Archive for May, 2013

A New Collaboration

May 31, 2013


We like to call the commissions I do, Collaborations. I work together with our client to come up with a painting they will treasure for years. It’s fun to take their ideas, incorporate some of my own and shake them all up. Susan and Jim discovered my work in the Fredericksburg Art Gallery. They didn’t see what they wanted so Donna, the gallery owner, got us together. The painting above is one in our book they especially liked. Susan thought the up close courtyard with the simple door and window had a nice feel. Plus, she loved all the potted flowers.

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But Susan and Jim wanted a southwestern touch. They live in New Mexico and sent several pictures of their ranch house which they are in the process of remodeling. They thought it would be fun to include a touch of their place in the painting. I really like the door above.

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Cedar shake shingles and adobe walls are also features that we decided would be neat to include.

SE2513 SketchHere’s my sketch. The partially open door was Susan and Jim’s idea, isn’t that cool? It’s really inviting. They raise Devon cattle; therefore the cow skull seemed appropriate. We’ll include a Hummingbird sipping at the Salvia since they are frequent visitors to the ranch. Jim loves Bougainvilleas, it’s easy to grow one draping down over the roof. If you would like to see the sketch, or any of the pictures larger just click on the image. This piece is going to be painted right up to the edge with the sides of the gallery wrapped canvas covered in black acrylic. Tomorrow I’ll show the preparation that will allow me to handle the wet canvas without disturbing the paint. Hope you’ll come watch. 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!

Father’s Day is Almost Here!

May 30, 2013

Honor that special Dad in your life with a painting that is

“Bursting with Sunshine”

SE2613 Bursting with Sunshine 24x20

It’s hard to believe the day we honor all of the loving, hard working dads in our lives is right around the corner on June 16. What about being different this year and giving that exceptional father in your life a Senkarik original oil painting that he can enjoy long after the usual ties and candy are gone? Let these cheery Sunflowers bring him joy for years to come, every time he looks at them on his wall. Say “You mean so much to me” with the gift of Bursting with Sunshine, available exclusively on my eBay auction. The bidding ends on Sunday, June 9 at 8 PM Texas (Central) Time.

SE2613 Bursting with Sunshine and MSSE2613 Bursting with Sunshine frame corner

The outside dimension of the Senkarik Signature Frame on Bursting with Sunshine is 24 inches tall x 20 inches wide. The painted image is 19 1/4 inches tall x 15 1/4 inches wide. It comes ready to hang on your dad’s wall, we even supply the hanger and nail. This size original oil painting would sell in our Team Senkarik Galleries for $1,000. However, on my eBay auction we are starting the bid at a penny!

To Go to the auction for Bursting with Sunshine CLICK HERE.

Remember, the auction ends Sunday, June 9 at 8 PM in Texas (Central Time). I can personalize your painting on the back by writing something especially for you. Just let me know as soon as possible when you win, we want to get your painting on FedEX Monday morning so it will arrive in plenty of time for Father’s Day.

Happy Father’s Day to all of you wonderful dads on our Team! Hugs,

Mikki and Jack signature

River’s Radiance

May 29, 2013

First of all, Jack’s newest article has just been published at Fine Art Studio Online. CLICK HERE to read Smokejumpers.

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For the Daylilies I reverse my usual sequence of Flowers First, Leaves Last. It would be pretty difficult to paint the long, slender foliage around the blossoms so the leaves are blocked in first. Please remember, you can click on any of the pictures to see them larger.

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I gently “Lay” the thick brushstrokes of the orange blossoms on top of the leaves and adobe wall. I’m careful not to pick up any of the underlying paint on my brush so the flower color remains clean.

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Deep centers finish out the dancing Daylilies. I’ve signed the piece while the green of the leaves is still wet with the same fine liner brush used for the lines in the floor. It’s much easier to pull the thin strokes of my signature through the wet paint. If I waited until it was dry the bumpy texture would make it difficult to drag a smooth line.Senkarik-signature JPEGRed is used to sign my paintings because we use the same color for my Signature logo.

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Ultramarine Blue + White, Pthalo Blue + White and Dioxazine Purple + White are used to block in the Daisies. The multicolored mass provides the shadows for the White flowers.

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Greens made of various proportions of Ultramarine Blue + Cadmium Yellow Medium are worked around the flower color.

SE2413 River's Radiance 24x30River’s Radiance    24″ x 30″   Original Oil Painting

Bright White highlights on the petals touched by the sun give form to the rounded clumps of Daisies, the final touch is to add the cheery centers. River’s Radiance is done, ready to head for its new home. I’d like to thank all of you for your wonderful comments. Have a great day and hope you’ll come back to visit our studio soon. I’ll be starting on another commission next. Hugs, Mikki Senkarik

Let’s Start Planting

May 28, 2013

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The yellow-orange flowers of the Trumpet Vine cascading over the adobe wall are blocked in first. Mixes of Cadmium Orange + Alizarin Crimson, Cadmium Orange and Cadmium Orange + Cadmium Yellow Medium are used.

