

Now for the sweeping curve of the tiles. Using a fine liner brush dipped in a wash of MUD the curved perspective lines are drawn into the wet paint of the floor. This is done freehand. I don’t use a mahl stick because it would restrict my movement, preventing a smooth, flowing line.

The horizontal cross lines indicating the crevices between tiles are now drawn.

The highlights along the edges of the pavers where the sun hits them add the final touch to the floor. It’s amazing how getting the tile finished starts to pull the painting together. Hope to see you tomorrow. Hugs, Mikki Senkarik

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One Response to “A Sweeping Curve”

  1. Bobbi Baltzer-Jacobo Says:

    So interesting! I love getting these posts! I was wondering if this painting was completed in one Day? The tile floor is your signature! Figuratively speaking, of course! That floor would make that painting worthwhile, no matter what the rest of the painting! Beautiful!
    Bobbi Baltzer-Jacobo

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