A Wedding Gift

SA0914 A Sunny Day at the McNay Step 1

This is a fun collaboration, a surprise wedding gift for a couple that was married at the McNay Museum in San Antonio. Jo and Joe, who are commissioning the piece, started collecting my paintings when I first began working in oils. For years before that I worked with Dr. Joe doing Medical Illustrations. They wanted a painting of the courtyard where the reception was held but to also combine a few of the architectural features from other places at the Museum. The first step is to make a pen and ink drawing for our  collector’s approval.

SA0914 A Sunny Day at the McNay Step 2

Jo said the sketch was just what they envisioned so let’s step up to the easel and get to work. I begin drawing the basic plan on the canvas with a brush dipped in a thin oil wash of MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + Liquin. If you would like to see any of these images larger just click on the picture.

SA0914 A Sunny Day at the McNay Step 3

The initial oil sketch is finished. I’ve covered the window area in a translucent wash of MUD + Liquin and Ultramarine Blue + Liquin.

SA0914 A Sunny Day at the McNay Step 4

I start painting on the building in the background. Artists work on a two dimensional surface, the canvas, striving to make it appear three dimensional. One rule that helps to give depth to a painting is Cool Colors Go Back, Warm Colors Come Forward. Brush stokes of blue are added to the most distant walls to make them cooler so they fall back. I’ve dragged a mixture of White + Ultramarine Blue + Cadmium Orange over the dark area of the window which is now dry. This gives the feeling of the lacy curtains inside. The trunks of the palm trees are now blocked in over the arches behind.

SA0914 A Sunny Day at the McNay Step 5

The window is painted over the ‘curtains’. My wrist is braced on a mahl stick to steady my hand as I delineate the mullions. What is a mahl stick? CLICK HERE to find out.  Thank you for joining me today, hope you’ll come back tomorrow! HUGS,

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

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