SJ4415 Cool, Cool Water step 1

This commission is the first of five pieces I’m doing for our collector. His paintings are going to be a fun challenge, I’ll be doing some subjects that are a bit different from my usual genre. But since I’ve been working with Bluebonnets lately I’ll start with David’s Texas Wildflower painting. AND….I’m so pleased he asked me to add a horse. If you had asked any of of my family and friends to describe me as I was growing up they all would have used the very same term: HORSE CRAZY! So here is my sketch.

SJ4415 Cool, Cool Water step 2

I begin work on the canvas by lightly penciling in the horizon line. Then I start drawing in the basic shape of the horse, making adjustments as I sketch. You can see this better by enlarging the image, just click on the picture. This drawing will give me guidelines to follow when I apply the oil wash.

SJ4415 Cool, Cool Water step 3

I’ve indicated some of the hills and trees in the background. Then I wash in the horse’s head with a thin mix of MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + Liquin. By placing the head so part of it is above the top of the hills will help to give the impression of depth in the painting.

LULU Horse Anatomy Head LengthsI wash in the horse’s head first because it is the key to getting the proportions of the body correct. This chart is one I did for the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. You can see how the length of the head is used to measure the other parts of the horse.


SJ4415 Cool, Cool Water step 4

After drawing the barn in the background the basic shapes of the rocks are quickly roughed in.

SJ4415 Cool, Cool Water step 5

Now I wash in the rest of our horse with the thin oil mixture to establish the values of his coat and the shiny highlights. The horse will be dry by the time I start applying paint. The wash in helps me to make absolutely certain I have the anatomy correct.

SJ4415 Cool, Cool Water step 6

The oil wash sketch on the canvas is done. I label where I’m going to put the different wildflowers. That keeps me on the right track as I work 🙂 I’ll start applying paint in the next session, hope you’ll come back and watch. 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! Hugs,

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

5 Responses to “HORSE CRAZY!”

  1. David Boggs Says:

    Mikki this a beautiful start. The techniques you describe help me understand the many processes in a piece of art. I cant wait to see this progress…

  2. Beatrice Baillie Terblanche Says:

    Mikki, I live in a small town at the Southern most tip of Africa, named Agulhas. Thank you for sharing your works and tips with us. I really learn a lot from you. Beatrice Baillie Terblanche

  3. Terri Legg Says:

    Thanks for showing the proportions of the horse and how to use the head to measure and draw the body.

  4. Phyllis Warmack Snyder Says:

    Thank you for sharing Jacks minimal palette; I’m using it today… Mixed mud and everything. I’m loving it. This plan really makes sense to me.

    Phyllis Snyder

    Sent from my iPhone


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