The Thrill of Cutting


Back to horses! This commission is actually a Christmas present. My collector was so nice, she was willing to wait until I could work the painting into my schedule. We came up with a special Gift Certificate to give her husband on Christmas morning. The fun thing is now Craig will get to follow along as I paint the portrait of him and Starlight Merada (Chunky) in action.

SB0616 Step 1

Sarah really liked the action in the photograph shown in the first picture. But she wanted it all to take place outdoors. That’s the wonderful thing about painting, we can make the world as we want it to be. Here’s my sketch. I moved the calf in the foreground to show more of Chunky. Besides, I didn’t want the backside of the steer to be the focal point of the painting.

SB0616 Step 2

First, the composition is lightly sketched with pencil on the canvas.

SB0616 Step 3

Now I begin drawing the herd milling around behind Craig and Chunky. A thin oil wash made of MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + Liquin is used. I’ve primed the canvas with White acrylic which makes the surface slightly slick. This allows me to wipe off any errant lines.

SB0616 Step 5

One thing I really like about working on the acrylic primed canvas is that I can “Lift” highlights out of areas that have been washed in. This technique comes in especially handy when blocking in Chunky’s gleaming coat. As you read though the blog please remember, you can click on any of the pictures to see them larger.

SB0616 Step 6

With all that action going on there will be lots of dust flying!

SB0616 Step 7

The portrait of Craig and Chunky is completely washed in. We’ll begin painting in the next session. Hope you’ll come back and watch. To move through my blog just CLICK on the small titles at the top of the page. The right one for the next post or the title on the left side for the previous session. If you would like to receive an email every time I publish a new post you can 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


4 Responses to “The Thrill of Cutting”

  1. Lynne Wesolowski Says:

    Mikki – You are Absolutely Amazing!

    I’ve been following your painting blog for a while now and delight in every one. HowEVER, you and animals share a special bond. What a gorgeous start to your Christmas painting.

    Our styles are so different; I am wavy-gravy abstract/different coloring and love it, but I swear I learn from your compositions, thinking and approach to everything. You and Jack inspire me – what a pair! ;0) thanks very much —


  2. Christopher Newell Says:

    Best Bet…Jack Loves this One!…Be Well and stay Warm. LU~Both.

  3. Judy Says:

    Mikki, This is a valuable lesson in oils for me as well as inspiration! I have been painting in watercolors since 1986 and am now exploring oils because sometimes when I go out to plein air paint, sometimes the subject says it needs to be expressed in something else besides watercolors. Tried pastels but the problem is that carrying all those sticks of color gets heavy, plus, one day while we were painting it happened to be windy, when we got home, I had dark green pastel dust in my ears!!! God knows what I inhaled!! So I am now trying oils and your blogs are so very interesting and helpful!
    Love you work!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: