Cactus, Indian Paintbrush and Phlox

It is always a fun challenge to capture the light dancing along the spiny pads of the cactus. I make several mixes of various combinations of Ultramarine Blue + Cadmium Yellow Medium + MUD + White for this Texas native.

Spring time in Texas is beautiful and this year is exceptional. We’ve been driving the back roads in our area in the early evenings to take pictures of the abundant wildflowers. Indian Paintbrush covers the hill on the left while Phlox is shown on the right.

So using the wonderful wildflowers God has provided us this spring I let Indian Paintbrush and Phlox nestle around the base of the cactus. Cadmium Red Light + Alizarin Crimson and Cadmium Orange + White are the mixes I used for the Indian Paintbrush. The Phlox is blocked in with one of the special colors I occasionally pull out, Permanent Rose. It makes a bright hot pink I’m unable to mix with our Double Primary Palette. The flowers are blocked in first, then the foliage is worked around the blossom color.

Several shades of green, mixed from Pthalo Blue + Cadmium Orange + Cadmium Yellow Medium + White block in the foliage. A few strokes of Pthalo Blue + White are added for variation in the leaves. Then stems are made with a fine liner brush. To see any of these pictures larger just click the image.

Magenta centers complete the Phlox. I let a gentle breeze carry a few pink and orange petals to the ground and a lemon yellow cactus blossom drifts along in the lower pool. We should finish up tomorrow. Hugs, Mikki Senkarik

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3 Responses to “Cactus, Indian Paintbrush and Phlox”

  1. porkyxi Says:

    wonderful as usual..but whats the madness behind painting the flowers first , then the leaves?…is it just because you want to place the blooms in the right place, and if you did the leaves first, it would limit where the blooms went?.i would think it would be the other way around…

  2. Jennifer Love Says:

    I love the Rose color. I have Quinacridone Rose in my watercolor palette. Don’t use it often, but love it when I do. 🙂 Do you really paint so far away at arm’s reach with your brush, or is that just for the pics?

    • Mikki Senkarik Says:

      Jennifer, Yes I do paint that far away from the canvas, especially when I’m blocking in areas of color. I get closer when working on details. Then a mahl stick is wonderful to brace my arm on. I just have to be really careful not to paint above shoulder level as this puts a tremendous strain on your rotator cuff. That’s why we bought our crank up easels years ago. Thanks for asking and have a great day. Hugs, Mikki

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