A Texas Commission

This commission is from our Collector Event in Santa Fe. One of our clients saw the show catalog and phoned to purchase “Simply Spring” but it had already sold. Don asked the gallery to have me call, he wanted me to paint the piece for his wife’s birthday. As we talked he realized he wanted to make her piece larger than the one in the show. He loved the painting just like it was with only one change. His request was to make the Indian Paintbrush wildflowers close to the barn more vivid. So let’s get started. I begin by sketching the foreground elements with a brush dipped in an oil wash of MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + Liquin.

Then the barn and background are sketched in. I label the flowers to remind me as I paint.

Painting begins with the sky because it is the source of light and influences the entire piece. The blues from left to right are Pthalo Blue + a little Hansa Lemon Yellow + White, Pthalo Blue + White and Ultramarine Blue + White. The cloud colors at the bottom are MUD + Ultramarine Blue + White, MUD + Cadmium Orange + White and MUD + Alizarin Crimson + Cadmium Orange + White.

Since the sun is shining from the left the sky is lighter on that side. First the entire sky is painted with the shades of blue. The Pthalo Blue + Hansa Lemon Yellow + White is on the far left, the Pthalo Blue + White in the middle and the Ultramarine Blue + White mixture is on the right. The transitions are blended to make them smooth. The cloud colors are then painted over the blue. Working wet-into-wet makes the clouds soft, causing them to stay in the distance.

While the paint of the sky is still very wet I delineate the blades of the windmill. And, of course the vane has the Texas flag on it! My wrist is braced against a mahl stick to steady my hand as I paint. Thank you for visiting our studio today, hope you’ll come back tomorrow to follow along. Hugs, Mikki Senkarik

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4 Responses to “A Texas Commission”

  1. BobbysFmTr@aol.com Says:

    Ok, she didn’t mention it but can you explain to me why she has painted the green leaves over an unpainted fence? If she plans to paint the fence after it seems very difficult to me. I know she likes to keep her colors pure but that seems really hard, I’d rather wait until it dry’s than to have to paint around every little leaf.

    • Mikki Senkarik Says:

      Bobby, This is a good question. I washed in the bulk of the greens of the trumpet vine with Sap Green + Liquin. I like the way the translucent wash gives the impression of the leaves backlit by the sun. The washed in area was totally dry by the time I painted the sky. After the sky and fence are painted I come back with opaque greens and paint the leaves over them. This way I don’t have to “paint around every little leaf.” I agree with you, that would be rather difficult.
      Thanks for following my blog, Mikki

  2. Antonio Says:

    I have a question from the minute you start to the minute you finish how long does it take. I’m thinking of starting one

  3. pitzersart Says:

    Like it! Like the fence, windmill, old barn – – I can just see your finished painting with the landscape/flowers. Going to be another “winner”!

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