Archive for January, 2015

Elegance of Romance

January 26, 2015


SA0415 Elegance of Romance step 1

It’s been awhile since I’ve been able to paint anything for my eBay auctions. Our galleries have empty places on their walls and my collectors have been keeping me busy with collaborations. But I don’t want to neglect all of our eBay collectors, so I’m doing a second piece for Valentines. Now, let’s go to one of Jack’s and my favorite romantic places, Italy!

SA0415 Elegance of Romance step 3

The picturesque setting is perched high on the mountain overlooking the village of Amalfi.

To go directly to my auction CLICK HERE.

SA0415 Elegance of Romance step 6

Red is the color of good luck, vitality, long life, celebration, happiness and joy. So we’ve got to have vibrant Red doors for our Valentine’s painting. The blue-green of the water in the distance makes them POP! To enlarge this or any of the other images just click on the picture.

SA0415 Elegance of Romance step 7

Even though it’s mid afternoon Morning Glories cascade over the old stone wall. It’s fun being an artist, I can make flowers bloom anytime I want them to!

SA0415 Elegance of Romance step 9

The heart shaped back of the bistro chair is pulled into the wet paint of the tile floor behind.

SA0415 Elegance of Romance step 10

Luscious green grapes are first blocked in with a darker shade of Pthalo Blue + Cadmium Yellow Medium + White. A lighter mix is used to delineate the individual grapes.

SA0415 Elegance of Romance step 11

Pink, the color of LOVE, is perfect for the roses on the table. Nasturtiums tumble out of the container in front of the door.

SA0415 Elegance of Romance 17x17Elegance of Romance   17 inches by 17 inches  Original Oil Painting

Capture the heart of someone you love with this Senkarik Original Oil Painting. Wouldn’t you just like to relax as you take in the fragrance of the fresh roses, nibble on grapes and share a sip of wine with your Valentine while gazing into the seemingly endless vista of the Amalfi Coast? Give the Elegance of Romance to that special person in your life. Remember, a Senkarik Original Oil Painting will last for generations, bringing smiles long after candy and flowers are gone. I will be happy to personalize the back with your message to the recipient. Just let me know as soon as possible after you win!

SA0415 Elegance of Romance 17x17 on wall

Elegance of Romance measures 17 inches x 17 inches. This size painting retails in our galleries for $990. And you don’t have to worry about framing, it’s painted on a canvas with 1 1/2 inch finished sides. We’ve wired it and even include the hanger and nail. Elegance of Romance is ready to hang as soon as you unpack it!

The auction ends Monday, February  2 at 8 PM Texas (Central) Time allowing you to receive it in plenty of time to give for Valentine’s Day.

To go directly to my auction CLICK HERE.

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

A Colorful Spot

January 25, 2015

SJ8614 A Colorful Spot step 1

Flower Markets and Umbrellas, I love em! As Jack will tell you, I’ve never seen any I didn’t like! I usually come home with armloads of fragrant, fresh flowers. I’ll be listing this piece on my eBay auction for Valentine’s, can you believe it’s just around the corner? After sketching the basic plan up on the panel I begin blocking in the background wall.

CLICK HERE to go to my auction.

SJ8614 A Colorful Spot step 2

The setting for our little flower market is constructed. Several of you have asked if I wait to sign my paintings until the piece is finished. As you can see here I don’t. It all depends on when I paint the area where I’m going to put my signature. It’s easiest to make the fine lines of my signature into fresh paint. If I waited until the area was dry it would be difficult to make the thin brushstrokes over the lumps and bumps of the underlying color.

SJ8614 A Colorful Spot step 3

Nasturtiums tumble out of the terra cotta containers on the ledge at the base of the wall. The flowers are blocked in with several mixes of Cadmium Red Light + Cadmium Red Deep. The leaves are then painted with warm greens made of Pthalo Blue + Cadmium Yellow Medium.

SJ8614 A Colorful Spot step 4

Now for the bright umbrella. The lightest panel is blocked in with Cadmium Yellow Medium + Lemon Yellow + White. The next darkest panel is made of pure Cadmium Yellow Medium. Those in shadow are Cadmium Yellow Medium + Cadmium Orange + a touch of MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson).

SJ8614 A Colorful Spot step 5

The tall cylindrical pots in the front are perfect for Oriental Lilies.

SJ8614 A Colorful Spot 6x6A Colorful Spot   6 inches x 6 inches   Original Oil Painting

Mexican Bush Sage lazily hugs the base of the containers, making for A Colorful Spot. Wouldn’t you like to take home a bunch of those Lilies? They’d be a perfect Valentine’s gift for someone you love.

