A Touch of Greece

Joan asked me to paint a peachy orange Bougainvillea. For reference I’m using a slide of a hot pink one we photographed years ago on Key Largo in the Florida Keys. The slide is viewed on a rear projection screen, the projector is out of the picture on the right. You can see the Bougainvillea mixtures of various proportions of Permanent Rose + Cadmium Red Light + Cadmium Orange + White on my palette. You can click on the image to see it larger. Molly, our shelter rescue kitty, supervises. If I step away from the easel for any reason she wakes up and meows, alerting Jack that I’m not painting. I think there is a conspiracy going on here!

The sun catches the top of the Bougainvillea so that area is painted with the lighter mixes. Magenta + Permanent Rose is used for the lower bracts in the shadow of the wall. The cool blue wall behind the fiery “Bougie” makes it appear even brighter. Blue is across the color wheel or the complement of Orange. This is another one of those rules we use in painting: Placing a color next to its complement makes it appear more intense.

After the basic flower area is covered or blocked in the foliage is painted. This sequence, Flowers First, Leaves Last is followed on most of the blossoming plants I paint. The greens of the leaves are worked around the bright color to shape the blossoms. If the greens were painted first my brush would pick up some of that underlying color when putting in the flowers, making them muddy. The corner of a #10 Bright brush is used to add the details of the smaller leaves.

Deep Red Geraniums contrast with the azure water behind. The reds are made of Cadmium Red Deep + Magenta. Highlights are Cadmium Red Light. The leaves are a bright, intense green mixed with Pthalo Blue + Hansa Lemon Yellow.

The Geranium container provides a dark backdrop that accents the yellow Coreopsis, a native of Greece. Mixes of Cadmium Red Light + Cadmium Orange + Cadmium Yellow Medium are used for these cheery flowers, dancing and bobbing in the breeze.

A Touch of Greece    38″ tall by 32″ wide     Original Oil Painting

Leaves, along with red centers in the flowers, are added to the Coreopsis and……. we are finished. Joan’s painting is ready to bring A Touch of Greece to her home. We just have to let it dry a few days before I can spray it with Retouch Varnish and ship it. This has been so much fun. I really appreciate all of the wonderful comments you have made. This blog is for you, if I can ever answer any questions please feel free to ask. I’d also like to extend a big, Texas “Much Obliged” to Joan for allowing me the opportunity to travel back to Greece and relive our warm memories of the area. Jack and I are going to miss seeing this piece in the studio. Hugs, Mikki Senkarik

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9 Responses to “A Touch of Greece”

  1. Joan Says:

    Oh, my!! Amazingly beautiful! I feel so happy, Mikki! Can’t thank you enough!

  2. Janet Zeh Says:

    Ahhh….. lucky Joan to get to experience this painting every day! So relaxing and peaceful. I can feel the breeze and hear the evening sounds looking at this piece.

  3. Peggy Black Says:

    Peggy Black says:
    Breathtaking!!!!!!

  4. Nita Neupane Says:

    Hello! I love you artwork and I am citing and comparing your artwork got my assume the identity project for my AP art project! I just wanted to know what mediums you used for this project because I know it’s oil painting but not sure whether you used acrylics especially for those pretty flowers! Thank you and I hope to hear from you soon!

    • Mikki Senkarik Says:

      Hi Nita,
      I use oil paints as I don’t like acrylics. Acrylics darken as they dry, also they are difficult to mix. Sometimes I’ll mix a little bit of LIQUIN in my oil paint, it makes the regular oils dry faster. If I want to paint in really thick texture and still have it dry quickly I’ll use ALKYD oil paints. They dry in 2 or 3 days and mix like regular oils. This is particularly helpful with flowers. Thank you for your kind words and for following my blog. Hugs, Mikki

  5. Liz Mc Cann Says:

    Love all of your fantastic paintings of Santorini Mikki…you gave me great inspiration to try this painting…but I am hopeless at doing the flowers..you make it seem so simple

  6. Terry Smiley Says:

    Hi Mikki, Love the painting! I was about to paint this painting by using yours as an example to look at. If you don’t mind. How do you paint the sun shining on the stone decking. Do you paint the deck and then just add the sun coming through the slats with a light transparent color? That’s what I’m thinking of doing or just leaving that part off. Thanks

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