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The leaves are worked in and around the mass of yellow-orange to help shape the blossoms. I usually follow this sequence: Flowers First, Leaves Last. By painting the flowers first their color remains crisp and clean. If I did the leaves to begin with and then painted the blooms my brush would pick up some of the green, muddying the yellow-orange.

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The Hollyhocks are started with mixes of various proportions of Permanent Rose + White.

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After the leaves are painted I come back and add the highlights on the large Hollyhock blossoms.

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Dark centers, tall stems with seed pods and yellow stamens complete these stately residents of the southwest.

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The Chamisa peeking over the courtyard wall is now blocked in following the same sequence.

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The dark mass of the foliage is painted with mixtures of Pthalo Blue + Cadmium Orange + White. The tiny stems are drawn into the wet paint with a fine liner brush dipped in a lighter mix of the foliage color.

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We’re finished gardening for today. But don’t put your gloves up yet, we’ve got more planting to do tomorrow. Have a great day. 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!

Adobe Walls

May 26, 2013

2013-5-25 Don, Mikki, Jack and Pete

We had some visitors to our studio yesterday. Don, on the left, is an artist we’re helping and a good friend of Pete who is on the right. Pete, Wendi and their daughter Kai have several of my paintings. In fact when Kai got her first painting she was my youngest Team Senkarik member. Wish she and her mom could have come. What a fun afternoon and evening it was!

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But it’s back to work today…..Let’s do some construction on the adobe building. The light and shadow patterns are painted first. The inside plane of the wall forming the gate is darkest. I add some strokes of blue to the edge closest to the door, this makes the wall recede.

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The gate is painted with light and dark mixes of Pthalo Blue + White. After the gate is covered and the shadow of the chili ristra blocked in I come back to highlight the edges of the individual boards. I brace my arm against a mahl stick to steady my hand. What is a mahl stick? CLICK HERE to find out.

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An antique iron latch completes the gate. To enlarge the image just click on the picture.

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The upper level of the courtyard floor is blocked in first, followed by the steps. The top surface of each step is lighter because the sun hits it more directly than the upright plane, which is darker. This theory holds true for both the sunlit portion of the step and that in the shadow of the low wall lining the walkway.

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Next the shadow of the floor on the lower level is painted. Then a splash of sunlight is dragged across the surface of the wet paint.

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The perspective lines of the tiles are drawn freehand into the wet paint of the floor with a fine liner brush dipped into a mix of MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + Liquin.

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Horizontal lines separating the individual pavers are now added. The finishing step on the floor is to highlight the edges of the tiles touched by the ray of sunshine. This helps to give them dimension and increase the feeling of light pouring into the painting. Have a wonderful day and thank you for following my blog. Hugs, Mikki Senkarik


Rapid River

May 25, 2013

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Another little rule comes into play when painting water: Muted colors go back, Intense colors come forward. The blue in the distant part of the river, Ultramarine Blue + White, is duller than that used for the foreground pool. There a mix of Pthalo Blue + a touch of Cadmium Orange + White, which is more intense, makes it come forward. Also the addition of the Cadmium Orange in the mixture makes it warmer.

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After highlighting the distant rapids and waterfall I begin blocking in the rocks in the river. When painting waterfalls the top edge is the brightest, while the upright plane of the descending water is darker.

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The reflections of the rocks are made by pulling the color of the boulders straight down into the wet paint of the pool in the foreground.

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The cedar and sage brush at the base of the mountain are now painted.

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Horizontal brush strokes are dragged across the reflections in the foreground pool to give the feeling of moving water. Remember, if you would like to enlarge any of the pictures just click on the image. Next we’ll start constructing the building. Hugs, Mikki Senkarik


Soft New Mexico Sky

May 24, 2013

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Let’s start painting. My sky mixtures are laid out on the palette. #1. Ultramarine Blue + White. #2. Pthalo Blue + White. #3. Alizarin Crimson + MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + White. #4. Mix #3 + Cadmium Orange + White. #5. MUD + White. If you would like to find out more about our Color Mixing System and why we call the mixture of Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson MUD CLICK HERE.

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The entire blue sky is blocked in first. Since the sun is coming from the right I make that side of the sky lighter with mixture #2. The darker Mix #1 is used for the left part of the sky.

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The clouds are painted wet-into-wet so the edges will be soft. This is a simple rule artists follow to help give the impression of depth in a painting: Hard edges come forward, Soft edges go back. I begin with the darkest mix, #5.

