Islands, Islands and More Islands

SH2216 Step 8

My paint is mixed and I’m excited to get started today. We’ll begin with the sky because it sets the tone for the entire piece. The weather report says it’s going to be a bright, sunny day in Tofino! Here are our color recipes…..#1. White + Pthalo Blue. #2. Mixture #1 + more White + a little touch of Lemon Yellow. #3. White + Cobalt Blue.

SH2216 Step 9

Standing on my trusty step-stool I paint the top edge of the 24 inch x 30 inch gallery wrap canvas. The upper part of the sky is made of mix #3. Moving downward I feather in some of mixture #1. The lightest mix #2 is reserved for the sky nearest the horizon, just above the tops of the distant islands. Oh, speaking of islands, this is one of the Hawaiian shirts from my collection that Jack has gotten for me over the years. If you’d like to see the picture larger just click on the image.

SH2216 Step 10

I work in the total opposite direction from sketching the basic plan up on the canvas. Then I did the foreground first. Applying opaque color I “Paint Forward”. This means painting the sky to begin, then the mountains that are the farthest away. They are made bluer and lighter with a mix of Ultramarine Blue + White so they recede. The next layer is made a bit warmer, a combination of Ultramarine Blue + MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + White is used. Meares Island is warmed up more by adding mixes of Ultramarine Blue + Cadmium Orange + Pthalo Blue + White.

SH2216 Step 11

One way to give the feeling of depth in a painting is to use the rule: Cool Colors Go Back, Warm Colors Come Forward. You can already see how that is starting to work. The island directly in front of Meares Island is a cool green mixed with several combinations of Pthalo Blue + Cadmium Orange + White. A little MUD is added into some of the mixtures to darken them a little. However, as cool as these greens are they are warmer than the color used on Meares Island.

SH2216 Step 12

A few structures hug the shoreline. I’ve gone ahead and blocked in the water around the island so I can pull the reflections straight down as I’m painting the buildings. Also decided to put in a couple of sailboats just for good measure.

SH2216 Step 13

The closest island is made of richer greens. I’ve used various mixes of Utramarine Blue + Cadmium Orange + Cadmium Yellow Medium. A few brushstrokes of Pthalo Blue + White are dabbed here and there to bring coolness into the island forest. We can see another theory of making a painting have depth at work here: Darker Objects Advance, Lighter Ones Recede. 

Demo at Corsicana Art League

As Jack would say “That’s your little lesson for today!” Here he was giving a painting demonstration at the Corsicana Art League in 1991. Jack had the arm palette specially made for him years before to use when he did color studies for his portraits. He’d have the person he was going to paint sit in front of him, then would mix skin tones to be like those of his subject. He could hold the arm palette up, squint his eyes and mix his paint to match perfectly! Pretty nifty, don’t you think? HUGS,

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

4 Responses to “Islands, Islands and More Islands”

  1. Bill Gavin Says:

    You truly inspire me…thanks.

  2. Paintbrush1984 Says:

    It’s your daily dose of painting that keeps me want to go back to my canvas and pick up my brush. Thankyou.

  3. Peggy Black Says:

    He was so talented and very generous!

  4. Janet Zeh Says:

    Mikki, this one is going to be gorgeous! It already is. Thanks for sharing how Jack used to mix his portrait colors from life. His amazing portraits and little lessons have helped me so much with mine.

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