Courtyard Floor

SC1713 Step 27

Slate is commonly used in this part of the country as flooring. This presents a different challenge from the terra-cotta pavers found in the Southwest. However, I follow the same sequence in painting the floor. My first step is to establish the shadow pattern on the courtyard. The sunlight will spill in from the left, coming behind the dark upright of the fountain. Remember, if you would like to see any of these pictures larger just click on the image.

SC1713 Step 28

Then the sunlit area of the floor is blocked in. The slate is basically a warm gray. Mixtures of various combinations of MUD + Cadmium Orange + a little Pthalo Blue + White are used for the floor. The portion in the light is made warmer to give the feel of the sun baked stone. Using a brush dipped in MUD + Liquin I begin to make irregular perspective lines in the wet paint of the floor.

SC1713 Step 29

After the perspective lines are indicated, horizontal lines separating the large slabs of slate are drawn.

SC1713 Step 30

And…. the slate floor is finished. The dark shadow across the front acts as a “Threshold”. Think of being outdoors on a warm summer night and looking back at your home. The front door is open, revealing the well lit interior. Your eye is pulled through the darkness, across the “Threshold” of the open door to the bright light inside. The shadow across the front of the painting provides that dark “Threshold”, the viewer’s eye is drawn to the light dancing across the slate courtyard. This piece actually has a double threshold. The second is the shadow under the arch, the light beyond pulls your gaze to the sheep and mill in the distance. As Jack would say, “That’s your little lesson for the day!” Have a great one. Tomorrow we’ll start planting. Hugs, Mikki Senkarik


2 Responses to “Courtyard Floor”

  1. Peggy Sue Says:

    I just love your work! I haven’t painted in 5 years due to personal reasons, but seeing your step by step instructions is inspiring me to pick up a brush again.

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