Wispy Clouds and the River Bosque

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

Website: www.senkarik.com

4 Responses to “Wispy Clouds and the River Bosque”

  1. joanie zuckerman Says:

    Hi Mikki and Jack—-I absolutely LOVE seeing your website and work every day!! Cannot express how much pleasure you bring to me!! Have no idea of how to do what you do so well—thats what makes it sooooo cool!!! your friend —Joanie Zuckerman

  2. Cheryl Scott Says:

    Hi, Mikki. I enjoy your blog, and I thank you so much for the generous way you and Jack share knowledge and technique with the world. I have a question about your wonderful post re shipping wet paintings. Do the paintings have to be varnished several months later? I’ve read that, and I’m just getting into oil painting now. You are my guru. Thanks for all you do!

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