Doors and Terra Cotta Tile


The blue gates POP against the muted colors in the background. The brightness of the Pthalo Blue + White mixes makes them come forward. This is another of those simple rules that help to give the impression of depth in a painting: Muted Colors Recede; Bright, Intense Colors Jump Forward.


The mahogany door is made from combinations of MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + a little more Alizarin Crimson + Cadmium Red Light + a tiny bit of White. More White is added into the mix for the sunlit portion of the door.


I think the speak easy window is really cool. The wrought iron grill is drawn over the wet paint of the window frame and washed in glass, which is now dry.


OK…on to the courtyard floor. I’ve mixed several different shades to use for the tile. #1. Ultramarine Blue + White. #2. Two mixes pulled from my left over colors, Pthalo Blue + Cadmium Orange + White. #3. Three combinations of MUD + Cadmium Orange + White. #4. The lightest mix from the #3 group with even more White added. #5. MUD + Cadmium Orange + some Cadmium Red Light. #6. Cobalt Blue + White. #7. MUD + a touch of Pthalo Blue + Cadmium Orange. #8. Some of the Wisteria blossom color.


The entire area of the floor on the upper level is first painted, establishing the light and shadow pattern.

VIDEO! I come back and pull the perspective lines into the wet paint. A fine liner brush dipped into a mix of MUD + Liquin is used. When a line goes awry, it’s very easy to correct. You can see how I just paint out the incorrect line and pull it again.

ANOTHER VIDEO! After making the perspective lines I pull the horizontal lines separating the terra cotta tiles. The last step is to highlight each individual tile where the sun catches the leading edge. 


The upright sides of the steps are painted darker because they receive less light from above. The sun illuminates the top, flat surface directly.


The lower part of the courtyard floor is painted in the same fashion as the upper level, the entire area is blocked in first. I work around the kitties very carefully, I don’t want to cover up my sketch.


The entire unit (canvas attached to the cardboard backing) is taken off the easel and securely propped on the back of Jack’s chair with the top part resting on the table. This raises up the lower end of the unit, making it easier for me to paint the bottom surface of the canvas and continue the perspective lines over the edge. You can see now that having the canvas attached to the cardboard allows me to handle the wet painting with ease. If you’d like to enlarge the image just click on the picture.


Cadmium Red Light is added to the floor mixes to use for the  terra cotta containers.


WHEW!!! Laying tile is HARD WORK! Fortunately gardening is much easier. We’ll be planting in our next session. Why don’t you grab a pair of gloves and come help! HUGS,

2 Responses to “Doors and Terra Cotta Tile”

  1. Angelica Says:

    OH! This is just stunningly beautiful. I love all the subdued colors that lead us through your doorway. This will be a wonderful treasure for the owner of this painting. Your tile work is just amazing and those doors are beautiful too. I am looking forward to seeing those sweet kittens completed…they are all so cute!

    Thank you for the awesome videos and lessons Mikki! You just continue to inspire us.

  2. Alice Cox Says:

    Hi Mikki, your videos are always an instructive treat! Thank you for posting them.

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