Archive for November, 2012

Colorful Embrace

November 29, 2012

I recently finished a commission wherein my collector requested a weathered Turquoise gate. I was really pleased with the result so decided to do one on this gallery painting. The base color of the gate is Pthalo Blue + Cadmium Orange + White. Then I drag a lighter value of the same mixture over the darker hue. I let the brush skip and hop a little, adding texture and giving the feel of the old, weathered wood. To enlarge the picture just click on the image.

The floor of the courtyard is randomly placed pavers. Notice I’ve made it bluer toward the back, making the floor recede. Now we’ll begin planting. Yellow Black-Eyed Susans catch the sunlight cascading over the courtyard wall. The Yellow blossoms are blocked in first, then the leaves are painted.

California Poppies are added. The paint of the blooms that extend up in front of the foliage of the Black-Eyed Susans is gently laid on top of the green. I don’t want to pick up any of the color underneath and muddy the flowers.

The Hollyhock flowers are initially blocked in with blues and lavenders. These colors make up the shadows of the blossoms. The leaves are mixes of Ultramarine Blue + Lemon Yellow. When they are finished I will come back and add the pure white highlights on the large flowers.

Colorful Embrace    20″ x 24″   Original Oil Painting

Bright red Penstemon fills the bed under the Hollyhocks and this happy courtyard is ready to offer a Colorful Embrace to all who enter! Hope you’ll come visit our studio again. Have a great day. Hugs, Mikki Senkarik


Trippin’ Back to Taos

November 28, 2012

Jack’s newest article on Fine Art Studio Online is out! To read Old Dogs, CLICK HERE.

Our new gallery, Wilder Nightingale, in Taos needs another piece so let’s take a trip back to the southwest. My basic plan is sketched up on the canvas and we’re ready to begin painting.

A soft fall sky is completed first, then I work forward. The most distant mountain is made bluer so it will fall back into the distance. Remember, Cool colors go back, Warm colors come to the front. Following this rule I paint the next mountain with slightly warmer colors.

The colors for the adobe wall are laid out on my palette. #1 is the base mix of Ultramarine Blue + Cadmium Orange + White. Mixtures #2 and #3 have more White added. #4 and #5 have MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) mixed in to make them darker, these will be used for the shadows. The #6 mixture is Ultramarine Blue + White. This is added to portions of the wall I want to be cooler. To learn more about our Double Primary Color Mixing System CLICK HERE.

The foreground of the scene through the open gate is filled with Purple Asters. They blanket the hills around Santa Fe and Taos in the fall. Now I paint the old adobe with the mixtures shown above. The back of the edge of the wall through the gate is made bluer using some of Mixture #6. This makes it drop back.

I’ve planned for most of the wall to be painted in shadow. This way it acts as a frame for the sunlit landscape beyond the opening. Thank you for visiting our studio today, hope you’ll come back soon. Hugs, Mikki Senkarik

If you would like to receive an email every time I publish a new post please feel free to subscribe to my blog. CLICK THIS LINK and scroll to the upper right side of the page. You will see a heading EMAIL SUBSCRIPTIONS. Just enter your email address and click the button “Sign me up!”  It’s easy. And if you enjoy my blog please CLICK the FaceBook LIKE Button. As we say in Texas, “Much Obliged!

Magical Morning

November 26, 2012

Jack and I woke up to a dense mist this morning that was absolutely magical. Looking out from the back patio we felt as if our little piece of Texas was floating in the clouds far away from the rest of the world. Come walk with me down to the pond.

The Yellow Chair garden has flourished this summer. Our Henna Coleus will freeze at the first breath of a frost but I’ve already got cuttings started to plant next spring.

Clicker Bobbie, our resident Great White Egret, is happily feeding in the quiet coolness of the mist. You may have to enlarge the image to see her better, just click on the picture.

The trees are turning a rusty red. Our fall here in the Hill Country is a bit more subtle than the spectacular ones you see up east but we certainly enjoy the seasonal change. Black Bellied Whistling Ducks are congregated on the pond, dipping and dunking for breakfast.