SJ8614 A Colorful Spot 6x6 with tapeA Colorful Spot measures 6 inches x 6 inches. And don’t worry about framing, the EMBRYO is painted on a panel with 1 1/2 inch finished sides. It’s ready to hang as soon as you unpack it!

The auction ends Sunday, February  1 at 8 PM Texas (Central) Time allowing you to receive it in plenty of time to give for Valentine’s Day.

To go directly to my auction CLICK HERE.

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG



Sunny Reflections

January 13, 2015

SA0215 Step 12

This morning I planted some Snapdragons in a large container in our courtyard. But in most areas of our great country it’s way too cold to garden. Fortunately as artists we can plant anytime we’d like on canvas! So, let’s get to gardening. A special color, Dioxazine Purple, is used for the Wisteria. The leaves are then blocked in around the blossoms, helping to give them shape.

SA0215 Step 13

The final touch on the Wisteria is to highlight the individual petals on the flowers. Moving to the wall tile the background is blocked in first. Then bracing my wrist on the mahl stick to steady my hand I delineate the little sun face.

SA0215 Step 14

Delicate White Daisies fill the little terra-cotta hen on the window sill. Next the water trickling from the fountain is dragged straight down. I let the brush skip over the rough paint underneath, giving the impression of falling water. Following the Flower First, Leaves Last sequence I block in the Geraniums with Cadmium Red Deep, Cadmium Red Medium and Cadmium Red Light.

SA0215 Step 15

The leaves are painted with several different combinations of Pthalo Blue + Lemon Yellow. A few strokes of Pthalo Blue + White are made here and there to bring coolness in the depths of the foliage.

SA0215 Step 16

Permanent Rose Hollyhocks snuggle up to the Geranium containers.

SA0215 Sunny Reflections 16x16

We finish up by planting a Clivia in the lower left corner. Sunny Reflections of the door dance in the tile, wet by the musical splash of water from the fountain. I appreciate all of you! Please do come back. Hugs,

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

Bright Doorway

January 12, 2015

SA0215 Step 6

The cheery door is painted with mixes of Cadmium Yellow Deep + a touch of MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) for the shadow and pure Cadmium Yellow Medium for the sunlit portion. Viridian Green + MUD + White is used for the window. The addition of MUD mutes the green so it will fall back into the dim light under the Wisteria.

SA0215 Step 7

Various combinations of Cadmium Orange + a tiny bit of Pthalo Blue + MUD + White are now mixed. Then the entire area of the old satillo tile is completely painted, establishing the light and shadow pattern. Some of the door, border and wall colors are pulled down into the floor directly below the portal. This will give the impression of reflections when we’re finished.

SA0215 Step 8

Using a fine liner brush the perspective lines of the tile are drawn freehand into the wet floor paint.

SA0215 Step 9

After the horizonal lines between the tiles are delineated work begins on the large terra-cotta containers. I just add some Cadmium Red Light into the floor mixes for the planters.

SA0215 Step 10

The fountain is painted with an adobe mix made of Cadmium Orange + Ultramarine Blue + MUD + White. The light and shadow areas are blocked in first.

SA0215 Step 11

We’ll let the fountain dry overnight. Tomorrow I’ll add the water splashing down and all the colorful flowers. Thanks for following along today. Oh, just want to let you know. We’ve been having some major website issues. So if you go to Jack’s or my site please know we’re aware of the pages that come up as errors. We’re definitely working to get them resolved. Hugs,

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

Playa del Carmen ……

January 11, 2015

SA0215 Step 1

Here I come! Or at least this piece is going to the beautiful coastal resort town in Mexico. To save on International shipping costs it’s done on unstretched canvas. I’m working with Alkyd Oil Paints that dry much faster than regular oils. This allows us to roll the finished painting for it’s journey to Playa del Carmen. After priming the canvas with white acrylic I tape off the image area, leaving enough extra canvas for stretching. The canvas is then taped to a 4 ply piece of cardboard which is set on the easel.

SA0215 Step 2

The basic plan is sketched up on the canvas with a brush dipped in a thin wash of MUD (Alizarin Crimson + Ultramarine Blue) + Liquin.

SA0215 Step 3

The rich blue walls are covered with mixtures in various proportions of Ultramarine Blue + a bit of Cobalt Blue + MUD + White. Next the red trim is delineated using light and dark mixes of Alizarin Crimson + a touch of Cadmium Red Light + White. If you’d like to learn more about our Double Primary Mixing system CLICK HERE.

SA0215 Step 4

The walls and trim are complete. Don’t you think the soft blue is going to be a wonderful backdrop for the bright flowers in this courtyard?