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Middle tones are made with mixture #3 while the sunny highlights on the clouds are added with mix #4. To enlarge any of the pictures just click on the image.

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The mountains give another opportunity to increase the feeling of distance in the painting. Cool colors go back, Warm colors come forward. By making the mountains farthest away blue, or cool, they recede. As I paint forward the mountains lining the Rio Grande become warmer, making them appear to be closer.

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White Daisies are going to be in the containers by the courtyard wall. I make the tree and brush in the distance dark to provide contrast for the light colored flowers.

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The bluff on the right is made dark so the sunlight can stream in behind it, illuminating the water and hillside on the left. This is another technique to help give depth to a painting. That’s all for today, do come back and visit our studio tomorrow. And please, feel free to ask questions. Hugs, Mikki Senkarik

Change Up

May 23, 2013

SK10312 Hugged by the Rio Grande 24x30

We’re beginning another commission today. My collector saw Hugged by the Rio Grande at Wildernightingale Gallery in Taos and fell in love with the river.

Sketch Kellerman

Liz said, “I want the right side of the painting exactly as it is in Hugged. BUT…the left side needs some changes.” Collaborating with my clients and working together to come up with the perfect painting for them is so much fun. We discussed her favorite flowers and colors before finalizing our ideas. My sketch is shown above. If you’d like to see it larger just click on the picture.

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Liz thought the sketch was just right so now let’s start on the canvas. This painting is framed in my Senkarik Signature Frame. The white frame is protected with blue Painter’s tape. When the piece is finished I’ll pull off the tape, revealing the clean, pristine frame. If you’d like to know more about our framing CLICK HERE. I draw up the basic elements in an oil wash mixed of equal parts of Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson.  Liquin is added to thin the mixture.

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The Chili Ristra is washed in with Alizarin Crimson + Liquin.

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The initial plan of the piece is on the canvas and we’re ready to start painting. Hope you’ll come back tomorrow and watch. 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!

Serene Retreat

May 20, 2013

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The first step in painting the water is to cover the entire area. Then the flat planes of the two upper levels of the waterfall are blocked in. The rocks show through the thin layer of water flowing over them.

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Using a large Bright brush, strokes indicating the cascade of water are dragged down. The paint of the underlying boulders is dry so I allow the brush to skip over their texture, being careful to let some of the dark rocks show through.

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The lightest part of the water is the top edge of the falls where the sun catches the water spilling over. The upright part of the falling water is darker. Then the bubbling water at the base of the falls lightens up. Reflections dance on the surface of the rest of the pool. Cathy loves Irises, she requested a combination of soft yellow and blue ones. I paint the foliage first, a departure from my usual sequence of Flowers First, Leaves Last.

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The Iris blossoms are painted after the leaves since they sway and bob above the long, strap-like foliage. Then the Canna Lilies growing in the pond are added.

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The last flowers to plant are the Deep Pink Peonies growing along the rocks lining the pond. I use mixtures of Alizarin Crimson + White for them.

SE2313 Serene Retreat Left EdgeSE2313 Serene Retreat Right EdgeWE’RE DONE. Painting the sides was a new experience for me. Jack and I love the way they turned out. The hardest part was figuring out how the perspective lines on the floor would go! You can click on the images to see the pictures larger.

SE2313 Serene Retreat 27x31Serene Retreat   27″ x 31″   Original Oil Painting

The courtyard garden leading to the red door and the yellow chair, along with the melody of the water splashing happily over the falls, offers a Serene Retreat for our collector’s office. As soon as the piece dries a bit it will be packed up and on it’s way to its new home.

Before I close today we would like to offer prayers to everyone affected by the tornadoes that devastated Oklahoma yesterday and today. It’s hard to know what to say when we see the pictures and hear the stories on the news. We hold all of you close in our hearts,Mikki and Jack signature JPEG

Happy Hollyhocks

May 19, 2013

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Let’s move to the clump of Hollyhocks nestled behind the water feature. The large blossoms are blocked in with mixes of Magenta + Dioxazine Purple + White.

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Painting the foliage around the purple areas helps to shape the individual flowers. Then I add their deep centers with Magenta mixed with Liquin.

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Delineating the characteristic tall stems and seed pods of the Hollyhocks finish out these happy flowers. Some of the yellow from the chair was used for the stamens in the centers of the blossoms.

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The Daisies in the container are blocked in with Lavenders, Blues and Aquas. This mass of color will provide the shadows of the White flowers.

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The leaves of the Daisies are painted, then centers and highlights are added on the individual flowers. The rocks of the water feature are made of mixes of Ultramarine Blue + Cadmium Orange + White. MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) is added to the mixtures for the dark shadows. A few strokes of Ultramarine Blue + White are made on the rocks where reflected light from the water illuminates them. Have a great day. Hugs, Mikki Senkarik