Pause and Enjoy

Spicy chilis and Maximilian’s Sunflowers are seen everywhere in Santa Fe and Taos. The cheery yellow blossoms are blocked in with mixes of Cadmium Orange + Cadmium Yellow Medium. A bit of MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) is added into the shadows. Sunlit petals are painted with Hansa Lemon Yellow that has a touch of Cadmium Yellow Medium mixed in. The warm leaves are mixtures of Ultramarine Blue + Cadmium Yellow Medium.

Dark centers finish the Maximilian’s Sunflowers bobbing and dipping in the breeze. Gently curved terra-cotta pavers help to give the impression of depth to the entry courtyard. First the entire surface of the floor is painted, then the curved perspective lines are drawn with a fine liner brush into the wet paint. Delineating the horizontal lines separating the tiles completes the process. The rocks lining the flower bed are made of Ultramarine Blue + Cadmium Orange + MUD + White. These are the same colors used for the adobe. More blue is added for the rocks while the walls have more Cadmium Orange. It’s amazing the variety of different hues this mixture makes just by varying the proportions of the base colors.

The Taos Blue bench is a mix of Pthalo Blue + a tiny touch of Cadmium Orange + White. The saw tooth edge of the front panel is made using the square corner of a #12 Bright brush held at a 45 degree angle.

People often ask how do I get such bright colors? Here is another one of those very simple rules we use in painting. Placing a color next to its compliment makes it appear brighter. Orange is the complimentary color or across the color wheel from blue. So placing the orange California Poppies in close proximity to the bench intensifies the blue, making both appear brighter.


Now for the Shasta Daises in the foreground. White flowers offer a wonderful excuse to use lots of beautiful lavenders, blues and soft greens in the shadows. My mixtures are laid out on the palette and I’m ready to begin painting. I work almost exclusively with “Bright” brushes, some are shown above. The broad surface is great for blocking in large areas and the corners can be used to paint fine detail.

The Shasta Daisies are blocked in. The shadow colors are randomly painted on the canvas, this will give interest in the dark areas of the flowers. The leaves are painted next with mixes of Pthalo Blue + Hansa Lemon Yellow. The greens will be worked around the flowers to shape them.

Pause and Enjoy     30″ x 36″       Original Oil Painting

Sunlight dances across the tops of the Shasta Daisies, issuing an invitation for the viewer to take a seat to Pause and Enjoy. Remember, if you would like to look at any of these pictures enlarged just click on the image. Thanks for visiting our studio today. Hugs, Mikki Senkarik

Website: www.senkarik.com

7 Responses to “Pause and Enjoy”

  1. stormy50 Says:

    Hi Mikki,
    Am I being “over fussed” with detail, or should there be deeper shadow work beneath the chair to ground it?

    I have learned so much from you and your work. Thank you for your continued generousity.

    • Mikki Senkarik Says:

      You are absolutely right. I will do that before “Pause and Enjoy” is shipped. Thank you for your suggestion and also for following my blog. Hugs, Mikki

  2. William McCoy Says:

    I agree with Stormy50. The shadow under the chair needs to be darker. Otherwise, extremely nice.

  3. esthercar Says:

    Hi Mikki
    I wonder,
    What do you mean exactly with “blocking in”?
    Thanks for sharing your work’s process with us.

    • Mikki Senkarik Says:

      “Blocking In” is a term I use when I’m covering an area on the canvas that is all basically the same color. For instance the mass of leaves on a plant or an adobe wall. I loosely paint or “Block in” the main color with a large brush. Then I come back in and add more detail. I hope this is clear. Thank you for following my blog. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Mikki

  4. Anne Says:

    HI Mikki, I love your bright colours. I always feel so cheered by your bright cheerful paintings. Thank you so much. So far I have painted mountains and water and reflections but your paintings are a joy.

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