Take a deep breath and let the calmness permeate your being. I just wanted to share the magic of our morning with you. Hope you’ve had a fun time joining me on my walk to the pond. Have a wonderful, serene day. Hugs, Mikki Senkarik

Save 30% on all of our Books!

November 23, 2012

Now through Tuesday, November 27th you can get 30% OFF on ALL of our books at Senkarik Publishing.

The online distributor of our books has offered a special promotion for our readers. We want to make this available to all of you. Here is your chance to purchase any of our LULU books, including all seven of Jack White’s Art Marketing Classics, at 30% OFF the regular price. To get the savings just use the code DELIRITAS when you checkout. CLICK HERE to see all of our books available at Senkarik Publishing. Have fun browsing through all three pages, most of Jack’s books are available in both hard copy and as downloads. The downloads are on the first two pages, the softcover hard copies of the Art Marketing books are on page 3.

Thought you would enjoy this excerpt from an email we recently received. “My work is now being displayed in a beautiful gallery in a Shaker Heights neighborhood in Ohio. I also wanted to tell you that as I was in the gallery, it was as if a small version of you was on my shoulder telling me things like – okay, now SMILE, and talk about his favorite subject, HIM! Anyway, with all that I learned from your books and your emails I gained a tremendous amount of insight, but more than that I gained confidence, and I just wanted to tell you how very grateful I am. I finally feel that my art career has wings!

To order any of these six valuable Art Marketing Books in hard copy or download CLICK HERE.

For those of you selling on eBay or thinking about making the plunge this book tells how we do it. Currently Mystique of Marketing Art on eBay is only available in hard copy, page 1 at Senkarik Publishing. We are working on the eBook version! CLICK HERE to order.

Sea to Shining Sea: The Mexican American War and the Manifest Destiny, the sequel to Jack’s first historical novel, Ten Years in Texas, is now available. Unfortunately his first book about the ten years Texas was an independent Republic is not included in this offer because it is distributed by Amazon. But if you would like to order a copy of Ten Years in Texas at the regular price CLICK HERE. Sea to Shining Sea covers the two years after Texas became a State, the Mexican American War and the greatest expansion of the United States in our history.  Follow the adventures of Bud Miller and Texas Ranger Jack Hayes in this informative page turner. Jack painted the portrait of Jack Hayes on the cover!

To order Sea to Shining Sea: The Mexican American War and the Manifest Destiny CLICK HERE.

In BREATHTAKING RETREAT: Making a Painting I show the step by step process of making a 6 foot by 8 foot oil painting of the picturesque Portofino Harbor in Italy. Step into the studio and watch the painting come alive. Filled with painting techniques and useful tips on setting up a studio, BREATHTAKING RETREAT: Making a Painting is a complete oil painting workshop. The Jack White Double Primary Palette is explained and this book reveals the one tool an artist CAN NOT afford to be without. A must for artists and art collectors alike.


This offer at Senkarik Publishing doesn’t last long. It will expire at Midnight on Tuesday, November 27. Just remember to put in the coupon code DELIRITAS when you are checking out and you will save 30% on your order. Please feel free to share this with ALL of your friends. Hugs, Mikki Senkarik

A Day of Thanksgiving

November 22, 2012

With Thanksgiving in our hearts we want to say how much we appreciate all of you who read this blog. God has so blessed us. Jack and I feel so fortunate to be with each other, live in this great country and have such wonderful collectors and friends. All of you have enriched our lives. Thank you. Or, as we say in Texas, Much Obliged. Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Senkarik Pond.


A Special Visitor

November 20, 2012

Following the Red, White and Blue theme two kinds of White flowers are planted in the right foreground. Hollyhocks stand tall behind Matilija Poppies. The Hollyhock blossoms are blocked in with mixes of Ultramarine Blue + White and Dioxazine Purple + White. Combinations of Ultramarine Blue + Lemon Yellow are used for the foliage.

