It’s Great to be Back at the Easel

First of all, I want to thank each and every one of you again for your loving support. Reading your heartfelt sentiments and anecdotes has helped me more than you will ever realize. Yes, we will all miss Jack tremendously, the chair at his computer is incredibly empty. But you know “Our Jack”, he wouldn’t want us moping around. If I did that he would come down from Heaven and kick me in the backside. Both he and God know my best medicine is Prayer and Painting. I’m blessed with A LOT of commissions to do, so I’ll be busy. I’m back at the easel today and does it ever feel good. A sense of normalcy has washed over my soul.

Risdall-DSC_5388 R Digital 2 small file

It’s truly amazing that the first commission upon returning to my easel is a portrait, Jack’s specialty. Over the 26 years we were together he taught me all of his portrait painting techniques and I know Jack is watching over my shoulder. The Risdalls visited our studio a couple of years ago; having met them I have a pretty good idea of each one’s personality. That helps when doing a portrait. The painting is going to be a surprise birthday/anniversary present for Jennifer! I’ll be working from a professional photo, Ted supplied me with a large digital file. That helps tremendously because I can enlarge the image to see the tiny details in the faces and hands.

 SG2016 Step 2

All four figures are first lightly penciled in on the canvas. You can see this better if you enlarge the picture, just click on the image. Next I begin blocking in the basic values with an oil wash made of MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + Liquin. Even though this is a very recent photo of the family, Alex the youngest son, has a new haircut. Ted sent digital pictures so I pop the image up on my laptop to use as reference for his latest look!

SG2016 Step 3

At this stage I’m not worried about achieving a perfect likeness. I just want to get the canvas covered with the basic light and dark values. It would be difficult for me to paint the portrait on pure white canvas. I go ahead and block the clothing in too.

 SG2016 Step 4

After covering Jennifer’s dress, I begin on Ted’s jacket.

SG2016 Step 5

Ted’s ensemble is blocked in, you can see I’m establishing the folds and shadow patterns on the clothing. Now, let’s move over to Max.

SG2016 Step 6

We’re at a good stopping point for today. I’ll work on the rest of the faces in our next session when I’m fresh. Hope you’ll come watch the step-by-step process. 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!

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

13 Responses to “It’s Great to be Back at the Easel”

  1. Bruce M Pope Says:

    WOW! Great start on a perfect project on your return to the canvas. I wish miss the celebration in September. I have always treasured my conversations with Jack.

  2. sotxgrannie Says:

    How beautiful. You come to know your subjects intimately. Jack would approve …

  3. Rose Mavis Says:

    I am so happy to see your return to the easel. Jack would be most proud.

  4. Laura Brooks Says:

    Welcome back Mikki.

  5. Jo Ann Morgan Smith Says:

    Glad to see you painting again. Great start on the portrait!

  6. bob raglandl Says:

    From your email, I guess Jack is not with us? My email has been out of order for a while. Sorry. Art will be your therapy. Sincerely Bob Ragland.

  7. pierceclark Says:

    What a beautiful family to paint!!

    Donna Pierce Clark Fine Art NEWSLETTER WEBSITE

    FROM GLORY TO GLORY (2 Corinthians 3:18)

  8. Lesley Mills Says:

    Bravo, Mikki! It is tough to get going, but I know Jack would want nothing less. Thank you for sharing your story, and for the courage you share. You are an inspiration.

  9. joannecali Says:

    you’re such an amazing artist. beautiful portraits, capturing the spirit of the persons

  10. Judy Says:

    God Bless you Mikki, We all know that Jack is looking down and smiling with pride at your ability to not let sadness get you down xoxo

  11. jejoet Says:

    Sir, Thank you for helping us to do good work. I admire your painting especially the way you take time for the smallest details. It would have been even better if we could have videos because “the gestures”, I think, are so necessary to achieve a certain texture.

  12. jejoet Says:

    I got your videos. Thank you! It was my mistake not being curious enough.

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