From Squirrels to Race Horses

One of my readers came up with a terrific solution for our SQUIRREL WARS! If you weren’t aware of our battle just CLICK HERE. But back to Fran’s VIDEO, it had Jack and I rolling on the floor with laughter. We definitely have to get one of these horse head feeders. Thank you Fran 🙂 And Charlene, I always throw some extra seed down on the ground especially for Mr. Squirrel!

SK4815 step 1

I couldn’t have a better lead in for my next collaboration. My collector lived a good portion of his life in Lexington, Kentucky, home of the beautiful Keeneland Race Track. This piece will go in his “Man Cave” along with other horse racing memorabilia. I’ve been so excited about this commission, those of you who have followed my career know I started out painting horses. To paint the Keeneland Paddock, buzzing with activity just before a race, is a dream! It was so fun going back through all of our race horse reference to plan the composition. The pen and ink sketch is shown above.

SK4815 step 2

The painting is going to be 24 inches by 36 inches. How do I transfer this complicated sketch to the canvas? Well……here is the answer. I make a grid on a copy of my sketch. I don’t use the original, it will be given to my collector as a gift with the painting. The grid is quite simple, first I draw a diagonal line, using a ruler, from the lower left to the upper right corner. Then a corresponding diagonal is made connecting the other two corners. That establishes the center of the sketch. Next both an upright and a horizontal line are made, intersecting that center point. Each quadrant is broken down into a grid using the same method.

SK4815 step 3

A grid is drawn lightly with a pencil on the canvas following the same system. To see this better you can click on the image to enlarge the picture.

SK4815 step 4

I begin sketching the subjects up on the canvas. I start with the figures and horse in the foreground. The grid helps me get them in the proper place.

SK4815 step 5

Now I draw the people and horses in the background, making certain they are in proper proportion to the ones in the foreground. The pencil sketch on canvas is done. The rest of the background will be drawn with an oil wash in our next session. Hope you’ll come watch. Hugs,

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG


5 Responses to “From Squirrels to Race Horses”

  1. Denise Sanderson-Reel Says:

    It’s really looking good Mikki! And that’s a great tip with the grids. 🙂

  2. Fran Says:

    So glad you enjoyed the video. Cannot wait to see this next painting progress. Thanks so much for so generously sharing your step-by-step process.

  3. Charlene Says:

    Love the squirrel feeder! Glad to hear you throw down extra for the little fellar. 🙂

  4. pamjraney Says:

    HI, great start, i’m excited to see it develop. Could you tell me how you suspend your canvas? I have difficulty painting the bottom part of the painting when it is resting on the easel your setup looks like a perfect solution, Thankyou, Pam

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