Archive for June, 2017


June 5, 2017

Now work begins on Ashley. Generally women are pinker than men, so I’ve added a little bit of Alizarin Crimson to all the skin tone mixtures. The three color zones still apply, they are just much more subtle than in men. Please remember, you may click on any of the images to see them larger.

With the light coming from the upper left, her forehead and bridge of the nose are highlighted. Darkening the shadow side of the nose gives it form. 

Ashley’s arm is more tan, so I use some of the warmer mixes from Pastor Chris’ face here.

Her purple shirt is made from combinations of Dioxazine Purple + Magenta + White.

A couple of colors not usually found on my palette, Burnt Umber and Ivory Black, are used for Ashley’s long, dark hair.

We couldn’t figure out Emma’s blanket in the original picture so Pastor Chris was kind enough to supply me with one of Ashley’s favorites. I took a couple of photos so he could immediately return it home to Emma’s room. We didn’t want the baby’s cover to be gone long enough for Mom to discover it was missing! I bring in some of the purples from the shirt for the knitted bands. The pinker bands are Alizarin Crimson + White.

Emma’s cap is blocked in with a soft green made of Pthalo Blue + Lemon Yellow + White.

I will also have to come back and make some final adjustments on Ashley. The blanket needs some additional work too. Children are NEXT!!!! Hope you’ll come follow along. With Colorful Smiles and HUGS,

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG


June 4, 2017

We’re ready to begin on Pastor Chris. The color mixtures are laid out on my palette: #1. MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + Liquin. #2. MUD + Cadmium Orange + a little Ultramarine Blue + White. #3. MUD + Ultramarine Blue + a touch of Cadmium Orange + White. #4. Cerulean Blue + White. #5. Mixture #2 + a bit of Ultramarine Blue + White. #6 Mix #3 + Cerulean Blue + White. #7 White + some of Mix #2. #8. Mixture #2 + Alizarin Crimson + White.

Light pours into the painting from the upper left, so Dad’s face will be in shadow. Typically faces have three color zones. The forehead is yellow, mid face is red and lower face is blue. Now, before you fall out of your chair saying, “WHHHHHAAATTTTTT??????? Let me quickly explain, or ‘splain, as Jack would say.  The color differences are VERY SUBTLE. The skin covering the cheek bones and nose is very thin, with blood vessels right under the surface. Therefore this part of the face is redder, especially if the person spends a lot of time outdoors in the sun. 

The blues in the lower face are much more pronounced in men because of their beard. In the picture above I’m painting Pastor Chris’s teeth. It’s always a fine line between getting them too dark and they look dirty. Or too light and then they pop out of the mouth! I paint them as a solid unit, not trying to delineate the individual teeth. That would make them look too much like a picket fence. You may click on the picture to enlarge the image.

My hand rests against the mahl stick to steady it as I block in his nose.

The ears are part of the red, mid portion of the face.

The shirt is made of Alizarin Crimson + a little Ivory Black + White. I want it to be rich in color but not “Jump Out at You” Bright!

His jacket is a warm gray in various combinations of Cadmium Orange + Ultramarine Blue + White. Some MUD is thrown in for the darker shadows. 

Pastor Chris is blocked in, I’ll have to come back and make final adjustments to get his likeness exactly right. But I want to wait until I get the canvas completely covered and everyone else in.

I’d like to thank those of you who have told me my website isn’t working properly. I really appreciate it! Jack and I originally obtained our domain names in 1994! LONG before we owned a computer. BUT….we knew someone who had one. I can’t believe I just said that! Anyway, they were able to register for me; however, was already taken by a realtor in Alaska. So we got for Jack and then had some company build us websites. I remember the first time we saw them on our friend’s computer, it was like magic when he clicked the images and they enlarged! We finally did get our first computer in 1999! Over the years both sites have been through many revisions, updates and additions. Well, seems that links, modules and whatever are all terribly out of date. We were told internally the sites look like cyberspace junkyards! Time to START ALL OVER. Well…..I’m going to take a deep breath and dive in. It may take me awhile but I’ll eventually get back up with a whole new look! Fortunately Jack’s site seems to be functioning alright for now. SO…..BIG HUGS from your soon to be computer geek friend,

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG


June 2, 2017

The background is painted first. My color recipes are as follows: #1. Ultramarine Blue + a tiny bit of Pthalo Blue + Ivory Black + a small amount of White. #2. Mixture #1 with additional White. #3. More White added to Mix #2. #4. Mix #3 with even more White!

Light pours into the portrait from the left, so the lightest mix, #4, is used for that side. The background becomes progressively darker as we move to the right.

The darkest mixture, #1, is reserved for the area behind Emma and Ashley. This is planned so the dark will accentuate the light on the tiny baby’s face, the focal point of the portrait.

Using a mix of MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + Liquin, Ashley’s long dark tresses are pulled into the background. This is done wet-into-wet in order to soften the edges. I’ll come back later and paint the rest of her hair.

Background…….DONE! We’ll be painting people in our next session. Hope you’ll come follow along. HUGS, 

A Mother’s Day Surprise

June 1, 2017

In January my collectors welcomed a new addition to their family, daughter Emma! This picture was taken as Caleb and Ethan met their new baby sister for the very first time. Mother Ashley was absolutely heartsick that the photo didn’t turn out very well. So Pastor Chris asked if there was any way possible for me to make a painting as a surprise Mother’s Day Gift for her. 

Even though the picture was fuzzy I got goosebumps looking at it. The emotion captured is awesome and the lighting perfect for a painting. I said, “Definitely YES, we’ll make it work.” Since there was very little detail in the actual photo I gave him the assignment of going through all of his pictures and finding shots of everyone in similar poses. Pastor Chris did his homework well. Working from those pictures I reconstructed the introduction. The family portrait was actually painted several weeks ago but I couldn’t show the blog until now! My first step is to lightly pencil in the figures on my canvas.  Please remember, you may click on any of the pictures to see them larger.

Next Ashley is drawn with a brush dipped in a thin oil wash made of MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + Liquin. 

When Mom is complete work begins on Ethan. The shadow areas are established before adding any details on his face.

Now Caleb is washed in.

And sweet little Emma. I love the way the light coming from the window, in the original photo, falls on her face.

Then Dad is blocked in.

Our family is up on the canvas. At this stage I’m not worried about getting exact likenesses. This is more to make certain of everyone’s placement on the canvas and developing the light and shadow patterns. I see right now I have Ashley’s upper arm too short, I’ll make that correction later. If you would like to receive an email every time I publish a new post please feel free to 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!