Alizarin Crimson makes the dark centers of the large blossoms while Pure White is used for the highlights on the Hollyhocks.

Yellow stamens complete the stately Hollies. The flowers of the Matilija Poppies are painted with mixes of Pthalo Blue + White and Pthalo Blue + a little bit of Lemon Yellow + White. This makes the shadows of these blossoms warmer than those of the Hollyhocks behind. In the picture above I’m working on a sunlit area of leaves that will provide a backdrop for a special visitor to the garden.

Now for the Pop of White on the Poppies! I mix just the tiniest touch of Cadmium Yellow Medium into the White for the highlights on the crepe paper like blossoms. This makes the White a little warmer than the Hollyhocks. Warm Colors come forward, Cool Colors go back. Even though both plants have white flowers the Poppies will appear to come forward.

Here comes the surprise guest, a Ruby Throated Hummingbird. This is the first time I’ve ever put a Hummingbird in one of my garden paintings. Our collectors have several flittering around their home and hoped I could put one in their piece. You bet!

Here is a closeup of that cute little baby happily sipping away on the Firecracker Penstemon. To see it larger just click on the picture.

Jack is the official namer in our studio. When I finished I turned to him and said, “I need a name.” He came over to my easel, looked at the piece, thought a bit and then broke out in a huge grin. After pausing a few more moments he announced with a florish, “Hummingbird Hideaway!” So there you are, I love the name. Hope you had as much fun following along as I had painting. Hugs, Mikki Senkarik

If you would like to receive an email every time I publish a new post please feel free to subscribe to my blog. CLICK THIS LINK and scroll to the upper right side of the page. You will see a heading EMAIL SUBSCRIPTIONS. Just enter your email address and click the button “Sign me up!”  It’s easy. And if you enjoy my blog please CLICK the FaceBook LIKE Button. As we say in Texas, “Much Obliged!

Plumbago, Petunias and Daisies

November 19, 2012

This commission is full of fun subjects that are firsts for me. Even though we’ve admired the beautiful blue blossoms of the Plumbago for years, I’ve never painted one. We don’t have this particular bush in our garden but fortunately our neighbor does. So I stole over and took a few photos for reference. Cobalt Blue is the perfect color to use for the soft blue flowers. I’m so glad our collector suggested the Plumbago, I’m going to use it again.

The little seed pods have a surface similar to velcro. They certainly stick to animal fur; I can always tell when Molly, our shelter kitty, has slipped out of our yard to the neighbor’s! The delicate pods are delineated with the same fine liner brush used for the perspective lines in the floor.

The Red Petunias and White Daisies in the left foreground are painted as a group. The usual sequence of Flowers First, Leaves Last is followed.

Bright green leaves made of various proportions of Pthalo Blue + Hansa Lemon Yellow are worked around the reds of the Petunias. Then the deep centers of the flowers are drawn in with a mix of Magenta + Liquin.

The leaves of the White Daisies are made warmer by adding Cadmium Yellow Medium to the green mixes leftover from the Petunia foliage.

The Daisies that extend up, in front of the Petunias, are now painted. I gently “Lay” the white paint of the blossoms on the canvas, being very careful to not pick up any of the underlying color. This same technique is used to make the highlights on the rest of the flowers.

Yellow and Orange centers complete the delightful Daisies, dancing in the sunlight. Keep your gardening gloves on, tomorrow we’ll plant the flowers on the right! And remember….. to enlarge any of the pictures simply click on the image. Hugs, Mikki Senkarik


Settin’ Tile

November 17, 2012

Today we’re working on the satillo tile floor of the courtyard. But first let’s paint the stairs between the two levels. The upright, side plane of each step is darker than the flat, upper surface. This is because sunlight from above hits the top plane directly; it receives more illumination than the side of the step.

The shadow areas of the ancient paver floor are blocked in first. I use a variety of colors here. The basic mixtures are combinations of Cadmium Orange + a touch of Pthalo Blue + MUD + White. Some of the cool greens and blues from the background landscape are worked into the most distant tiles of both levels. This makes them recede.

