Shimmering Sunflowers

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Our galleries in Santa Fe and Taos love these “Suitcase” pieces. They are small enough collectors can stick them in their travel bag, taking home a memory of the Southwest. I’m very fortunate our collectors love them too. My subject is drawn up and I’ve begun to block in the shadows and the sunlit portions of the adobe wall.

Cadmium Red Deep + Alizarin Crimson is mixed for the shadow on the door. Pure Cadmium Red Light gives a nice warmth to the part of the door touched by the sun. I use MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + Liquin to draw the door handle, the highlights are White with a touch of Ultramarine Blue. The floor is complete and my Pthalo Blue pot is ready to be planted.

But first let’s let the Spanish Jasmine drape over the door. The shadows are painted with lavenders and blues, dark enough for the pure White highlights to show.

Dioxazine Purple + White is used for the Salvia filling the pot by the door. Various mixes of Pthalo Blue + Cadmium Orange + White are made for the foliage.

The Yellow blossoms of the Sunflowers are blocked in first, then the leaves are painted. I’ve used Ultramarine Blue + Hansa Lemon Yellow in varying proportions for the foliage. A few brushstrokes of Pthalo Blue  + White are made in the dark areas of the leaves. This adds coolness in the shadow. The finishing touch is to add the centers of the flowers with MUD + Liquin.

Shimmering Sunflowers   17″ x 14″   Original Oil Painting

You may have noticed I use the Red Door, White Spanish Jasmine, Salvia and Sunflower combination on a fairly regular basis. This is because our galleries and collectors always seem to request this mix of flowers and color. A wise artist, A.D. Greer, once told Jack, “If you don’t paint what people want, you won’t be painting very long for a living.” Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Mikki Senkarik

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2 Responses to “Shimmering Sunflowers”

  1. Bobbi Baltzer-Jacobo Says:

    Hi Mikki,

    I really like the contrast of the warm and the cool here! The Sunflowers seem to be following the sun, which is what they do. Your tiles are always the best! The cool blossoms of Jasmine complete the total look. Is the 14″X 17″ size…what it is with the frame?
    Thank you for the tips,

    Bobbi Baltzer-Jacobo

  2. Jana Says:

    Hi Mikki,

    Your blog is wonderful – thank you so much for sharing your processes! I found you through FASO a couple of weeks ago because some art blog mentioned an article by Jack and it led me to them and then to you.

    I also learned to paint under the tutelage of Jack (via his articles and first book). The simplicity of the double primary palette really helped me transition from graphite to oil. This makes me wonder why you are using cadmium orange and dioxazine purple (doesn’t that word sound like bug repellent 8-)?) Think I read magenta in an earlier posting too. . .

    I too bought some violet (can’t remember the exact color) and felt so guilty, as if I was cheating! The color of dutch iris and of several wildflowers just wouldn’t be mixed without it, no matter how hard I tried.

    Jana Botkin

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