SA0215 Step 5

Since Alkyd Oil Paints dry so quickly I’m saving some of the colors to use in our next session. With my painting knife I press dabs of paint against the side of a plastic yogurt container. The cup will be filled with enough water to cover the paint, keeping air from drying it out. To see this better you can enlarge the image, just click on the picture.

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!

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

Layers of Mountains

January 9, 2015

sl9714-step-9 mountain layers

One of our readers had a great question, she asked what paint mixtures are used for painting layers of mountains? Jack and I thought all of you would enjoy this more detailed description of the color recipes. Let’s go back to a painting I just completed recently, Sanctuary of Serenity. I’ve numbered the mountains from the most distant #1 to the closest #4. Please keep in mind, most of these mixes are mainly White with small amounts of the colors mentioned.

Number 1. The farthest mountain is painted with mixes of Ultramarine Blue + a bit of MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + White.

Number 2. Pthalo Blue + Ultramarine Blue + a tiny bit of Cadmium Orange + MUD + White. Some of the lightest blues from mountain #1 are used along the lowest part of this one, that gives the impression of the mist between the ridges.

Number 3. This mountain uses darker values of the mixes in #2. Also a little Pthalo Blue + Cadmium Orange + White is used. You can see strokes of the darker cloud color (MUD + White) is brought in for the ground areas. Also mixes of MUD + Ultramarine Blue + Cadmium Orange + White are made for the ground. All of these mixes have more blue than orange so they will still drop back. Like in #2 the blues from #1 are added in the lowest region.

Number 4. On the closest mountain Pthalo Blue + Cadmium Orange + a tiny bit of MUD + White are used for the trees. More Orange is in the greens that are warmed by the sunlight. The ground color is White + Cadmium Orange + Pthalo Blue. A little Lemon Yellow is also added into some of the mixes for the light gray-greens of the dried grass covering the hillside. I also make a few strokes using the blues from Mountain #1, just to give a little coolness here and there.

SL9714 Sanctuary of Serenity 36x48

Here’s the finished painting so you can see how the coolest mountain #1 recedes. And the warmth of mountain #4 makes it look closer. If you’d like to see the image larger just click on the picture.

Another reader asked if I use any reference for the flowers in containers. Definitely YES, I refer to photos or digital images for everything I paint.  I put my laptop on the taboret next to the easel. This is our old studio but it allows you to see the setup.


Digital cameras make it really easy to store your reference pictures in files and folders on your computer. Just make sure to back them up to an external hard drive. Computer crashes are a fact of life! We also have 3 shelves worth of 3 ring binders filled with photos. They are categorized by subject. Here are a few examples: Flowers in Containers, Santa Fe Doors, Vineyards, Trees, Caribbean Beaches, etc. You get the idea. Always feel free to ask questions, I’ll answer them the best I can 🙂 HUGS,

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

Enchanting Vista

January 7, 2015

2015-1-7 Iris - Autumn CircusAutumn Circus2015-1-7 Iris - DashingDashing

Before we get to planting I just wanted to share a couple of my Christmas Irises with you!

SA0115 Step 27

The Sunflowers are blocked in with several different mixtures of Yellow. The variations of Cadmium Yellow Medium + Cadmium Orange, Cadmium Yellow Medium + MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) and pure Cadmium Yellow Medium make the flowers appear more lifelike than if a single mix is used.

SA0115 Step 28

After painting the foliage with warm greens made of Ultramarine Blue + Lemon Yellow the large, dark centers are added. Don’t forget, you can click on this or any of the other images to enlarge the pictures.

SA0115 Step 29

One of the most important elements for Joanne is the Purple/Blue Hydrangeas. The colors I’ll use are shown above. The grouping of mixes at #1 are all variations of Dioxazine Purple + Ultramarine Blue + White. #2 are different combinations of Pthalo Blue + Lemon Yellow. #3. Pthalo Blue + White.

SA0115 Step 30

Following the same sequence as on the other flowers the blossom color is blocked in first. The different colors are applied randomly to give the variegated hues that are characteristic of these beautiful plants. Then the rich green leaves are worked around the Purples and Blues helping to shape the flowers.

SA0115 Step 31

The final step is to highlight the individual petals. I use the corner of a small, Bright brush. If you’d like to more about the brushes I use CLICK HERE.

SA0115 Step 32

The Cosmos nestled along the base of the wall are painted with varying mixes of Cadmium Orange + Cadmium Red Light, Cadmium Red Light, Cadmium Red Light + Permanent Rose + White and Permanent Rose + White.