The sunlit portion of the satillo tiles are painted. Cadmium Orange + White is added to the same mixtures used for the rest of the courtyard. Then the perspective lines between the tiles are drawn into the wet paint of the floor with a fine liner brush. I do this freehand, bracing against the mahl stick would limit my movement, preventing me from making a smooth, straight line.

Next the horizontal lines separating the individual tiles are drawn. Remember, if you would like to see any of these pictures larger just click on the image.

The tiles on the lower level of the courtyard are delineated in the same manner. The final step laying tile is to highlight the edges of the pavers caught by the sun. So, how do you like Settin’ Tile? Thanks for helping today, hope you have a wonderful evening. Hugs, Mikki Senkarik

Construction Zone

November 16, 2012

Let’s start building. The adobe walls are painted with various mixes of Ultramarine Blue + Cadmium Orange + White. MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) is added to the mixture for the shadows.

This is a first for me. If you’ve followed my blog for long you know my doors and windows are usually brightly colored. Our collector requested a natural wood door with a speak easy trap window. This is one of the things I really enjoy about doing commissions, it’s fun to try new things. My wrist is braced against a mahl stick to steady my hand as I paint the small detail. What is a mahl stick? CLICK HERE to find out.

The gate entering the courtyard is to be a weathered turquoise. The light and shadows are first painted on the gate with mixes of Pthalo Blue + Cadmium Orange + White. Next a lighter tone is lightly dragged over the first coat. I let the light layer skip and bump over the darker undercoating. This gives texture and provides a weathered look.

The gates are complete and I begin blocking in the Thunbergia Vine draping over the adobe wall and building. The flowers are various combinations of Ultramarine Blue + a tiny touch of Dioxazine Purple + White.

The greens of the leaves are worked around the flower color. I follow the sequence Flowers First, Leaves Last for good reason. By painting the flowers first my color remains clean. If I were to block in the leaves first, my brush would pick up some of the underlying green when painting the flowers. This would make the flower color muddy. Thank you for visiting our studio today. Hope to see you again soon. Hugs, Mikki Senkarik

If you would like to receive an email every time I publish a new post please feel free to subscribe to my blog. CLICK THIS LINK and scroll to the upper right side of the page. You will see a heading EMAIL SUBSCRIPTIONS. Just enter your email address and click the button “Sign me up!”  It’s easy. And if you enjoy my blog please CLICK the FaceBook LIKE Button. As we say in Texas, “Much Obliged!

Wispy Clouds and the River Bosque

November 15, 2012

We begin painting with the sky because it is the source of light for the piece. The mixtures I’ll use today are shown above. 1. White + MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) 2. White + Ultramarine Blue 3. White + Pthalo Blue 4. White + Cadmium Orange + Ultramarine Blue. If you would like to learn more about our Double Primary Color Mixing System CLICK HERE.

The entire sky is painted blue. The darker Mixture #2 is used toward the upper part of the canvas where the dome of the sky extends overhead. The lower portion of the sky nearest to the horizon is painted with Mixture #3.

Our collector asked for the wispy clouds typically seen in New Mexico. I drag the cloud color lightly over the blue. By painting the clouds wet-into-wet the edges remain soft and wispy.

The sky is complete so I now begin to “Paint Forward”. The most distant mountain is painted first, then the closest one is blocked in. A basic rule comes into play here: Cool Colors Recede, Warm Colors come Forward. The mountain farthest away is bluer while the closer one is painted with warmer colors. This helps to give the feeling of depth in the painting.

OK, OK. What is a “River Bosque”? This is a term used in the arid southwest for the ribbon of green vegetation that grows along the banks of a river or stream. I love the juxtaposition of the cool blue water and the lush greens of the “Bosque” against the dusty bluffs in the background.

Jack and I think these “through the gate” paintings look so cool at this stage when the vignette is finished and the rest of the piece is just sketched in. We’ll start construction on the adobe building next. Hope you’ll come watch. Hugs, Mikki Senkarik