Trumpet Vine, Chilis and a Southwest Bench

The flowers of the Trumpet Vine are now blocked in. Magenta, Cadmium Red Light and Cadmium Orange, in various combinations and proportions, are used for the blossom colors.

The flowers are painted first, then the greens of the foliage are worked around the oranges and reds. This sequence allows the color of the blossoms to remain crisp and clear. If the leaves were blocked in first, my brush would pick up some of the green as I worked on the flowers, muddying their color.

The pure Cadmium Orange highlights of the Trumpet Vine flowers are added last. The thick paint is “Laid” on the canvas with the corner of a Bright brush. I have to be careful not to pick up any of the color underneath. To see this better just enlarge the image by clicking on the picture.

The same technique of “Laying” the color on the canvas is used for the ristra. Using the corner of the brush I’m able to almost sculpt the shape of the individual chili peppers with the thick paint. Many people think I’ve used a palette knife to apply the color but all of the work is done with a brush.

My colors are ready for the Southwest Bench. The blues are made from Pthalo Blue + White. The lavender mixes, for the flowers beside the bench, are made from another special color we use, Dioxazine Purple.

The Lavender is painted before the bench since it grows behind it. I always try to “Paint Forward”, working on the most distant objects first. Only when they are complete do I move forward. Like in this piece, the background was painted first, then the wall. Now the shadows are blocked in on the colorful blue bench.

To make the zigzag along the bottom edge I use a #2 Bright brush. The square brush is held at a 45 degree angle, perfect to make the triangle shape in one stroke.

This is my favorite part of the Southwest design, the Gecko with a curly tail. Out comes the mahl stick to brace against while I draw the little critter with a fine liner brush. Thanks for visiting the studio today. Hugs, Mikki Senkarik

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3 Responses to “Trumpet Vine, Chilis and a Southwest Bench”

  1. Susan Preston Says:

    This is better than college! Really Mikki… I feel so lucky and my students will too!

  2. JSpinner Says:

    I simply love the use of vibrant colors in fearless application. The crisp contrasts between shadows and highlights is profoundly beautiful and skillful. Awesome work!

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