SA0115 Enchanting Vista 30x36Enchanting Vista    30″ x 36″   Original Oil Painting

Yellow centers complete the cheerful Cosmos in the corner. AND…….we’re done! Joanne emailed this morning saying she and Chuck are looking forward to having a wonderfully happy view through a window where they have none! Jack read that and came up with a great name, “Enchanting Vista”! That’s why he’s the official namer in our studio. Thank you for following along. BIG HUGS,

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

Bogies and Cobbles

January 6, 2015

SA0115 Step 19

The Bougainvillea (we fondly call them Bogies 🙂 ) is made with mixes of Alizarin Crimson + Magenta + White. I follow my usual painting sequence of Flowers First, Leaves Last. By working in this order the colors of the blossoms stay crisp and clean. If the leaves were blocked in first the brush would pick up some of the green as I painted the flowers, muddying the bright hues.

SA0115 Step 20

Now I go back in and work the greens of the foliage around the bloom color. The leaves are blocked in with a cool green made of Viridian Green + White. A few strokes of the door shadow color are made here and there to bring more coolness in the depth of the leaves.

SA0115 Step 21

The large leaves of the Giant Bird of Paradise curve gracefully. I let one of them break the line of the arch, helping to increase the feeling of depth.

SA0115 Step 22

It’s so much fun to paint the Ivy’s heart-shaped leaves and long tendrils dangling down the rough rock wall.

SA0115 Step 24

The initial block-in of the Cobblestones is similar to that of my terra-cotta tile floors. The light and shadow pattern is established first. The main difference is the brushstrokes are made short and choppy with lots of texture. This helps to give the impression of the ancient stones.

SA0115 Step 25

The crevices are now indicated. Like on the rock wall I don’t delineate each and every cobble, just enough to imply a bumpy, stone walkway. Please remember, you can click on any of the pictures to enlarge them.

SA0115 Step 26

We’re moving right along. More planting next! We should finish up in our next session, hope you’ll come back and see how this turns out. Hugs,

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG


January 5, 2015

SA0115 Step 13

Jack and I are Rockin’ today after that big Dallas Cowboy win yesterday! WHEW, it was a close one but DeMarcus Lawrence pulled off the sack and fumble recovery to seal the victory. On to the Frozen Tundra of Packer Land in Green Bay. YIPPEEEE!!!!!!! Okay Mikki, that’s enough celebration. Back to the easel where we are going to be Rockin’ on canvas. The grouping of adobe colors for the ancient rock walls are all made with various combinations of Cadmium Orange + a bit of Pthalo Blue + a little MUD + White. More MUD is added to make the darkest mixes. The colors lined up on the left of my palette are saved from previous sessions. The oil paint remains useable for several days.

SA0115 Step 14

The walls are covered first, then I come back in with the darkest mix to indicate the crevices between the stones. This is done very impressionistically. I want to give the feeling of an old rock wall, not outline each and every stone.

SA0115 Step 15

The farthest end of the wall on the right is made bluer so it will recede. The upright surface is made warmer as it comes forward.

SA0115 Step 16

Now I begin drawing the bracket for the lantern at the left of the door. You can see how much I’ve raised it from my initial sketch. Remember, you can click on any of the images to enlarge them 🙂

SA0115 Step 17

The door is painted with light and dark shades of Pthalo Blue + White. My arm is braced on the mahl stick to steady my hand as I make the lines separating the boards of the door.

SA0115 Step 18

Now that the bright blue door is finished you can see how the muted blues of the ocean fall back. We’ll start planting in the next session, grab your gardening gloves and come help. Hugs,

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

It’s the Playoffs!

January 4, 2015

SA0115 Step 10

Today is a short painting day, our Dallas Cowboys are in the Wildcard Playoff Game this afternoon! I concentrate on the distant buildings, making certain to use cooler mixes of Cadmium Orange + Ultramarine Blue + White so they will recede. My wrist is braced against the mahl stick to steady my hand as I delineate the window. The combination of Viridian Green + White makes a nice, soft green that stays back.

SA0115 Step 11

Terra-Cotta rooftops are painted with various mixtures of MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + Cadmium Orange. White is added for the ones on the right that are washed with sunlight. Brushstrokes of Blue and Green that were saved from the water and bluffs are made, giving the feeling of moss covering the terra-cotta roof tiles. Holding the brush at an angle allows me to shape the paint to indicate the individual tiles. You can click on the picture to see it larger.

SA0115 Step 12

Jack and I love my ‘through the arch’ paintings at this stage. We think it looks so cool with the distant scene complete and the rest of the piece just sketched in. You can already see how the Warm Colors Come Forward, Cool Colors Recede rule is working. The ocean and bluffs start falling back now the warmer buildings and rooftops have been added. That’s it for today, have to get my game face on! GO COWBOYS!

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG